UNDP Eswatini and the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (MEPD) held a stakeholder workshop to validate the draft Master Plan for the Implementation of the Government Economic Recovery and Development Agenda on 18 November 2019.
The validation workshop sought to bring together the main actors identified in the Master Plan to validate and assess the proposed implementation plan of the proposed 26 Flagship projects across 5 key development outcomes. The key outcomes include, (i) Good Governance, Economic Recovery and Fiscal Stability; (ii) Enhanced and dynamic Private sector supporting sustainable development and growth; (iii) Efficient Public Service Delivery that respects human rights, Justice and the Rule of Law; (iv) Efficient Public Service Delivery that respects human rights, justice and rule of law; and (v) Natural Resources management and Environmental Sustainability. The Master plan draws from key plans, strategies and frameworks that include the National Development Plan 2019 – 2022 (NDP), the Strategic Roadmap 2019- 2022 (SRM), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Sendai Framework
Addressing the participants at the workshop, UNDP Resident Representative, Rose Ssebatindira, stated, “The UNDP is honoured to partner with the Ministry of Economic and Planning and Development in the development of the Economic Recovery Implementation Master Plan. The extensive content development processes that have so far involved 18 ministries is an important indicator of Government’s commitment to ensure ownership of the implementation plan and accountability for results. UNDP will continue to support Eswatini in its efforts to leverage opportunities for economic growth for all to benefit”.
The draft Implementation Master Plan is a risk-informed SMART framework for guiding the expected economic turn-around anchored in the National Development Plan (NDP 2019-2022) and the Strategic Roadmap (SRM 2019-2022). It 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.
A key component of the Master Plan are the 26 flagship projects designed to ensure short to medium term economic impact – linked to the SDGs. The projects are strategic bankable development initiatives which have been identified by Government as key to accelerating Eswatini’s economic growth and development. They will propose model solutions to Eswatini’s economic and development challenges.
The Master Plan provides a roadmap for the Government’s economic turn-around strategy and a framework for mobilizing domestic and international financing. It is expected that the Master Plan will also guide the UN-wide programmatic response in Eswatini. Furthermore, under UNDP’s new approach to doing development differently, the newly established UNDP Eswatini Accelerator Lab provides a key mechanism for further engagement and deliberations on the Plan with all stakeholders in Eswatini.
The process of the development of the Master Plan began in October 2019. Key steps undertaken leading to the validation include a Technical Working Group constituting key ministries and sectors to lead the development of the Plan. The outcome of the validation workshop informs the revision of the draft Plan. The two key next steps are the review and approval by Cabinet, followed by a national wide awareness and engagement drive for all stakeholders and sectors in Eswatini. Simultaneously, there is the development of a resource mobilisation strategy for the Plan and a roadmap for a series of investor/ development partner forums envisaged to take place in early 2020.
UNDP Eswatini is committed to continue its support to the Government of Eswatini on this journey and remains cognisant of engaging all stakeholders in Eswatini for positive development outcomes. At the recently held High-Level Dialogue organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Africa, in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, themed "Africa's Money for African Development: A Future Beyond Aid", key points were highlighted. They included among others Africa’s prospect for growth as an opportunity to be harnessed with 6 out of the 12 fastest growing economies; as a resource rich continent, we should harness both our human divided the youth and create jobs and encourage entrepreneurship; and realign UNDP’s strategic development agenda for Africa to pave way for less dependence on Aid and leverage Africa’s rich resources.
It is therefore key that as Eswatini’s Economic Recovery agenda progresses and envisages it’s future, UNDP Eswatini accordingly aligns and re-positions itself to provide matching strategic technical and advisory support that will contribute to country’s ability to achieve development results and build resilience capacity. In this regard, 2020 will see UNDP Eswatini present a new Country Programme Document aligned to UNDP’s vision of keeping focus on the future of development and ensuring #NextGenUNDP - helping countries and communities respond to a fast changing development landscape and creating new solutions, building collaboration platforms, and sparking new partnerships and instruments for development can reinforce Eswatini’s socio-economic growth.