(AfDB) - The Kingdom of Eswatini is on track for progress following encouraging country performance in execution of ongoing projects, Executive Directors of the African Development Bank concluded following a consultative mission to the southern African nation.
The delegation of nine directors met with Prime Minister Ambrose M. Dlamini (photo) and several members of his cabinet including Minister of Finance and Bank Group Governor, Neal Rijkenberg, Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Tambo Gina; Minister of Agriculture, Jabulani Mabuza and Natural Resources and Energy Minister, Peter Bhembe.
During their three-day visit, the delegation held consultative meetings with the private sector, civil society organisations, development partners, project beneficiaries, the media and ordinary citizens. They also visited two projects funded by the Bank - Lower Usuthu Smallholder Irrigation Project Phase I, and the Ezulwini Sustainable Water and Sanitation Service Delivery Project. The team expressed their admiration for the reach and impact of the projects and the direction of the country as a whole.
“The (Eswatini) government, bolstered by an encouraging environment and support from its stakeholders, has the chance to move forward with momentum, in the six priority areas,” Executive Director David Stevenson, who acted as the delegation’s spokesperson, said.
“The Bank will strive to build on the successes it has seen in agriculture and infrastructure, to scale up the development efforts, as well as increase support in other sectors such as governance and technical assistance,” Stevenson added.
Rijkenberg welcomed the offer of continued support, saying: “We agree that the projects implemented are on the edge of strong delivery, not only on paper but also on the ground. Thus, we shall reach out to the African Development Bank to leverage their support in the strategies.”
Currently, the Bank’s portfolio in Eswatini comprises eight ongoing projects totaling approximately US$ 238.7 million, spread across the agriculture, private, transport and water supply/sanitation sectors.
The Bank will continue its support to Eswatini development’s efforts as a trusted partner. Infrastructure remains a prime sector for future Bank investments in the country as well as broadening opportunities for private sector led growth. The Bank will continue to provide support for governance and strengthening of state institutions in line with the existing Country Strategy for Eswatini.