For immediate release
Mbabane, 18 May 2022 – Today, U.S. Ambassador H.E. Jeanne M. Maloney joined Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Honorable Mr. Manqoba Khumalo and the CEOs of the Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) and Business Eswatini (BE), Mr. Sibani Mngomezulu and Mr. Nathi Dlamini, respectively, celebrated the continuing achievement of Eswatini exporters. This was at the second edition of the Annual Exporter Awards, a collaboration between the United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development, and EIPA and BE, to recognize and reward top performing Eswatini export firms.
The event is meant to incentivize and encourage export firms in Eswatini to continue exploring innovative ways of improving their regional export competitiveness and to get their products into the U.S. market using the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The awards were presented in a total of eleven categories. For exports to the U.S. market under AGOA, Golden Jubilee Apparels received the award for overall best exporter, Zoggs Ltd was judged best newcomer, while Black Mamba won the best consistent exporter.
For the South Africa market: Ukwazi Makadamia won the best newcomer, Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation won the award for the best consistent exporter and Montigny Investments emerged as the overall best exporter.
Under the general categories, Tinotsise NGO won the award for greatest social impact for their exemplary community development and women empowerment efforts. Far East Textiles emerged as the best businesswoman exporter and Smiling Through Farming received the awards for best young entrepreneur while Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation won the award for best economic impact.
The award winners, covering industries such as garments, personal protective equipment, handicrafts and agro-processed products, were representative of a truly diversifying Eswatini export sector. Montigny Investments emerged as the overall winner and was named exporter of the year 2022 and will now compete for the Regional Awards to be held in July, against other national exporter of the year winners from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia. EIPA and BE established an expert evaluation team to judge the nominees.
Ambassador Maloney lauded the continuing collaboration between the United States and the Kingdom of Eswatini and noted that the results of this collaboration are illustrated by the award winners. She noted: “We look forward to the day that Swazi chili sauces and decorative bowls are in homes not just in the United States, but across the world, benefiting the people of Eswatini.”
The private sector plays an unprecedented role in creating and shaping opportunities that improve the lives of the people and communities.
Minister Manqoba Khumalo said “It is the objective of the government to increase and diversify exports from Eswatini. As such, all government departments and institutions are geared to support and facilitate export trade as a priority.”
The U.S. Government will continue to help Eswatini export firms to increase exports by overcoming complex market entry requirements and connecting with the U.S. and regional markets.