The Eswatini Economic Policy Analysis and Research Centre (ESEPARC) last week presented the findings of two studies to stakeholders in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Trade.

The two studies; ‘Determinants of Choice of Credit Sources by Eswatini SMEs: A Focus on the Agriculture Sector’ and ‘Economic Impact Analysis of Credit Guarantee Schemes in Eswatini: A Case of the Small Scale Enterprise Loan Guarantee Scheme (SSELGS)’ are relevant to the work done by departments under this ministry.

Principal Secretary Siboniso Nkambule appreciated the work done by ESEPARC and acknowledged the need for such studies to inform government policies. “We appreciate the work you have done and the recommendations set out in the studies. Your work gives us a challenge to do more as a ministry; it tells us that we still have a lot to do in terms of improving our efficiency in service delivery and strengthening the operations of some of our departments,” he said.

The PS said Eswatini needs such studies so that policymakers base interventions on evidence on the ground as well as to assess the impact of the policies that are being implemented. Adding, he said they hope to see more studies of this nature to assist government in its policy decisions.

ESEPARC Executive Director Dr Thula Sizwe Dlamini expressed appreciation to the Ministry for its confidence in the Centre’s work and their support of ESEPARC, as well as the PS’s recognition on the importance of evidence based decisions through research.