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Policy speech to the Parliament of Swaziland

By the Rt Hon Absalom Themba Dlamini

Government of Swaziland

Lobamba, September 2004

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It is a great honour to have been appointed by His Majesty to lead the Government of this wonderful and great country, the Kingdom of Swaziland. I will continue to do the best that I can to face the challenges and adequately respond to the demands that come with the task of being a Prime Minister.

I am acutely aware that I took office at a critical time, with the Kingdom undergoing intense social, economic, political and constitutional transformation. The Kingdom is indeed faced with challenges on many fronts that continue to pose a threat to the continued peace and prosperity that Swaziland has achieved and enjoyed over the years since independence. I wish at this point to acknowledge Honourable Cabinet colleagues as part of a united team who will work together with Parliament and other stakeholders to make a difference.

It is a privilege to address this august House and to present to the Nation this transformation policy, which is aimed at ensuring a speedy economic recovery and the empowerment of Swazi citizens to effectively engage in economic activities to improve their quality of life. This policy statement highlights the key policies to be pursued by His Majesty's Government over the next three to five year period.

Following extensive consultation and detailed analytical reviews of Swaziland's social and economic performances since independence, challenges were identified and Vision 2022 emerged. The Vision 2022 as indicated in the National Development Strategy (NDS) document states that:

'By the year 2022 the Kingdom of Swaziland will be in the top 10% of the medium human development group of countries founded on sustainable economic development, social justice and political stability'.

The Vision officially launched by His Majesty the King in 1999 can only be attained by the development of clearly defined short, medium and long-term programmes. Currently, the Vision has remained a challenge for the country although some aspects of it are being implemented. A comprehensive implementation programme will be effected within the next three to five years as the NDS document is periodically reviewed and fully integrated into the current government planning and budgeting process.

Immediately upon my appointment to lead His Majesty's Government, several people visited my Office to congratulate and brief me about their various economic and social activities aimed towards uplifting the quality and standard of living of the average Swazi. I took advantage of that opportunity to consult with them on the best way forward to achieve speedy recovery of the economy. This consultation, while limited in scope, afforded me an opportunity to get a feel of what is needed and required to improve the quality of life of the Swazi people.

This policy statement incorporates existing government initiatives including the National Development Strategy, the poverty alleviation strategy, the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, Public Sector Management Programme (PSMP), the Fiscal Restructuring Programme; the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) and the Millennium Action Plan (MAP).

My new responsibility as Head of His Majesty's Government requires me, together with my Cabinet colleagues to define and address the challenges that lie ahead. It is therefore my honour to present this policy statement.

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