Invest in agriculture, fourth industrial revolution - Dr AT
Thursday, 28 March, 2019

Dr AT Dlamini delivered a guest lecture at the invitation of the university of Swaziland's Faculty of Commerce. The lecture was attended by the 2018/2019 Master of Business Administration students. In his address on strengthening the social contract between the government and its people, Dr Dlamini told the audience that while a lot had been achieved through collective efforts in business, the economy and other sectors, a lot more was still to be done. He began by narrating a brief background of the development trajectory of the Kingdom of Eswatini, from independence, highlighting some success stories and identifying challenges and opportunities. He emphasised investment in young people, particularly the development of their skills in agriculture and the fourth industrial revolution, arguing that the country could no longer turn a blind eye on their impact on the way the world did business. "Our economy is increasingly getting exposed and linked to the fourth industrial revolution, which is characterised by an infusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between physical and digital spaces. We need to prepare our young people for this revolution, so that they are able to tap into opportunities, and enable them to think and compete with their peers globally," said Dr Dlamini, adding that it was critical for the government and business to encourage young people to consider career and business opportunities in agriculture. He said the partnership between Tibiyo Taka Ngwane, the government and the people of Eswatini was as old as the country itself. To demonstrate this, he listed the organisation's comprehensive education support programme, which grants scholarships to at least 400 new high school and university students per year. At least 1000 beneficiaries are on the scholarship system in a year. "Education support is a core function of our corporate strategy, which complements the government's programme on education and training. We do this because we believe young people are not just the future of this nation, but they are a vital resource for turning the economy around now," said Dr Dlamini. He said that the organisation had also invested in various infrastructure projects and other government-led development projects. Dr Dlamini further informed the audience that Tibiyo's investment in different enterprises had resulted in the creation of job opportunities in the economy. More than 20,000 direct and indirect jobs had been created where the organisation invested, he said. Tibiyo's investment portfolio includes agro-business, manufacturing, hospitality, mining, property, financial services and media.