A million more support for the youth

May 9, 2023

CONCO Limited General Manager, Mr. Michael Geraghty, presents the company's contribution to UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Rose Ssebatindira.

UNDP/Mantoe Phakathi

CONCO Limited has contributed E1 Million (USD54 000) towards Eswatini Youth Empowerment Programme (EYEP) to support unemployed graduates to gain skills and earn a living. 


This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between CONCO Limited and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today in Matsapha. In this partnership, CONCO has committed to hosting some graduates and pay allowances for organisations that do not have the resources to cover the monthly stipend. 


CONCO General Manager, Mr Michael Geraghty, presented the cheque to UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Rose Ssebatindira, after formalising the partnership, whose negotiation started last year. Geraghty attributed the company's success, which has been operating in the country for nearly four decades, primarily to the quality of its employees and the graduates it has hired.    


"As a company, we are growing in some respects in this new digital age; both here and globally, the quality of graduates we will need is important," he said. He added that he was the only non-Swati in his team, emphasising that the company's success relied on the quality of education and graduates it produces. 


Geraghty said that while the country's needs are varied, some involve graduates getting good practical work experience, hopefully leading to a pool of graduates available for new companies investing in Eswatini.  


"We support the minister's efforts in encouraging companies to come and invest in Eswatini, and we support in many ways, including ensuring that there are quality experienced graduates for those companies when they arrive," he said.  


He further appreciated the partnership, adding that the company will do what it can to support the "great initiative currently being piloted". 


In response, Ssebatindira acknowledged the support from CONCO, noting that signing the MOU financial commitment was a significant milestone for EYEP in ensuring that more graduates get the opportunity to gain practical work experience. 


"We have received a lot of interest from other companies that want to host the graduates but don't have the resources to pay the allowances," said Ssebatindira, adding: "Therefore, this will go a long way in ensuring that companies absorb more graduates." 


Of the 2 800 graduates who applied under EYEP, 130 have been matched with 30 companies. Ssebatindira said while the process may look slow, the programme is taking all the necessary precautions to ensure that graduates are placed with organisations that will help them gain adequate skills. She appealed for more support from other organisations to contribute resources and host some graduates, adding that some organisations are already on board