On Friday, 14th of August 2020, Honourable Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini officially launched the Post COVID-19 Kingdom of Eswatini Recovery Plan, at Royal Villas, Ezulwini. The launch was attended by cabinet ministers, principal secretaries, heads of departments, the private sector, and various members of the international community.
The recovery plan as explained by, the Honourable Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Dr Tambo Gina, is a E30 billion stimulus package that will accelerate the economy into a much more sustainable path of development. The recovery plan is meant to create momentum to grow the economy at an even faster rate compared to the time before COVID-19 hit Eswatini. The plan strives to foster a heightened partnership between the Government of Eswatini and the private sector.
Present at the launch, Business Eswatini Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nathi Dlamini emphasized how now more than ever the Government needs to work hand in hand with the private sector. He assured the nation that the private sector was ready, willing, and committed to making the partnership work, saying, “Private sector companies have committed to investing in the Eswatini economy under the 2020 corporate pledge, a E20 billion re-investment to stimulate the economy.”
The Eswatini Economic Policy Analysis and Research Centre (ESEPARC) was honoured to be the secretariat in the development of this resilient economic recovery plan. The Executive Director of ESEPARC, Dr Sacolo during the launch said that “creating more jobs ensures that every liSwati finds an opportunity to be productive in the economy, and fast-tracking revenue mobilisation will help provide the resources to implement the National Development Plan 2019-2022.” The recovery plan as highlighted by Dr Sacolo will benefit the masses and is inclusive of vulnerable groups such as women. He pointed out that, growing the country’s GDP will help improve the overall macro-economic conditions in the country.
However, in order for most of the big projects proposed in the recovery plan to come to fruition bottlenecks that limit the ease of doing business must be recognized and alleviated. CEO of Standard Bank Eswatini, Mvuselelo Fakudze discussed some of the key enablers that will alleviate some of these bottlenecks. The key enablers included; the reduced cost of communication, tax reform, justice system reform, ease of getting permits/residency, and localizing internet access. These key enablers will facilitate and foster the effective implementation of the plan.
The Honourable Prime Minister (PM), Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, explained that the government of Eswatini’s role will be to facilitate and enable business growth and development. The Government will enable the private sector to lead. Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the youth were encouraged by the PM to take advantage of this plan and utilize all the resources that will be made available. The PM informed the public that the recovery plan is a living document and will evolve with more projects included overtime.
The launch only marked the continued efforts to the National Strategic Roadmap come into fruition, and as reiterated by most speakers on the day of the launch, collaborative work from all stakeholders will make for a successful implementation of the recovery plan.