African Development Bank Business Seminar

The African development bank has stretched out its hand to the private sector and civil society. The bank which has offered funding to Eswatini since 1974 in support  of the country’s development agenda has now opened its door to fund the private sector. The assistance from the bank has gone into several sector s which include agriculture, finance, transport, energy, governance and water and sanitation. Contacts between AFDB personnel and Civil society or private sector representatives has in the past been limited and there is a need for such interactions to be strengthened. The objective of the Business seminar which was hosted by Business Eswatini in partnership with the Ministry of finance, was to present the Bank’s financing products and instruments not only for government but for captains of industries and entrepreneurs in the kingdom in support of the country’s socio-economic development. “The seminar will provide the necessary opportunity for Government policy makers, private sector and entrepreneurs to get a better understanding on how to access the Banks financing products and instruments” stated Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg. Eswatini private sector is a primary generator of exports and provides 70% of formal employment opportunities, emphasizing the importance of government’s continued support for its growth and integration into the formal sector. AFDB Southern African Deputy Director General Dr. Josephine Ngure encouraged the private sector to take advantage of AFDB’s presence to explore ways in which it can benefit from the bank’s wide array of financial products. She further mentioned that the private sector is a central part of Eswatini’s development agenda and that the Bank is fully confident that the government is fully committed to ensuring that the potential of the private sector contribution is fully realised. Dr Ngure Mentioned that the seminar occurred at a defining moment in the history of Eswatini following the successful holding of legislative elections in September 2018 and the appointment of a new private sector oriented Cabinet in November 2018. Business Eswatini CEO Nathi Dlamini encouraged the business community to fully utilise the opportunity availed by the AFDB and that it was important for the private sector to play its role in socio-economic development of Eswatini’s economy.              

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