CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR STATEMENT

BY

THE RT HON PRIME MINISTER,

H.E. AMBROSE MANDVULO DLAMINI

CABINET OFFICES, MBABANE

Monday 23 December 2019

It is my honour to extend to everyone in the Kingdom of Eswatini, His Majesty’s Government’s very best wishes for a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Christmas is essentially a time for profound and joyous celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  Within the strong Christian faith that is so prominent in our society, the annual commemoration will again be filled with melodious gospel music and prayer in churches across the Kingdom. 

Christmas provides the ideal moment to reflect on how truly wonderful it is that we live in a global society that, whilst not without its problems, is broadly at peace. And such a prevailing peace is entirely dependent on the contribution that each country makes.

None can be as proud and admired, for its history of peaceful collaboration, love and respect for its culture and leadership, as the Kingdom of Eswatini. 

As we move into the new year, let us pray that the global commitment to peace and stability extends to a devoted and credible pledge to slow down global warming to the target levels. Human development realised across the country and the world cannot be reassuring when it is being replaced by the very real risk of global destruction through climate change.  That requires all signatories to the 2015 Paris Climate Accord to take the necessary steps to strengthen their respective national climate plans.  Our voice and influence in the global arena matters, as well as the steps we take to move steadily into renewable energy generation in the coming months and years. 

As we review our place in the world, let us also remind ourselves of who we are as emaSwati, and to what we should commit ourselves in this festive season and the year to come. We are a nation widely respected for the internal stability and harmony that we so greatly value, and hugely appreciated for the friendliness with which we treat each other and the thousands of visitors attracted to our country by the beauty and variety of climate and landscape. 

I take this opportunity to welcome all our visitors to the Kingdom and encourage you to explore our wide variety of attractions, enjoy the ambience of a vibrant, safe and fun environment and marvel at the warmth and cordial welcome you will receive from emaSwati from all corners of the country. Welcome to the best destination to visit in Africa in 2020, as nominated by Lonely Planet, and to the 5th best country to visit in the World.

In common with every country of the world we, in Eswatini, have individuals who choose to flout the rules and codes of behaviour. My appeal is that let us do away with unacceptable incidents of violence against women and children. Let us also be sensible and respectful on the roads. We have laws and penalties in place to prevent disregard for the safety of others, and to punish those who disregard road rules or drive under the influence of alcohol or other similar harmful substances.  There will be a very high level of police vigilance and zero tolerance to crime. 

Christmas for so many is a joyous time – one of giving and receiving, of sharing happy moments with family and friends. For the needy and vulnerable, however, this period of the year will merely be a continuation of tough living conditions.  May I ask all of you to make a truly caring effort to give one or more of such people some relief from their difficulties over this festive season. In the words of scripture capturing the Christmas spirit, “blessed is the hand that gives than the one that takes.”

Christmas and the crossover into the New Year will not erase the challenges of the present day but it will allow, and indeed demand, the time to make resolutions. 

One in the broader sense is the commitment to harmonious consultation and collaboration. No country in the world is without disagreement among its population. But the winners are those that sit together and resolve misunderstanding.  Emaswati are a team, and a team that works together prospers together. The empirical evidence for that is clearly visible in the profile of every stable and prosperous nation of the world. 

As we reflect on the progress achieved in 2019, we can be assured of Government’s commitment to accelerating efforts of national development and stability. We have made remarkable strides as a nation during the year in the midst of fiscal challenges that have not just affected Eswatini but the region and the world as well.

Through growth focussed measures taken from the National Development Plan, the austerity measures announced at the end of last year and in our Strategic Roadmap launched in May, we have been able to reduce and stabilise government expenditure, reduce the accumulation of arrears, moderated the inflation rate to below 2 percent, attracted big investments into our country creating about 7000 direct jobs, revived the Youth Revolving Fund to allow our youth to have access to business finance, among others.

Eswatini has also improved in five indicators of the Ease of Doing Business which include the period of starting a business, getting electricity, registering property, dealing with contractors and resolving insolvency.

Our gross national reserves have been stabilised and Free Primary Education (FPE) support was successfully disbursed for all deserving learners. This includes payment of grants, stationery and text books to all learners in public schools.

We continue to see harmony between the three arms of Government and going forward we hope it will be sustained and improved. Parliament has worked very well in the current year, passing a number of bills.

