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His Majesty the King and the prime minister (PM) have put together a fantastic Cabinet; bravo! 

The Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), which is now headed by Minister Savanna Maziya, has to play a greater role in leading us to prosperity. Yes, also informing and educating the nation on the potential Eswatini has to truly become one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. Minister Maziya is capable and has the correct international exposure. The country’s national development plans are only going to have an effect if emaSwati know about them. There are fantastic plans that the nation and, possibly the implementers, never knew and never bought into. Great dangers can be averted also.

This ministry might have let emaSwati down during a very crucial time of the 2021 unrest. Information is key in any traumatic situation like the one the country went through. I remember going frantically to Eswatini TV with the hope of knowing what was going on but nothing. In June, for two days, buildings were burning, citizens stopped on the roads, shops were looted and 48 people were killed as later confirmed by the Human Rights Commission, but nothing ever appeared on Eswatini TV. In KwaZulu Natal and Johannesburg areas, similar incidents occurred around the same time as Zuma’s arrest and we followed every moment on SA television channels. The information I needed to know if my family should go to work or the children to school was just not available anywhere.  However, the coverage of the recent national events including the national elections and Sibaya dialogue were a job well done.

Data storage gold mine

Our country is sitting on gold, literally and figuratively, in the sense that we actually have tons of gold in the form of data storage. A small peaceful country is perfect for data storage. The Royal Science and Technology Park (RSTP), and its data storage capacity, thanks to the Republic of India, is a gold mine. The global next-generation data storage market size was estimated at US$58.38 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach US$65.28 billion in 2020. The global next-generation data storage market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.5 per cent per annum, from 2019 to reach US$118.22 billion by 2025, this is according to www.grandviewresearch.com › industry-analysis. I had the opportunity to visit the RSTP on a tour with my former Member of Parliament Sibusiso Scorpion Nxumalo and later with South African (SA) potential business partners who are in the data storage business. We were amazed and truly blown away by the level of technology within that building at Phocweni.


The data storage capacity presently can generate up to US$5 billion (E75 billion) per annum once a few additions have been completed, including a remote backup unit to be built somewhere in Siteki with the help of the Indian government. This effectively means we can get big companies like Google, Yahoo and banking groups to use this facility as their cloud storage. Even if we were to target just US$1 billion, we would get E19 billion, which would help our financial position greatly. This information has to be known by all emaSwati and become part of our strategy for the future. The education system should be geared and refocused towards data storage and the ITC industry and the potential for the country would be great. We have the support of India, which is now the leading player in this industry. This facility is truly out of this world and Eswatini should be proud. The feeling of the businessmen I travelled with confirmed that the facility is world-class, they were concerned about the ability of the team they met to market the facility internationally, saying they were a bit old for high technology. Maybe a contract should have been given to an Indian private company with the necessary experience, but I now have confidence in the new internationally travelled Minister Maziya.

Gold, diamond deposits

Eswatini also does have huge gold reserves that could be exploited. The prevailing idea that the developing world should wait for foreign direct investment (FDIs) as the only means of growth must be discarded. We should establish an Eswatini National Mining Corporation as a parastatal company and bring all our mining engineers currently employed in SA and engineers presently at universities to come and work in their own country. The funding can be in partnership with the pensioners of Eswatini. E6 billion can start three mines; gold, diamonds and coal for export to Japan and Taiwan. This is worth billions in US Dollars. Bogogo can benefit as a partner, where part of the E27 billion allegedly held by the pension funds can be used to transform the country. Again, we can refocus our education system towards mining and industries related to mining like diamond polishing and jewellery design and distribution.

Eswatini television

Information is power. Our government has for years promised to build a E300 million broadcasting house, but has found more urgent priorities. This has been a big mistake. Had this investment been made, COVID-19 would have found us with channels dedicated to education. Studios would have been enough to keep the pupils in class during the worst of times. Private schools were hardly affected because of their technology. The presentation and content of Eswatini TV when compared to SA, which is our main competitor, is a joke. Most emaSwati, who have the real buying power, have DStv so they can see comparisons clearly and only turn to Eswatini TV for news. We need at least three channels; Eswatini Channel One for education. This channel would uplift the standard of education such that pupils study even at home. However, we need presenters who are fluent in English please, what we are exposed to on our radio and television is sometimes appalling. Channel two would be for entertainment, movies, music, etc. Channel three would be for information; this would be a dedicated news and current affairs channel. Where are the young entrepreneurs to start up a news agency and collect news for the whole of Mpumalanga and even sell stories and documentaries to international houses like Aljazeera, BBC and CNN? Comment septembereswatini@gmail.com  

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