UNDP and the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini launches SDG Investor Map

July 13, 2022

The Minister of Commerce Industry and Trade, Hon Manqoba Khumalo (second from right) was joined by UNDP Eswatini Res. Rep. Ms. Rose Ssebatindira (centre) in launching the Eswatini SDG Investor Map.

Photo: UNDP Eswatini/Mantoe Phakathi

Matsapha, 14 July 2022: The Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), today launched a digital market intelligence tool that informs private sector investments in the country. The map directs investors to opportunities linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a view to improve human lives.

 For our private sector, experience and research have shown us that it is possible to make impactful investments and also maximise shareholder value in protecting the environment, health, safety, and social dynamics of a society for its sustainable development,” stated Honourable Manqoba Khumalo, Minister of Commerce Industry and Trade, Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini.

Realizing the need for a private sector-led economy, the Government partnered with UNDP Eswatini, UNDP SDG Impact and UNDP Istanbul International Centre for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD) to develop the Eswatini SDG Investor Map. The map directs capital to SDG priorities and creates an overlap between government policy and market opportunity.

At the national launch event held at the Esibayeni Lodge, 14 Investment Opportunity Areas (IOAs) were unveiled covering themes and business models across six SDG-enabling sectors comprising Agriculture, Renewable and Alternative Energy, Infrastructure, Financials, Healthcare and Education.

 “These sectors have been prioritized given their alignment between development needs and policy priorities while offering commercially viable potential for private investors,” stated Ms. Rose Ssebatindira, Resident Representative of UNDP Eswatini. “The SDG Investor Map has been developed to guide investors toward mobilizing capital into initiatives that deliver the potential for strong financial returns while reducing poverty and inequality, advancing health and education, and protecting the environment. Increasing private sector investments in national priorities is the most viable option to build resilience against the prevailing socio-economic shocks and to accelerate SDG attainment”.   

The Eswatini SDG Investor Map serves to regenerate private sector involvement in sustainable development as Eswatini emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government seeks to re-build its economy with sustainability at the core of its new National Development Plan (NDP) 2019/20 - 2021/22. The NDP recognizes that the private sector can become a major economic growth driver for sustainable development. It aims to create a diverse private sector where growth is inclusive through capitalizing on opportunities presented by the demographic shifts and by supporting entrepreneurial activity.

“We are excited to roll out the Eswatini SDG Investor Map together with the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini. The country-level market intelligence can guide private investors to sectors and business models that have the deep potential for development impact and accelerate private capital to areas that need it most,” commented Ms. Fabienne Michaux, Director, UNDP SDG Impact.

 “As the global private sector centre of UNDP, we were proud to partner with the UNDP Eswatini and the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini for the creation of this SDG Investor Map – a third one for us as a centre, after the ones we had the honour to contribute to and launch in Turkey and Djibouti. The map is a useful tool for Eswatini’s sustainable development efforts, and will provide investors with insights and clarity about the SDG-aligned business opportunities in the country, and with the necessary data to back up their investment decisions,” shared Mr. Sahba Sobhani, Director of UNDP IICPSD.

The event was graced by high representatives from the government, including Mr. E. Nathi Dlamini, the chief executive of Business Eswatini which has a membership of over 80 percent of formal businesses, civil society organization, including youth groups.

UNDP Eswatini will utilize the SDG Investor Map to identify projects within the SDG-enabling sectors to develop investment project pipelines for consideration by private sector financiers at the SDG Investment Fair in September 2022. Additionally, based on the market intelligence, UNDP Eswatini will leverage its global SDG financing offer to support the Government in hosting investor briefings and policy dialogues that network businesses, private investors and policymakers to realise SDG investment opportunities while facilitating the needed conducive environment to spur on sustainable development.

The Eswatini SDG Investor Map is housed digitally on the global SDG Investor Platform.

Please visit the Eswatini Country Page on the SDG Investor Platform for the comprehensive data sets of the IOAs: https://sdginvestorplatform.undp.org/country/eswatini.