Government is acutely aware that despite these gains, we have a lot of ground to cover to reduce poverty and unemployment and set this country on a trajectory of sustained economic growth and stability.  And yes, despite the improvement in some indicators of the Ease of Doing Business the country regressed slightly in the overall index. This leaves us with no option but to redouble of efforts to ensure we remain a preferred destination for investment. While our economy is slowly showing signs of recovery, we continue to experience financial challenges that have strained some of our budgetary obligations and made it impossible to award Civil Servants a Cost of Living Adjustment.

Government commits to the pledge of making the crossover into the third decade of this century a time of acceleration in achieving greater prosperity for all emaSwati. We will forge ahead with the implementation of the Strategic Roadmap and the National Development Strategy.

That will mean taking the achievements of the first year of office to a heightened pace of delivery in a renewed climate of results-based management.  What will be launched very early in the new year is a programme of high level leadership interaction to monitor the effectiveness of the new culture of being judged by achievement.

I will personally hold high-level implementation meetings, focusing primarily, though not exclusively, on our 2019 pledge to the Nation in the form of the Government Strategic Roadmap.  Part of the performance monitoring toolkit will be the Balanced Scorecard, a high-level performance oversight technique that is widely utilised across the world. 

The primary objective will be faster economic growth in the form of expansion of production of goods and services of value, and a continued strengthening of public sector finances.  More jobs, less poverty, combined with a dedication to improved and efficient public service delivery.

As I conclude, may I once again, on behalf of His Majesty the King and iNgwenyama, Her Majesty the Queen Mother Mhlekazi, and His Majesty’s Government, wish all emaSwati and residents of Eswatini a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

                               

Thank you.

                                                                     KINGDOM OF ESWATINI

                                                                                      SPEECH BY

 

HIS MAJESTY KING MSWATI III, DURING THE CELEBRATION ON THE OCCASION OF NATIONAL DAY OF THE STATE OF QATAR HELD AT ROYAL SWAZI SUN CONVENTION CENTRE 18th DECEMBER 2019

YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESSES,

YOUR EXCELLENCY THE AMBASSADOR OF THE STATE OF QATAR, AHMED TAJER AL-SADA,

COUNCILLORS,

CHIEFS,

CHIEF JUSTICE,

CABINET MINISTERS,

PRESIDING OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT,

YOUR EXCELLENCIES MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS,

REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE HHOHHO REGION,

MEMBERS OF THE QATAR COMMUNITY PRESENT HERE TODAY,

MAYOR AND CITY COUNCILLORS OF EZULWINI,

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS,

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

SIYANIVUSELA NONKHE BEKUNENE LAPHA EZULWINI – GOOD EVENING

PREAMBLE

I HAVE BEEN COMMANDED BY HIS MAJESTY KING MSWATI III TO REPRESENT HIM AT THIS NATIONAL DAY RECEPTION OF THE STATE OF QATAR AND I SHALL READ HIS SPEECH ACCORDINGLY.

INTRODUCTION

IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE TO JOIN YOU ALL HERE THIS EVENING, TO CELEBRATE THE NATIONAL DAY OF THE STATE OF QATAR.

THIS DAY SIGNIFIES A GREAT MILESTONE IN THE HISTORY OF THE PEOPLE OF A COUNTRY BUILT ON THE STRONG FOUNDATION LAID BY THE LATE SHEIKH JASIM BIN MOHAMMED AL THANI ON THIS DAY 141 YEARS AGO.

THIS WISE LEADERSHIP AND FORESIGHT OF THE SHEIKH AND THAT OF HIS SUCCESSOR , COUPLED WITH THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE OF QATAR , HAVE GALVANISED THIS COUNTRY INTO THE GREAT NATION THAT WE ARE HERE TO CELEBRATE TODAY.

WE CONGRATULATE THE SHEIKH, THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE OF QATAR FOR THE UNITY AND SHARED VISION THAT HAS SEEN THE COUNTRY OVERCOME CHALLENGES TO DEVELOP INTO ONE OF THE MOST MODERN STATES OF THE WORLD.

IT IS THIS STRONG RESOLVE THAT SHOULD CONTINUE TO GUIDE YOUR COUNTRY IN ALL ITS ENDEAVOURS. THE KINGDOM OF ESWATINI URGES DIALOGUE AND A PEACEFUL RESOLVE TO THE NEW CHALLENGES THAT FACE QATAR TODAY AND THE ARABIAN GULF.

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS ,LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE KINGDOM OF ESWATINI AND THE STATE OF QATAR HAVE ENJOYED A STRONG BOND OF FRIENDSHIP SINCE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF OUR DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS IN 2002.

