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Kingdom of Swaziland

Draft - Action programme for the reduction of poverty
Volume II

Ministry of Economic Planning and Development

Kingdom of Swaziland

March 2005

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Executive summary

The Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland presents the Programme of Actions for the Reduction of Poverty (PRSAP Vol. II). It aims to reduce poverty by more than 50% in 2015 and absolutely eradicate it by 2022. Although this may seem to be an ambitious goal, such a commitment is necessary if the country has to make a meaningful impact on the current levels of poverty. The PRSAP has to be backed by financial and human resources. This volume is a continuation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, which seeks to reduce poverty based on the premise of a participatory and shared growth. The Strategy has identified six (6) pillars for policy framework what are crucial for addressing the problems of poverty and derive gains from them:

  • Macro-economic stability;
  • Rapid Acceleration of Economic Growth based on Broad Participation;
  • Empowering the Poor to generate Income and Reduce Inequalities;
  • Fair Distribution of the Benefits of Growth through Fiscal Policy;
  • Improving the Quality of Life of the Poor; and
  • Improve Good Governance and Strengthen Institutions.
In addition, the Strategy seeks to draw attention to the following concerns, which are fundamental in the reduction of poverty in the country. Attention is drawn to the a) problems of macroeconomic stability especially in the areas of economic growth and fiscal discipline; b) reducing risks and vulnerability through the provision of social protection programmes for vulnerable groups including children and the elderly; c) fostering of a more equitable and efficient service delivery with regards to access to basic services – primary health care (HIV/AIDS, preventative and curative) and basic education; d) accelerating equitable agricultural production, including consideration for land security, food security and the management of the environment; and e) creating employment and business opportunities through the provision of a conducive environment, facilities and options for self-employment in other fields that are non-agricultural. In March 2002, Cabinet approved the Prioritised Action Programme for Poverty Reduction (PAPPR), which was an interim strategy paper. It contains projects aimed at intervening to avert a crisis whereby the conditions of the poor were worsening. A full Strategy has been developed together with this Programme of Action. The three documents are inter-linked and they explain the strategic vision for reducing poverty, the main objectives, and the key actions to be pursued, all of which will guide the preparation of government’s medium-term and annual budgets, programmes, and policies.

Production of the PRSAP has benefited from a process of consultations with relevant groups and segments of society including chiefs and local communities at Tinkhundla level, private sector, donor community and NGOs. This document itself has also benefited in form and content from contributions resulting from the broad participation of civil society. Deeper discussions on the document as a whole, and on various parts, will continue, since planning is an iterative process involving continuous improvement.

The Strategy as well as the Programme of Actions are dynamic programming instruments, which will enable implementers to incorporate new ideas and develop poverty oriented projects arising from changes in society and the economy. The key objective – the reduction of absolute poverty – will not be altered, but the tools, policies and targets may change as knowledge of different variables improves. Therefore, the PRSAP is an instrument defining policies and actions that will be periodically reviewed and perfected, through a continuous process of consultations. The Programme of Actions seeks to elaborate on the Strategy and describe the measures that should be taken to ensure the implementation of the poverty reduction programme. It provides a practical and comprehensive statement on the implementation of the Strategy reflecting on its direction, priorities and strategic areas. It demonstrates a comprehensive approach to respond to the socio-cultural and economic requirements for an effective and measurable poverty reduction agenda.

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