(2015-10-16) At the weekend, Mbabane Municipal Council’s business community delegates and their counterparts from Mbombela (Ehlandzeni municipality) and Matola toured all the respective municipalities encompassed by the Umsebe Accord.
Speaking during the delegation’s short visit in Nkomanzi, Councillor Jackie Masiye said the municipality was preparing to construct a special economic zone, which was strategically positioned to consider Mozambique and Swaziland. He said this would be an appropriate investment in the municipality which has high economic activities.
“Nkomanzi is well known for agriculture production, we produce sugar cane, grapefruits, oranges and bananas,” he said.
Masiye said that was the reason they were chosen as the special economic zone for agro-processing and logistics.
He said this project would consider Swazis and Mozambicans from the initial stage of the project, which was construction.
Masiye said about 100 000 people were going to be employed for the construction of the economic zone, in the long run he said investment opportunities would intensify as there would be a variety of establishments like townships, houses, malls and a variety of industries.
Meanwhile, Municipal Council Local Economic Development Manager Sibusiso Mdluli said the project would be funded by the province government and the council.
Asked about the monetary value of the project Mdluli said they were still working towards finalizing the overall financial projections.
On another note, Matola Presidente Calisto Cossa also invited Swazis to come and invest in Matola.
He said Matola was proclaimed four years ago as the industrial central of Mozambique and they were working hard to involve the other three municipalities to turn their new Matola city dream into reality.
“The new Matola city project has already started and it needs hands of all the municipalities, I therefore invite entrepreneurs from the three municipalities to join efforts with Matola,” he said.
Cossa was speaking during the Umsebe Accord dinner held on Saturday evening at Matola.
He also said they were working on a waterfront project which would also involve entrepreneurs across South Africa and Mozambique.
Cossa said there were so many reasons for investing in Matola, he said they had direct access to the sea, improved road systems and other infrastructural development, gas and fuel pipelines, sufficient water and electricity supply.
He said Mozambique had also experienced a convincing 7.4 percent gross domestic product (GDP) increase in 2014.
“We have prepared incentives in order to attract investors which include tax exemption and have a single window for easy licensing and registration,” he said.
Adding, Cossa said in 2007, 28 percent of companies who generated income for Mozambique were from Matola.
He urged Swazi entrepreneurs to contact the Mbabane Municipal Council or their information centre of investment promotion.
Meanwhile, Mbabane Municipal Council Chief Executive Officer Gideon Mhlongo said the 3-3-1 tour was a precursor of the annual Umsebe event which would be hosted from October 21 to 25, 2015.
Mbabane Municipality to establish youth chamber of commerce, trade
The Mbabane Municipal Council is currently facilitating the formation of the Swaziland National Youth Chamber of Commerce and Trade.
The main function of the youth chamber is to advocate and lobby government to assist the youth currently in business in Swaziland.
Mbabane Municipal Council Chief Executive Officer Gideon Mhlongo said the youth chamber was one of the benefits of the Umsebe Accord.
On another note, Mlamuli Maseko a youth entrepreneur and part of the Mbabane youth chamber task team said they were working hard together with the Mbabane Municipal Council Economic Development Department to coordinate the formation of the youth chamber.
“In South Africa, they already had a youth chamber at a national and regional level and in Mozambique they had already established it at a national level and were scaling it down to the regional level”, he said.
The young enthusiastic Maseko said this would be very beneficial to so many people as it would become a platform for them to collectively address the issues affecting young people currently in business.
He said they also considering to affiliate with the Federation of Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce (FSE&CC), but for now they were focusing on forming the structure and finding sustainable funding for the administration of the youth chamber.
Maseko said the youth chamber would start with the Mbabane corridor and then in the long run expand to a national level.
Mbombela Youth Chamber of Commerce and Trade Njabulo Hlophe said forming the youth chamber was imperative for the other municipalities to have proper youth structures so that they could take their networking and assistance to the level of the Umsebe Accord.
Source: The Swazi Observer
Photo: Matola President Calisto Cossa invited Swazi and South African entrepreneurs to consider investing in Matola.
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