WE TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK THE GOVERNMENT OF QATAR FOR EXTENDING VARUIOUS FORMS OF SUPPORT THAT HAVE MADE A SIGNIFICANT CONTIBUTION IN SEVERAL SECTORS OF OUR ECONOMY THROUGH THE JOINT COOPERATION BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES.

OUR PURSUIT OF THE ASPIRATIONS CONTAINED IN OUR NATIONAL VISION 2022 WOULD BE IN VAIN WITHOUT THE INPUT OF OUR BILATERAL FRIENDS AND DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS.

AS THIS FRIENDSHIP GROWS, WE LOOK FORWARD TO INCREASED PARTNERSHIP IN TERMS OF TRADE WHICH OFFERS GREAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR BOTH COUNTRIES.

AS A MEMBER COUNTRY OF THE RECENTLY LAUNCHED AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA, ESWATINI SERVES AN IDEAL LOCATION FOR QATAR INVESTORS TO SET UP AS A BASE FOR ACCESS INTO THE AFRICAN MARKET – THE WORLD’S LARGEST SINGLE MARKET.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE STATE OF QATAR IS ON THE VERGE OF HOSTING ONE OF THE BIGGEST TOURNAMENTS IN THE WORLD - THE 2022 WORLD CUP. WE WISH YOU ALL THE BEST AS YOU PUT THE FINAL TOUCHES TO YOUR PREPARATIONS.

FROM WHAT WE HAVE SEEN THUS FAR, WE HAVE NO DOUBT THAT THE PEOPLE FROM CORNERS OF THE GLOBE ARE TO WITNESS A REMARKABLY UNIQUE EXPERIENCE.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO EMASWATI FLYING OUT OF THE KING MSWATI III INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO QATAR FOR THIS EVENT AND BRINGING BACK MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES FROM THEIR VISIT. OUR AIRPORT AT SIKHUPHE OFFERS A GREAT BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY FOR QATAR AIRWAYS TO EXPLORE PRIOR TO AND BEYOND THIS EVENT.

CONCLUSION

YOUR EXCELLENCY, AS I CONCLUDE LET ME TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO ONCE AGAIN THANK THE QATAR GOVERNMENT FOR THE WARM AND CORDIAL RELATIONS THAT HAPPILY EXIST BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES AND FOR THE NUMEROUS FORMS OF SUPPORT THAT WE CONTINUE TO RECEIVE FROM YOUR COUNTRY.

TOAST

AT THIS JUNCTURE, MAY I INVITE YOU ALL TO CHARGE YOUR GLASSES AND JOIN ME IN PROPOSING A TOAST:

TO THE LONG AND HEALTHY LIFE OF THE EMIR HIS HIGHNESS TAMIN BIN HAMAD LA THANI, FOR THE CONTINUED PROSPERITY OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE OF QATAR AND ALSO TO THE WARM AND CORDIAL RELATIONS THAT HAPPILY EXIST BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES. MAY THEY GROW FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH.

SIYINQABA!!!!!

I THANK YOU, MAY THE ALMIGHTY GOD BLESS US ALL

                               

STATEMENT BY THE RT HON PRIME MINISTER,

H.E. AMBROSE MANDVULO DLAMINI

AT THE MEETING WITH THE CCM, UN and PEPFAR TEAMS

CABINET OFFICES, MBABANE

Thursday 19 December 2019

Honourable Minister

UNAIDS country representative

PEPFAR coordinator and team

Eswatini Country Coordination Mechanism team

Senior Government officials

NERCHA Council Chairperson

CANGO Director

Members of the media

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my honour to welcome all of you to Cabinet offices today to acknowledge and celebrate three major cooperation achievements that have benefited the people of Eswatini.

These are the 2022-2024 Global Fund allocation, the investment made by The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) towards the fight against HIV and AIDS and the success of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.

This is indeed an exciting day where we officially announce a Global Fund allocation of US$54 million (approximately E755 million) to the Kingdom of Eswatini to enhance the fight against HIV, tubercolosis, malaria and to build resilient and sustainable systems for health.

This new allocation shows an increase of about E56 million from the ongoing Global Fund grant that commenced in 2018 and is coming to an end in 2020 for Malaria, and 2021 for HIV and TB.

We attribute this improved grant to the vision, leadership and commitment demonstrated by His Majesty King Mswati III in the response against AIDS, TB and Malaria. It was only in October this year when His Majesty made a pledge of US$6 million to the Global Fund during the replenishment summit held in France. Today we are seeing the fruits of the King’s vision, foresight and commitment to the fight against HIV, TB and Malaria and overall universal health.

