WASHINGTON, November 20, 2014– The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today endorsed the new Country Partnership Strategy (2015-18) to support the Kingdom of Swaziland development agenda, agreeing to provide up to $50 million in financing over the next three years to help end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
Under the new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) the Bank group will focus on two areas that are expected to have the greatest impact on Swaziland’s development – improving public service delivery, and strengthening competitiveness and job creation. The strategy is closely aligned with Swaziland’s National Development Strategy (NDS).
Swaziland has significant potential for private sector growth and job creation in tourism, and higher-value-added agricultural production. In the new strategy the three Bank Group institutions—the World Bank, the IFC, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)—will work together to help improve environment for private sector development and catalyze new investments to boost productivity, incomes and jobs.
“To address the persistent poverty and inequality, Swaziland has to accelerate inclusive growth and invest in its people,” said Asad Alam, the World Bank Country Director for Swaziland. “The new strategy will help support the country’s efforts to overcome these challenges and improve the lives of all its people”.
The overall program will include financial, knowledge, advisory and partnership activities. Financing under the strategy will come in the form of World Bank loans to the government, private-sector financing from IFC, and investment insurance from MIGA.
IFC’s operations will be focused on private sector initiatives, especially those designed to improve the export-led growth in sugar, beef, and wood pulp/forestry sectors. It will also support the efforts to attract investments in water, sanitation, and solar energy. The use of MIGA guarantees will offer reassurance to foreign investors and will complement government efforts to attract foreign direct investment.
Since 1992, Swaziland has borrowed US$113 million for two IDA credits and 12 IBRD loans. IFC has invested US$47.78 million for eight projects. Swaziland has been a member of MIGA since 1990 with one currently active project– the Motraco-Mozambique Transmission Company S.A.R.L. – with a gross exposure of US$69.4 million.
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