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OK, NOW WHAT?

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I was thinking the other day, how, now more than ever, we need to speed up our quest for First World status. Our country is still far behind when it comes to technology and a number of other advancements.

This is because a pandemic such as this one requires major online accessibility. In First World countries, the idea of a lockdown is far more practical because there are already systems in place which allow for life to go on regardless of the absence of the individual. With innovations such as online shopping taking centre stage, with people being able to purchase their groceries without stepping foot into a grocery store or supermarket, which might be considered a breeding ground for the virus.


For First World countries, there are simpler ways of having access to basic necessities at a click of a button. You honestly wonder how Eswatini would relatively survive a country lockdown, when we are nowhere near as advanced. Once the coronavirus has subsided and all normality resumes, we need to go back to the drawing board and devise ways in which we can quickly make advancements in this country.

Countries like South Africa have food delivery services in place such as Uber Eats, which enable an individual to purchase fast-food online and have it delivered right at their doorstep. This service may seem a bit invasive for people like me, who attribute some sort of paranoia regarding people handling my food, but it does make living much easier, more especially when one is required to remain in isolation.


Deliver


In countries such as the United States of America, online shopping has reached unimaginable heights, resulting in people fully relying on couriers to deliver their purchases on their doorsteps, with companies such as DHL thriving in that country. The post office also remains a top priority in that country due to package delivery of purchases made by the population, with countries such as South Africa following suit. Eswatini really needs to take a leaf from these countries’ advancements. Granted we should probably look into availing broader internet access; and create awareness on the need for internet education, more especially in rural areas, where most of them don’t even have access to WhatsApp.


The use of online applications is also necessary if we are to attain First World status. As according to BBC, South Korea’s solution to combating the spread of the coronavirus, after being the hardest hit country after China in January, included the usage of an online application to monitor arising infections through self-screening as well as those who are in quarantine after contraction. This resulted in a decrease of daily infections from a drastic 900 people a day to about 76 per day.


Breakthroughs


Eswatini has a long way to go, with only approximately 10 per cent of the population being tech savvy enough to be aware of the lifestyle breakthroughs brought about by the internet. Businesses in Eswatini have the potential to thrive if they were to use the internet wisely. With the revolution of online boutiques taking over the fashion industry worldwide, with online stores such as Fashion nova, Pretty Little Thing and Missguided taking the world by storm.


It’s time we really woke up to the realities of the world we live in and focused on the aftermath of the coronavirus. The days of slumber and doing things at a snail’s pace really need to come to an end. For a country so small, we ought to start using our resources wisely and quickly implement projects that will propel us into First World status. With just well over 1.3 million people in this country, it is possible to effectively apply measures that will elevate us as a country.

With other countries implementing lockdowns and further extending them, Eswatini’s weaknesses will possibly be exposed should we also be subjected to three-month long extensions of a lockdown. I’m certain once this has all died down; the country will really focus on achieving Vision 2022 sooner than the year 2022. Till next time, God willing.

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