PM worries about the youth
EZULWINI – Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini says the Swazi youth faces intimidating entry into adulthood.
He said this was caused by the relatively high unemployment rate and the current low rate of economic growth, combined with the public sector’s challenging fiscal position.
He said the youth of Swaziland was of crucial importance to the development of Swazi society and the economy.
The PM shared these sentiments with Kamalesh Sharma and his wife Babli Sharma during a dinner held in their honour at Sibane Hotel on Friday night.
Sharma is the Secretary General of the Commonwealth. He left the country yesterday.
He was in Swaziland for two days and his visit was the final leg of his three–nation southern Africa tour. Other countries he visited are Botswana and Namibia.
The PM said to address the problems faced by the youth, government was engaged in a process to overhaul the schools’ curriculum.
He said it was being realigned to embrace the teaching of entrepreneurial skills to better prepare them for self employment opportunities.
"Curriculum modifications are underway at secondary and tertiary education level to create a greater emphasis on the acquisition of technical and scientific knowledge and skills," he said.
He said government had a dedicated fund for the youth with its aims mainly at resolving a common constraint to new enterprise development particularly in finance.
He said the changes were a high priority for government.
"All our programmes are inhibited by the current fiscal position of our government. We have a Fiscal Adjustment Roadmap and an Economic Recovery Strategy preceding the plan," he said.
Dlamini said the impact of these programmes would be largely felt in the medium to long term, leaving a highly constrained fiscal position in the meantime.
"It is for this reason that we treasure the beneficence of donor institutions and agencies and we need considerably more to finance our desired development programmes," he said.
He said the Commonwealth through its secretariat had been most generous to the country in its assistance in various areas. These include external training for Swazis, peer education on HIV, drafting of legislation, support for the judiciary, instruction on performance management and the development of e –governance.
The PM said the country recognised assistance in the elections and expressed the desire for further assistance in the 2013 polls.
Dlamini said Swaziland took its membership to the Commonwealth seriously and the country sought at all times to respect and enhance the fundamental values of the organisation.
He said the country was committed to implementing the resolutions of the Commonwealth heads of government meetings.
"We in Swaziland are proud to be part of this 54-member family of nations which has grown and matured over the past 60 years or so into the present form. In consulting and cooperating in the common interests of our peoples and in promotion of international understanding, the Commonwealth continues to perform a truly valuable function," he said.
In his brief speech, Sharma said the relationship between the country and his organisation had huge potential to achieve more in terms of assistance in the development of the country and its governance institutions.
Sharma said his organisation was ready to listen to the country’s request for assistance in any sphere and was ready to provide assistance at anytime.
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