The convening the 5th Global Business Forum -Africa (GBF) in Dubai on 18-19 November 2019, shows the renewed investor confidence in Africa. Offering a magnificent opportunity for dialogue, sharing experiences and showcasing many success stories, the 2019 GBF brought together an array of participants. From high level officials from Governments, international financial institutes to companies to partners and young entrepreneurs there were exciting exchanges of information and contacts to facilitate building partnerships and sharing new business ideas. UNDP Eswatini facilitated the participation of a Government of Eswatini delegation of the Ministry of Commerce, Business Chamber and the Royal Swaziland Technology Park
From Mauritius, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and other countries across the Continent, entrepreneurs presented successful business ideas such as venture financing, cryptocurrency, local manufacturing of drones to help transfer blood to women in labour and delivery, safety support for drivers on various roads to an unlimited number of ideas that utilizes technology to facilitate respond to demands of the market. A new key offering for the entrepreneurs is the new GBF Mentorship Programme that offers cross border mentorship programme to provide support and guidance and expertise for start-ups to increase potential to scale across markets. Provision of the mentorship programme is to provide support for the entrepreneurs as they venture into their quests for seeing their visions and passions come to be.
Resonating through the entrepreneurs’ stories was one common theme - “Success doesn’t come fast but after multiple attempts and failure. It is only the determination and eagerness to succeed that makes the business grow”. One entrepreneur shared her journey of how it took her one year to secure a sponsor after 300 attempts of reaching out and facing rejection. Another succeeded in his business and was able to grow his fortune up to $300 Million in less than 10 years. All of them shared stories of tenacity and determination and are now showcasing at the GBF to make further pitches for their businesses. Efforts for promoting Eswatini can be multiple. Participating in such forums such as the GBF is key to assess, understand and utilize opportunities for visibility and strengthening global partnerships
UNDP Eswatini is working closely with the Government to accelerate efforts for economic recovery by assisting with the development of a Master Plan for the Implementation of the Government Economic Recovery and Development Agenda. Anchoring the Master Plan are the National Development Plan (NDP 2019 – 2022) and the Strategic Roadmap (SMR 2019 -2022). The Plan outlines clear prioritization and costing of the proposed flagship projects; and supports the strengthening of an enabling policy environment for an immediate economic growth turnaround
As UNDP looks to doing development different, it has a new offering through the Eswatini Accelerator Lab. The lab is a bold step and opportunity by the UNDP to transform our collective approach to development. Essentially, UNDP is looking at existing solutions backed by evidence and practice, which accelerate the testing and dissemination and sharing of solutions within and across countries. A global network of 60 Accelerator labs in 78 countries, UNDP Eswatini Accelerator offers Eswatini an avenue where we can learn or even apply from others within the global network. The world has very much become interconnected and we are learning every day that in that connection lies a lot of learning and opportunity. A local solution in Eswatini may trigger a solution in another country and vice versa. These ideas and solutions can be showcased in similar global and regional forums.