The Government of Eswatini is highly indebted to the Global Fund for its continued support to our health sector which began in 2003 and, with this new allocation, now amounts to over E4.2 billion. I take this opportunity to congratulate the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), the Ministry of Health, NERCHA and in-country Partners such as PEPFAR, United States Government, the UN family and the European Union for working closely with Government to attract this level of funding from the Global Fund over the years.

It remains for me to encourage the Principal Recipients of this grant to intensify their collaboration with all implementing partners in order to fast-track grant implementation projects and processes on the ground and realize tangible benefits for the health sector, ensuring that we realize the Sustainable Development Goal of ‘Health for All.”

Intervention programmes that have benefited from the Global Fund over the years have brought this country close to the elimination of malaria, decreased the incidence of TB and saw a reduction of new HIV infections.

Eswatini truly appreciates the role played by our development partners in supporting the HIV and AIDS response. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has over the years invested vastly to the HIV response as a key partner of the Kingdom, thus making a telling contribution towards the vision of ending AIDS.

Today, the Kingdom of Eswatini has made great strides in meeting the 90-90-90 target, and as a result we have since re-adjusted our objective and set a 95-95-95 target. This means 95% of HIV positive people should know their HIV status, 95% of those should be on treatment and of those on treatment, 95% should be virally suppressed. Achieving this goal will bring Eswatini closer to the vision of ending AIDS by 2022. I remain confident that the country will conquer AIDS with effective implementation of our response programmes combined with resolute collaboration with our international partners.

Eswatini has already saved over 15 000 lives, prevented millions of HIV infections, and is accelerating progress toward controlling the global HIV and AIDS epidemic by 2022.

May I also acknowledge the role that has been played by the United Nations through the implementation of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). This is a programme that commenced in 2016, with a financial envelope of US$80 million under the ‘Delivering as One modality’, to support the fast-tracking of Eswatini’s development objectives in collaboration with development partners, and working to deliver a harmonized response to HIV and AIDS. 

Government appreciates the role of the United Nations in fostering cooperation, coordination and enhanced UN coherence in the spirit of “Delivering as One”.

This intervention has gone a long way towards achieving measurable results and impacted our joint response to the development needs of Eswatini. The UNDAF, as a five year programme, comes to an end in 2020. His Majesty’s Government and the United Nations are currently developing a new Cooperation Framework.

It is important to give assurance that this framework is nationally owned and anchored on national development priorities, the 2030 Agenda and the principles of the UN Charter.  The duration of the new cooperation framework under development will be the period 2021 – 2025. Government looks forward to the successful preparation and development of this new framework.

May I once again, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, pass my gratitude to the Global Fund for supporting Eswatini’s health efforts and for the valuable contribution of all our development partners.

Thank you.

STATEMENT BY THE RT HON PRIME MINISTER,

H.E. AMBROSE MANDVULO DLAMINI

AT THE MEETING WITH THE CCM, UN and PEPFAR TEAMS

CABINET OFFICES, MBABANE

Thursday 19 December 2019

Honourable Minister

UNAIDS country representative

PEPFAR coordinator and team

Eswatini Country Coordination Mechanism team

Senior Government officials

NERCHA Council Chairperson

CANGO Director

Members of the media

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my honour to welcome all of you to Cabinet offices today to acknowledge and celebrate three major cooperation achievements that have benefited the people of Eswatini.

These are the 2022-2024 Global Fund allocation, the investment made by The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) towards the fight against HIV and AIDS and the success of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.

This is indeed an exciting day where we officially announce a Global Fund allocation of US$54 million (approximately E755 million) to the Kingdom of Eswatini to enhance the fight against HIV, tubercolosis, malaria and to build resilient and sustainable systems for health.

This new allocation shows an increase of about E56 million from the ongoing Global Fund grant that commenced in 2018 and is coming to an end in 2020 for Malaria, and 2021 for HIV and TB.

We attribute this improved grant to the vision, leadership and commitment demonstrated by His Majesty King Mswati III in the response against AIDS, TB and Malaria. It was only in October this year when His Majesty made a pledge of US$6 million to the Global Fund during the replenishment summit held in France. Today we are seeing the fruits of the King’s vision, foresight and commitment to the fight against HIV, TB and Malaria and overall universal health.

The Government of Eswatini is highly indebted to the Global Fund for its continued support to our health sector which began in 2003 and, with this new allocation, now amounts to over E4.2 billion. I take this opportunity to congratulate the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), the Ministry of Health, NERCHA and in-country Partners such as PEPFAR, United States Government, the UN family and the European Union for working closely with Government to attract this level of funding from the Global Fund over the years.

