The Kingdom of Eswatini has officially joined the bid to host the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat.

Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo has officially appointed a National Steering Committee to spearhead the process. The committee is headed by Business Eswatini Chief Executive Officer E. Nathi Dlamini.

Commissioning the steering committee at the Ministry’s conference room on February 7, 2019, the Minister said hosting the AfCFTA would come with huge benefits for the country.

“Hosting the AfCFTA would ensure that Eswatini becomes Africa’s commercial hub. The country will become a hive of business activities, through hosting various African Union meetings and thus enhancing tourism. Moreover, this will create about 200 jobs,” the Minister said.

He further assured the committee of His Majesty King Mswati III’s support as well as that of the Head of Government, His Excellency Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini. The Prime Minister has since appointed a Cabinet Sub-Committee which will provide strategic support to the National Steering Committee.
The Cabinet Sub-Committee, which is led by the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, also comprises Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Pholile Shakantu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Thuli Dladla as well as Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs Moses Vilakati.
“The Steering Committee will call upon the Sub-Committee as a resource. It will be responsible for, among other things, government to government engagements,” Minister Khumalo said.
He added that Eswatini’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Promise Msibi will also be playing a crucial role in the African Union space while Eswatini’s Director International Trade Newman Ntshangase and Under Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jennifer Neves will be providing technical support.
He urged the Steering Committee to get to work immediately and draw up a budget and working plan as time was of essence.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the National Steering Committee E. Nathi Dlamini promised that the team would give it their all to ensure that Eswatini wins the bid to host the AfCFTA.
The AfCFTA National Steering Committee comprises the following members:
1. Mr E. Nathi Dlamini – Business Eswatini CEO (Chairman)
2. Mr Siboniso Nkambule – Principal Secretary - Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade
3. Ms Zandile Dlamini – Deputy Attorney General
4. Ms Dudu Nhlengetfwa – CEO - Federation of Swaziland Business Community (FESBC)
5. Ms Linda Nxumalo –CEO - Eswatini Tourism Authority (ETA)
6. Mr Mncedzi Ngomane –Head of Human Resources - MTN Eswatini
7. Ms Jennifer Neves – Under Secretary - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
8. Mr Newman Sizwe Ntshangase – Director for International Trade - Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade


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