1800 M Street, NW, Suite 1066, South Tower, Washington, DC 20036 ▪ tel: (202) 785-4515 ▪ fax: (202) 785-4544
email@example.com ▪ www.technoserve.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 23 January 2008
USAID and Swaziland Banks Support Small Business Opportunities
Mbabane, Swaziland: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership
with TechnoServe, NedBank Swaziland and Standard Bank, has announced a $25 million loan guarantee
facility to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Swaziland over the next seven years.
USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA) is a proven and effective tool that enables USAID to issue
partial loan guarantees to private lenders to promote economic development activities. DCA partial
guarantees help mobilize local capital and put it to work in creditworthy, but underserved, markets.
The program is part of the broader USAID-funded Swaziland Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Program
(SWEEP), managed by TechnoServe, to identify, develop and grow Swazi SMEs. The agreements were
signed by USAID’s Southern Africa Mission Director, Dr. Carleene Dei, and Managing Directors Ambrose
Dlamaini of NedBank and Tineyi Mawocha of Standard Bank.
According to Dr. Dei, “The DCA is one of USAID’s most innovative and effective programs to assist
previously unreachable groups. The DCA’s capacity to support SMEs is particularly important because we
know that healthy SMEs are primary generators of employment and key contributors to economic growth.”
The guarantee scheme comes at a crucial time. Subsistence agriculture occupies more than 80 percent
of the population, but 400,000 people needed emergency food aid in 2007 because of drought. Nearly
two-fifths of the adult populace has been infected by HIV/AIDS*. Swaziland’s GDP growth has slowed to
less than two percent, while unemployment continues to rise. Many Swazis are unable to support
themselves or their families. Swaziland’s fiscal dependenc