South Africa Considering Sovereign Gender-Bond in Revival Plan

South Africa is looking at various initiatives, including a sovereign gender-bond, to ensure the participation of women in government plans to revive an economy that’s mired in the longest recession since 1992.

Women will be an integral part of proposals focusing on infrastructure investment, Trudi Makhaya, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s special economic adviser, told a conference hosted by the ruling African National Congress party. “We have to be careful that it is not just recovery first and women later,” she said.

The plan, which will be finalized within three weeks, was mentioned by Ramaphosa a day after official data showed gross domestic product shrank an annualized 51% in the three months through June compared with the previous period, extending the economy’s recession into a fourth quarter.

Ramaphosa has made it clear that women must be part of the plan, Makhaya said. “This includes that procurement targets are 40% for women, but we also have to ensure that women are ready to take this up.”

The government is looking at various financing initiatives and held discussions with the United Nations about a sovereign-gender bond, Makhaya said. The commercial notes would be used to finance projects or companies that meet gender-related criteria, she said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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