Ezulwini – U.S. Ambassador Jeanne M. Maloney joined Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade,
Manqoba Khumalo, the CEOs of the Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) and Business
Eswatini (BE), Sibani Mngomezulu and 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 Agency for International Development (USAID), 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 export competitiveness to get their products into markets such as South Africa and the United States. The awards were presented in a total of eleven categories. For exports to the U.S. market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (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 Macademia won the best newcomer award, Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation won the award for the best consistent exporter and Montigny Investments emerged as the best overall 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 (PPE), 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 Ngwenya wine glasses and Swazi candles 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.