As a small country with an enormous potential, Eswatini is powering its possibilities by stretching beyond virtual and physical frontiers in order to position itself in the global market and spur national socio-economic development.
Eswatini’s excellent relations with its neighbouring countries has been greatly beneficial to its rapid growth. Its fortuitous location has successfully provided the nation with the possibility to develop infrastructural projects and strategy in promoting Vision 2022 and the generation of revenue.
Over the past few years, huge investments have been made to connect the Kingdom of Eswatini to Mozambique and South Africa. For example, major construction company, Inyatsi, is currently building a strategic highway connecting South Africa though to Mozambique via Eswatini’s airport. “Infrastructure drives the growth in any country and Eswatini has always been on the forefront of road development,” confirms Group CEO of Inyatsi, Tommy Strydom.
Furthermore, to facilitate trading, a joint railway initiative between Transnet and Eswatini Railways has been established. “Geographically, we have an advantage, because to the south of this country you have one of the biggest cargo ports in Africa,” affirms Stephenson Ngubane, CEO of Eswatini Railways. “Eswatini provides the shortest routes to neighbouring ports. The new line we have commissioned for 2023-2024 is a big project of E18 billion. This country will be connected with Mozambique and South Africa at 365 degrees. The capacity we will have will mean that we can bring in any industry of any size.”
As a landlocked nation, air transport is additionally essential for trade and tourism alike. Built by Inyatsi, state-of-the-art King Mswati III International Airport is the flagship of the Kingdom’s vision for its growth to first-world status. With strategic business facilities it was declared, along with the Royal Science and Technology Park, special economic zone, providing investors with beneficial tax incentives.
The E240 million Royal Science and Technology Park was conceived with the aim of providing a location for governments, universities and private companies to collaborate in advancing innovation, development and the commercialisation of technology through a one stop facility. The Park aims to promote the development of knowledge-based businesses through the incubation of entrepreneurship and high-tech enterprises. It also includes a data centre which has the possibility of generating up to E240 million in revenue per annum. Other departments include a school of information technology, a national contact centre, a business incubator and an entertainment centre.
Due to the efficiencies in service delivery that come with technology, it is clear that in advancing ICT, opportunities will abound. “We need to invest in ICT, because it is going to be the engine for social-economic growth and key to growing national GDP”, explains Petrus Dlamini, MD of EPTC.
Eswatini’s investment in infrastructure and ICT is paying off, not only has it improved its competitiveness and ensured the growth of sectors such as manufacturing, tourism, mining, retail and services, but it has also greatly impacted Emaswati standard of living, and set it firmly on its way towards realising Vision 2022.