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African Development Bank President to visit the Kingdom of Eswatini
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, August 29 - African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina arrives in the Kingdom of Eswatini on Saturday for an official visit, which will include a trip to one of the major Bank-funded projects in the country.
Adesina will meet with Eswatini Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg.
“Eswatini is a strategic partner in the African Development Bank’s efforts to accelerate development in southern Africa, and has played a key role in executing two of the Bank’s High 5 priority areas, namely regional integration and feed Africa,” Adesina said.
“We look forward to this visit, which will cement the relationship between the government of Eswatini and the African Development Bank. Eswatini is a proud nation that holds great economic promise.”
Adesina will also visit the Lower Usuthu irrigation project (LUSIP), which has allowed around 30,000 smallholder farmers to expand and diversify their output, consisting mainly of sugar.
LUSIP phase one involved investments in large-scale dams, reservoirs and canals to meet the farmers’ demand for water in a cost-efficient way. Three dams were constructed to form a reservoir to store water diverted from wet season flood flows in the Great Usuthu River. The Bank contributed financing of about $13.04 million to the project.
Phase two of the project is still in development where the Bank is the lead financier with a contribution of $55 million. The Bank is also processing a grant of $2 million to prepare the Mkhondvo-Ngwavuma Water Augmentation Programme, which is expected to be a game changer in the southern region of Eswatini and across the borders in Mozambique and South Africa.
The African Development Bank has supported Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, in its efforts to boost growth and job creation.
In February this year, a delegation of the Bank’s executive directors held consultative meetings with the private sector, civil society organisations, development partners and project beneficiaries in Eswatini.
In May, the African Development Bank, in partnership with the ministry of finance of the Kingdom of Eswatini and Business Eswatini, hosted a business seminar to raise awareness about the Bank’s products and financing windows.
The Bank’s portfolio in Eswatini comprises eight projects worth approximately $238.7 million, spread across agriculture, transport and water supply/sanitation.
Gershwin Wanneburg, Communications Officer, Communication and External Relations Department, email: firstname.lastname@example.org