The Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini








1000 HRS



My Colleague, the Hon. Minister for Health, Senator Lizzy Nkosi

My Colleague the Hon. Minister for Finance, Hon. Neil Rijkenberg

Your Excellency Ambassador Lisa Peterson, US Ambassador to Eswatini

Mr John Groarke, the Regional Mission Director for USAID,

Ms Wendy Benzerga the USAID Country Director,

Principal Secretaries of MOH, MEPD, MOF, DPMO, and MTAD

The Attorney General

Senior Government Officials and PEPFAR/Eswatini team

Media Houses Present,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good Morning!

It is my singular honour to be part of this important and historic event where we are gathered here for the signing of the Development Objective Grant Agreement (DOAG) for a strengthened response to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Eswatini.


As a ministry responsible for coordinating Development Assistance in the Kingdom, it would be “Out of Order” for me to ignore and not make mention, in this important forum, the level of support, our country receives from the US Government in the pursuit of sustainable and inclusive development for this country.Today’s signing of the DOAG is exhibition of the good and long-lasting cooperation which exists between our two Governments.  

 As a country, we are therefore pleased and honoured to continuously enjoy the invaluable support from the U. S. Government and are humbled to have amongst us here today, the US Ambassador to Eswatini, the USAID Regional Mission Director and his team and the USAID team based at the US Embassy.

 Today’s event is indeed a significant and symbolic occasion where we solidify the already existing relationship and commitment between our two governments in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

 Ladies and Gentlemen,

As it would be known, HIV and AIDS pose a serious challenge to the development of many economies in Sub-Saharan Africa including the Kingdom of Eswatini. It is in this view and in an effort to overcome this challenge, that the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini forged an extensive cooperation in the area of HIV/AIDS.

 Over the last decade, the US Government, through its President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Program, invested a total of $437,356,392 to support the response to HIV/AIDS in Eswatini. The PEPFAR program supported 175,912 people on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 13,636 voluntary male circumcision under prevention, during the 2018 financial year.  In addition, targeted HIV testing services were provided for 407,574 people and 34,180 Orphans and Vulnerable Children and their caregivers received supportive services under the program during the same year.

 The Ambassador has already highlighted some of the key achievements made by the country in the fight against HIV/AIDS, which include the reduction of HIV prevalence by 44% over a five-year period spanning from 2011 to 2016. One of the contributing factors to these achievements, is the country’s multi-sectoral approach to the HIV/AIDS response which USAID has continuously supported over the years across the HIV continuum which is from prevention to impact mitigation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to acknowledge the good collaboration and joint effort in putting together the DOAG which we are here about today.

May I begin with lauding the good leadership exhibited by the Government of Eswatini while working with USAID and the US Embassy in the development of the DOAG. The collaborated effort of the four Principal Secretaries (MEPD, PMO, MOF and MOH) and their teams, the Attorney General and team, the Director of NERCHA, the USAID Regional Legal Advisor and the US Embassy officials led to the finalization of the DOAG and its subsequent approval by the Government of Eswatini.

 Further to this, I am pleased to inform this congregation, particularly the United States Government, that the high-level working team comprising the Principal Secretaries and the teams listed herein, has already began conversations on the implementation modalities of the DOAG, to ensure that the objectives of this agreement come to fruition.

This level of commitment and dedication has culminated to this inaugural event and for that I want to voice my appreciation, recognize and encourage the spirit of cooperation and support exhibited by this group throughout the finalization of the DOAG.

As we sign the DOAG today, we symbolize and demonstrate continued commitment and support to the work the US Government is carrying-out through USAID, which is aimed at enabling our country reach and sustain epidemic control.

The DOAG offers a unique opportunity for USAID and Government to jointly define developmental goals, modalities for strengthening efficiency, transparency, accountability and enhance Government ownership of USAID supported programs.

Your Excellency AND Regional Mission Director,

Allow me, for the benefit of all present here, to make a few highlights in terms of the support Eswatini receives from USAID. USAID works through the PEPFAR program to support numerous HIV/AIDS programs including strengthening the support for HIV prevention and the coordination function of NERCHA. Here we are talking about, the comprehensive clinical support for HIV prevention and treatment services in collaboration with the Ministry of Health; the community and family-based support to OVC and their caregivers; the health systems strengthening support including the Client Management Information System (CMIS) as well as the technical assistance to the Ministry of Health to strengthen supply chain for HIV drugs and commodities. In addition, USAID supports the Ministry of Tinkhundla Administration and Development (MTAD) to provide grass root level support to traditional/community leaders and regional structures to enable them to understand and own HIV related data and coordinate the HIV response at community level.  All these programs are critical for Eswatini to attain control of the epidemic and provide a conducive environment for a sustained response.

It is also important to note that the achievements made in reaching this milestone of 95:95:95 have other dimensions in relation to the scourge and health related challenges. I wish to take this opportunity and request that the funding support is extended to those areas so as not to open an opportunity to lose all the gains made. The health sector currently faces many challenges and government’s ability to address those is heavily curtailed due to fiscal constraints. We bank on your continued support.

 With the current level of support and commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS, I see great and promising prospects for USAID-Government of Eswatini cooperation not only in HIV/AIDS but also in other areas of development in the near future.

I believe that the high-level support provided by all parties during the development of the DOAG will continue post the signing of the document to ensure alignment of USAID programs at policy and strategic levels and to provide continued support at high level in government.

 May I urge the team of Principal Secretaries from the Ministries supported by the USAID to continue working in partnership with USAID and other government ministries to ensure that the Government of Eswatini and the US Government achieve the objective of this agreement, which is to strengthen Eswatini’s response to HIV/AIDS.

 I once again wish to voice my gratitude and to extend my congratulations to the teams AND the Government of Eswatini on the signing of the Development Objective Grant Agreement.

 Thank you!



OffCanvas Menu