Swaziland receives $25 million loan to boost investment and job creation
The project will help develop the financial sector to improve access to finance for MSMEs.The World Bank has announced it has approved a $25 million (€23.7 million) loan to the Kingdom of Swaziland to help improve the environment for private sector development and catalyse new investments.
It said the Private Sector Competitiveness project will focus on regulatory reform and export facilitation in order to help increase international and domestic investments.
"This support will be complemented by the provision of technical assistance, knowledge and advisory services," said World Bank Country Director for Swaziland, Guang Zhe Chen.
The project will help develop the financial sector to improve access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as well as review the Export Credit and Small Scale Enterprise Guarantee Schemes and assist in the implementation of revised Schemes.
It will also focus on activities that help develop competitive value chains and support a sustained growth amongst private sector firms, "particularly aiming on increasing the number of formal and informal jobs in agribusiness and tourism sectors", the World Bank said.
According to the “Making Access Possible Diagnostic Study for Swaziland” conducted by CENFRI (2014), about 15 per cent of the local adult residents are self-employed. It is estimated that 84 per cent of these businesses are micro businesses.
Despite the local banks being high in liquidity, access to finance for the MSMEs has been recognised as a key constraint.