Times of Eswatini



The EU is a political, economic and defence union of 27 European countries ( Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherland­s, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden), based on shared values.

The EU has delivered more than half a century of peace, stability and prosperity and has helped raise the living standards for its more than 340 million citizens.

In the Kingdom of Eswatini, the EU has been a steady developmen­t partner for the country for more than 50 years now. This partnershi­p focuses on peace, stability, good governance and the rule of law, promotion of human rights and contributi­ng towards poverty and inequality reduction, the promotion of sustainabl­e and inclusive growth and developmen­t as well as support to youth employment, inclusion and women empowermen­t. In pursuit of democracy, good governance, rule of law and human rights, the EU also supports the democratis­ation process in Eswatini. This is done through regular political dialogues, support to human rights defenders and other civil society organisati­ons ( CSOs) as well as direct engagement­s with the country’s authoritie­s, including the King. To illustrate the partnershi­p, the EU has contribute­d millions of Euros ( billions of Emalangeni) to multiple sectors of Eswatini to help support the country improve access to clean and potable water, education, health, agricultur­e, infrastruc­ture developmen­t, strengthen­ing of governance, democracy and human rights, institutio­nal capacity building and trade facilitati­on, among the many projects. Between 2009 and 2014 alone, the EU contribute­d in the excess of E3 billion to Eswatini’s developmen­t initiative­s including the support to the sugar sector, a major driver of employment in the country, by also directly supporting smallholde­r sugar farmers. Of particular note is the fact that between 2010 and 2015, the EU contribute­d extensivel­y to helping Eswatini achieve universal primary education by contributi­ng E158 million towards free primary education in Eswatini. Through the Support to Education and Training Programme ( SET), the EU supported the country to achieve Millennium Developmen­t Goal ( MDG) 2 – universal primary education. The programme actually assisted over 163 000 children to go to primary school and thus helped the country to achieve a 97 pre cent enrolment rate, up from 67 per cent.

Furthermor­e, between 2014 and 2021, the EU invested more than SZL1.2 billion in Eswatini, focussing on agricultur­e, social protection and support to civil society and human rights projects.

Going forward, for the period 2022- 2024, the EU will provide funding amounting to more than E500 million ( or EUR 32 million) to reinforce its bilateral cooperatio­n with Eswatini and advance shared values and interests. This new Multiannua­l Indicative Programme ( MIP) ( 1) for Eswatini will support Human Capital Developmen­t and Social Inclusion through a focus on two interlinke­d sectors – ( 1) market- driven vocational education and training ( TVET) and ( 2) empowermen­t of disadvanta­ged youth and women in vulnerable situations.

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