Greetings Esteemed Members,
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all to the New Year.
The year 2020 was fraught with tough challenges which affected the companies we run, and at a personal level, our families as well.
Looking back, the pandemic steadily became a crisis of epic proportions as we were introduced, for the first time, to unfamiliar concepts of living and doing business. The many lockdowns and restrictions in the movement of people and goods – necessary as these measures may have been – put paid to a number of good initiatives aimed at turning the economy around.
We are therefore grateful for those who successfully crossed over into 2021 and we hope they will try to make sense out of a business environment that long ceased to be sensible.
Looking forward to 2021, indications suggest that it may be another sombre year but with some semblance of positives in the latter part of the year. In our estimation, it cannot get any worse than this.
As Business Eswatini though, our mandate remains relatively unchanged, which is to advocate for a robust business environment and general economic wellbeing for the business community. To achieve that objective there are many components that must work smoothly and synergistically within our organisation.
To that effect, I would like to express our profound gratitude to each and every one of you who walked with us last year to make our vision possible. Despite the glaring and obvious challenges related to Covid-19, I recall that the business community rose to the occasion when the country desperately needed us to avert certain disaster from the outbreak. Covid-19 remains the biggest singular threat to the economy, yet through the guidance and wise counsel of our Board, EXCO along with your active participation and support, we will overcome as we have already proved last year.
We believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We have more reasons to be hopeful now. As you are well aware, several effective vaccines have been developed and are being rolled out in Europe and America. Eswatini is also on course to roll out the vaccine during the course of the year, hopefully by this autumn. As more details on that are released, we will once again call upon you to work with us and other partners to get over the line.
Undoubtedly, we have heard all manner of untruths and misinformation about the vaccines – from our colleagues, friends and all over social media. Over the next few months, the Secretariat will be working closely with Government on an education program to dispel all myths, conspiracy theories and allay any fears that exist. It has always been said that until a definitive treatment or vaccine is found the battle for Covid-19 will rage on. So my plea to you is for your cooperation as we launch the final assault against Covid-19 and begin a new chapter of economic restoration.
As we propel forward in the New Year, we are not unmindful that there are always new challenges that lie ahead of us. We remain confident that with your continued support we will be able to meet all these challenges head-on. It is reassuring to know that we’re all willing to pull together and make the changes necessary to ensure our continued success.
We wish you a successful year ahead.
E. Nathi Dlamini