By Bodwa Mbingo | 2019-03-16
Eswatini and Mozambique heads of state yesterday signed two important bilateral agreements to enhance cooperation in the two countries.
The signing of the agreements took place at Mandvulo Grand Hall in Lozitha after which His Majesty King Mswati III hosted a state banquet in honour of his special guest, President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi.
President Nyusi is in the country on a three-day state visit. His visit follows that of South Africa’s President Cyrl Ramaphosa who was also in the country a week ago and attended the Buganu Festival at Hlane Royal Residence.
The first agreement signed yesterday is the search and rescue services agreement between the two countries while the other one is the exemption from third party liability on motor vehicle insurance for those who already have.
The Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were signed by the Mozambican Ministers of Transport and Communications Carlos Mesquita and his local counterpart Chief Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe of Public Works and Transport.
The other one was signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Thuli Dladla and her Mozambican counterpart Jose Pacheco.
The King, making his remarks at Lozitha last evening, said visits of this nature between neighbours is enshrined in the African ethos. He trusted that the country’s hospitality will ensure the president has a memorable stay in the kingdom.
“Your Excellency, your visit provides our two countries an opportunity to renew the cordial relations that have happily existed since time immemorial. Looking back over the years, the Kingdom of Eswatini is proud to have made a meaningful contribution to the independence of the people of Mozambique.
“Your people became part of us and our home was their home as you pursued a justified cause for liberation. Today we stand as strong partners economically, socially and politically,” said His Majesty.
The King said the two countries have also grown to share common ideals as members of the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
He noted that President Nyusi’s visit adds impetus to the aspirations of the African Union vision 2063, ‘the Africa we want’, which seeks an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.
He said it further enhances the SADC vision of a common future that will ensure economic well-being, improvement of the standards of living, quality of life, freedom and social justice, including peace and security for the people of southern Africa.
“Your Excellency, the remarkable development that has taken place in your beautiful country is highly commendable. Under your astute leadership, we have seen tremendous infrastructure development and economic growth, which have contributed immensely towards the upliftment of the quality and standard of life of your people. Your country’s socio-economic progress is testament to the pursuit of our continental and regional aspirations,” added the King.
The King noted that over the years, the two countries have developed strong trade links which have made a significant impact on their economies as well as their business sectors.
He noted, however, that there is great room for growth in this sector, which is essential for job creation for the two countries’ large youth population and poverty alleviation. He highlighted that Eswatini is host to several Mozambican entrepreneurs and hope that more of them will take full advantage of the new investor opportunities and incentives that the country has to offer.
“We also wish to thank your government for the cooperation and support from the Mozambique ports and railways towards the rail link project, which will further enhance trade linkages and movement of goods in the region.
This type of infrastructure is one of the essential components for the success of the continental free trade area (CFTA) that seeks to create a single continental market for goods and services. To facilitate this, we have a duty to create seamless borders for the easy movement of goods and people.”
The King added that peace and security remain paramount to the realisation of the two countries’ investment goals, and that the region has great potential to serve as one of the most peaceful on the continent. He said this would stand out as a trait that should not only appeal to investors, but tourists alike, who have a clear impact on tourism, an essential catalyst for economic growth.
He said, to achieve this, the two countries will need to leverage on the good cooperation that exists between their security forces and those of other countries in the region.
Eswatini to launch Malaria Elimination Fund
The country will in the coming months launch an Eswatini Malaria Elimination Fund to step up the fight against the scourge in the country.
This was revealed by His Majesty King Mswati III when addressing his special guest Filipe Jacinto Nyusi at Mandvulo Grand Hall yesterday.
“Your Excellency, one of the major goals of the continent is to eliminate malaria in Africa by 2030. The continent is home to a large majority of reported malaria cases and deaths globally. This requires our urgent action,” he said.
The King also highlighted that Eswatini has, over the past few years, been entrusted with chairing the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA).
“During our tenure, which ends this year, the kingdom has had the privilege of launching the ‘zero malaria starts with me’ campaign.
The need for malaria elimination funding cannot be overemphasised as this has proven to be one of the key challenges that countries have to address. We bank on your support, as our neighbour, when we launch our national malaria fund,” he added.
At regional level, the King commended the collaboration to eliminate malaria as partners of the elimination eight countries. He noted that this is critical to the countries’ success as no country can win this fight alone.
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