It remains for me to encourage the Principal Recipients of this grant to intensify their collaboration with all implementing partners in order to fast-track grant implementation projects and processes on the ground and realize tangible benefits for the health sector, ensuring that we realize the Sustainable Development Goal of ‘Health for All.”

Intervention programmes that have benefited from the Global Fund over the years have brought this country close to the elimination of malaria, decreased the incidence of TB and saw a reduction of new HIV infections.

Eswatini truly appreciates the role played by our development partners in supporting the HIV and AIDS response. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has over the years invested vastly to the HIV response as a key partner of the Kingdom, thus making a telling contribution towards the vision of ending AIDS.

Today, the Kingdom of Eswatini has made great strides in meeting the 90-90-90 target, and as a result we have since re-adjusted our objective and set a 95-95-95 target. This means 95% of HIV positive people should know their HIV status, 95% of those should be on treatment and of those on treatment, 95% should be virally suppressed. Achieving this goal will bring Eswatini closer to the vision of ending AIDS by 2022. I remain confident that the country will conquer AIDS with effective implementation of our response programmes combined with resolute collaboration with our international partners.

Eswatini has already saved over 15 000 lives, prevented millions of HIV infections, and is accelerating progress toward controlling the global HIV and AIDS epidemic by 2022.

May I also acknowledge the role that has been played by the United Nations through the implementation of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). This is a programme that commenced in 2016, with a financial envelope of US$80 million under the ‘Delivering as One modality’, to support the fast-tracking of Eswatini’s development objectives in collaboration with development partners, and working to deliver a harmonized response to HIV and AIDS. 

Government appreciates the role of the United Nations in fostering cooperation, coordination and enhanced UN coherence in the spirit of “Delivering as One”.

This intervention has gone a long way towards achieving measurable results and impacted our joint response to the development needs of Eswatini. The UNDAF, as a five year programme, comes to an end in 2020. His Majesty’s Government and the United Nations are currently developing a new Cooperation Framework.

It is important to give assurance that this framework is nationally owned and anchored on national development priorities, the 2030 Agenda and the principles of the UN Charter.  The duration of the new cooperation framework under development will be the period 2021 – 2025. Government looks forward to the successful preparation and development of this new framework.

May I once again, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, pass my gratitude to the Global Fund for supporting Eswatini’s health efforts and for the valuable contribution of all our development partners.

Thank you.

CHRISTMAS, NEW YEAR MESSAGE FROM THE MINISTER FOR TOURISM AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS:

HON. MOSES VILAKATI.

My fellow citizens, residents, friends and visitors; the 2019 Christmas and Festive Season is again in full swing, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  This indeed, is a very joyous time of the year, celebrated by millions around the world, including here in the Kingdom of Eswatini.

This is also a time to reflect on a year filled with accomplishments, and challenges. Among the accomplishments that history has recorded this year are national and privately-run events across culture, business, sport and entertainment - all which attracted scores of Emaswati and visitors. Destination Eswatini was successfully marketed to throngs of world travellers through our participation at various tourism trade shows in and outside Africa. The Eswatini Tourism Authority (ETA) has always been at the forefront in spearheading our marketing efforts as the destination of choice.  

May I welcome all visitors to Eswatini, as well as our returning citizens who are ordinarily based outside the country. You made a great choice! Spending time in Eswatini during this season is synonymous with making lasting memories. Our Festive Season is renowned for being fun-filled, entertaining all held in a secure, refreshing and peaceful environment. It is no coincidence that Eswatini has been selected as the number one destination in Africa and top five in the world by Lonely Planet for tourists to explore in 2020.

May I also remind our visitors and all emaSwati that our laws strictly prohibit drink-driving in order to curb road-related accidents and carnage. We encourage all service and front desk personnel to extend our renowned friendliness and resourcefulness to our visitors to ensure they feel at home and consider coming back to the country in the near future.

During this Christmas season, I pray for all of us to dedicate our lives to the service of mankind by being our brother’s keeper. Let us remember the poor, the sick and the physically challenged, including the elderly. Let us honour them in tangible ways this Christmas. Let us be vigilant in the protection of our children. Protect them and spend time with them.

As we close out 2019 and look forward to 2020, let us continue to work in collaboration and pray that the year ahead will be all that we desire, and that as a country we continue to live in peace and harmony with each other. Let us work together to keep Eswatini an irresistible destination where visitors return time and time again, because of the lifelong friendships they make, and the enjoyment of our tourism products, grand accommodation, exciting attractions and adventure, our unique culture and unparalleled events.

And let us all remember that together, working as one team, with a common vision, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.

Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2020!

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