By Kingsley Okeke

The Kingdom of Eswatini’s Minister of Commerce and Trade, Sen. Manqoba Khumalo, has said that a powerful government and private sector collaboration is helping in the Kingdom’s COVID-19 recovery process. He made this known while speaking as a panellist at the recently held Africa Summit, with the theme:  COVID-19: Pathways to Africa’s Economic Recovery and Future Growth.

According to Senator Khumalo, “at the highest level, we now have an economic recovery strategy document which is currently being prepared.”

“It is a private sector-led strategy. We realized that as the government is refocusing her funds on fighting COVID-19, it is the private sector that will lead the post-COVID-19 recovery process. We have challenged the private sector to say, how can the sector generate as much as about 20% of our current GDP. And how they can link up with government and look at the enablers that can make that happen. The result has also been extremely impressive,” he said.

He also said that the government is working with the private sector for a tailor-made solution to their other economic challenges, towards eliminating barriers to trade. In his words, “we have focused primarily on MSMEs and how they feed into the big businesses.”           

The Minister also shared some of the Kingdom’s anticipated quick wins to include: Food Security; Energy Independence; Ease of doing business; Economic digitalization, among others.   

Speaking on the Kingdom’s effort towards combating the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Khumalo maintained that, Eswatini is among the countries, that has based its response to the COVID-19 pandemic on epidemiolocal studies.

Furthermore, “the Kingdom of Eswatini has based most of its decision on epidemiological studies. We have depended heavily on data to decide what the best cause of action should be.” 

Continuing, he maintained that, “in Eswatini the government has not shied away from testing as many people as possible. We have developed our testing labs.  We have also developed a very extensive contact tracing methodology, because, we are trying to catch COVID-19 very early. So, what you find is that in our test results, 90%-95% of the results you get are asymptomatic, which is good, because, at that stage, the rate of infection to the next person is really low.”

The event which held virtually had as speakers the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Eswatini, His Excellency Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini. Her Excellency Baroness Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General;  Her Excellency Jewel Howard-Taylor, Vice President of Liberia; and Lord Dollar Popat, Member UK House of Lords and UK Prime Minister’s Envoy to Rwanda and Uganda.

The Africa Summit traditionally holds in London UK, but, held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 disruption. The event It is part of African Leadership magazine’s response to the debate on resetting Africa’s development priorities post-COVID-19.   

Other discussants at the event include Hon. Hamat Bah, Minister of Culture & Tourism, The Gambia; Dr Christian Lindfeld, Managing Partner, Africa Advisors GmbH; Dr Victor Oladdokun, Former Director of Communications, African Development Bank; Senyo Hosi, Chairman Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, Saul Frazer, CEO Global Properties, Gambia; and Professor Samuel Edoumiekumo, among others. 

 About African Leadership Magazine: 

The African Leadership magazine is published by African Leadership (UK) Limited, a company registered in the United Kingdom. The magazine focuses on bringing the best of Africa to a global audience, telling the African story from an African perspective; while evolving solutions to peculiar challenges being faced by the continent today.

Since its maiden edition, African Leadership Magazine has grown to become a leading Pan-African flagship leadership-focused publication read by over 1, 000, 000 targeted international investors, business executives, government policymakers, and multilateral agencies across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Europe, and the US. It is distributed at major international and African Leadership events around the world. The magazine has over 900,000 subscribers/Followers on Facebook and a virile readership on other social media platforms. It is a niche and unbiased African voice born out of a desire to ameliorate a lot of Africans by focusing on individuals and corporates that are known for their legacy-based approach to leadership.