Trade Hub Supports Swaziland Investor Roadmap National Stakeholder Roundtable
In 2005, SATH, in collaboration with the Swaziland Investment Promotion Agency (SIPA), developed an Investor Roadmap that detailed the administrative, procedural and regulatory barriers that hinder investment flows to Swaziland. At that time, more than ninety recommendations were made to improve the investment climate in the country. In September 2009, an audit was undertaken to evaluate the implementation of the recommendations. The audit revealed slow progress. In August 2011, SATH undertook another mission to take stock of the process and found that:
- Absence of inter-ministerial consultations on investment issues resulting in a lack of coordination and speed in implementing the recommendations.
- There are no custodians of the Roadmap in the various ministries to coordinate, report on and drive the implementation process.
- The process for developing the necessary legislative documents recommended in both 2005 and 2009 is very slow and as such, a number of laws that had been proposed are still in the formative stage.
- There is lack of continuity and institutional memory as Government officials and Principal Secretaries are constantly reshuffled and deployed elsewhere within the civil service.
In an effort to revitalize the process of implementing the 2009 recommendations, in view of the current economic climate in the country, SIPA, in collaboration with SATH, convened an investment stakeholder roundtable in early November. Nearly seventy participants represented Principal Secretaries, Senior Government Officials, Directors of Government Departments, Representatives from UNDP, the World Bank, the EU delegation, the US Embassy, independent business operators and representatives of private sector bodies.
The conference proceedings were anchored around a number of topical presentations delivered by representatives from SATH, SIPA and the World Bank. This was followed by focused group discussions on specific thematic areas of the Investor Roadmap itself.
At the end of the conference, there was a firm commitment from stakeholders, particularly the Government, to increase the pace of implementing the Roadmap and improving the investment climate in the country as a critical long term strategy to addressing the current economic crisis.