Gov Feeds

REMARKS BY MINISTER FOR INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS & TECHNOLOGY (ICT)

 HER ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCESS SIKHANYISO

 OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE EDRMS PROJECT

 THE ROYAL VILLAS

 20 NOVEMBER, 2019

 

 

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

YOUR EXCELLENCY JEREMY H.S. LIANG - AMBASSADOR OF THE R.O.C. (TAIWAN)

ACTING SECRETARY TO CABINET

PRINCIPAL SECRETARIES

SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

JOURNALISTS

DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

IT GIVES ME GREAT PRIDE TO STATE THAT WE ARE HERE THIS MORNING TO WITNESS THIS MOMENTOUS OCCURRENCE IN THE HISTORY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF ESWATINI THAT IS CATAPULTING US TOWARDS BEING A SMART GOVERNMENT. THE MINISTRY OF ICT THROUGH ITS NATIONAL ARCHIVES DEPARTMENT HAS TAKEN A GIGANTIC STEP IN THE QUEST TOWARDS THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION BY LEVERAGING ON ICTs FOR DOCUMENT AND RECORDS MANAGEMENT.

WHEN THE EDRMS WAS INITIATED IN 2010, THE INTENTION WAS JUST TO AUTOMATE THE OPERATIONS OF THE ESWATINI NATIONAL ARCHIVES. HOWEVER, AFTER RECEVING ADVICE FROM COLLEAGUES IN THE REGION WE FELT THAT IT SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED ACROSS GOVERNMENT. IN 2015 THAT IS WHEN A PILOT PROJECT WAS JOINTLY FUNDED BY OUR GOVERNMENT AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA –TAIWAN THROUGH A BILATERAL AGREEMENT.

BEFORE I CONTINUE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN-ONE MUST HASTEN TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SUCH A MILESTONE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN TANGIBLE HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THE UNWAVERING SUPPORT OF OUR DEAR DEVELOPMENT AND STRATEGIC PARTNER, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA –TAIWAN (XIÈXIÈ NÍN DE GUĀNGLÍN- THANK YOU VERY MUCH YOUR EXCELLENCY).

KINDLY PASS OUR HEARTFELT GRATITUDE TO HER EXCELLENCY TSAI ING-WEN AND THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE UNRELENTING DEDICATION, SUPPORT IN TECHNOLOGICAL EXPERTISE AND FUNDING.

“TO SPEAK GRATITUDE IS COURTEOUS AND PLEASANT, TO ENACT GRATITUDE IS GENEROUS, AND NOBLE, BUT TO LIVE GRATITUDE IS TO TOUCH HEAVEN” JOHANNES GAETNER

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE ARE ALREADY PILOTING THIS PROJECT IN SIX GOVERNMENT ENTITIES; CABINET, THE MINISTRY OF ICT; THE ROYAL ESWATINI POLICE SERVICE; INTERNAL AUDIT DEPARTMENT; THE JUDICIARY AND THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT. THE MAJORITY OF TIMES GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS MANAGEMENT WERE BEING PREPARED MANUALLY AND PRONE TO A LOT OF ILLEGAL MANIPULATION (MAINLY CORRUPTION).

WE ALL HAVE TO BE FULLY AWARE OF THE ROLE OF RECORDS MANAGEMENT AND HOW IT IMPACTS ON OUR PERFORMANCE AND OVERALL IMAGE, BOTH AS INDIVIDUAL MINISTRIES AND COLLECTIVELY AS A GOVERNMENT.

BY INTRODUCING EDRMS WE FELT THAT SECURITY WOULD BE ENHANCED; THE STORAGE SPACE WOULD BE REDUCED DRASTICALLY; REGULATORY COMPLIANCE WOULD GREATLY IMPROVE; QUICK AND EASIER RETRIVAL AND ACCESS OF FILES AND DOCUMENTS WOULD BECOME STRESS-FREE; IT WOULD ALSO BE SIMPLER TO TRACK AND MANAGE DOCUMENTS AND FINALLY IT WOULD PROVIDE A BETTER BACK-UP AND DISSASTER RECOVERY SYSTEM.

THE IMPETUS IN RECORDS GENERATION BROUGHT ABOUT BY TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES HAS SEEN RECORDS MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCING A MAJOR PARADIGM SHIFT. THEREFORE, THE KINGDOM OF ESWATINI COULD NOT SIT BACK AND WATCH THE REST OF THE WORLD RESPONDING TO THE DEMANDS OF THE TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION. IT IS IN THIS PREMISE THAT THE MINISTRY WILL BE IMPLEMENTING A NUMBER OF E-INITIATIVES OF WHICH THE EDRMS IS A PART OF.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IT IS IMPORTANT TO MENTION THAT AS GOVERNMENT IS MOVING TOWARDS IMPLEMENTING THE EDRMS, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK IS ALSO IN SYNC. HOWEVER, THE CURRENT ARCHIVES LEGISLATION DOES NOT ADDRESS THE MANAGEMENT OF ELECTRONIC RECORDS AND RELATED SYSTEMS, HENCE THE NEED TO RE-ALIGN THE EXISTING REGULATORY FRAMEWORK. TO THIS END, RECORDS AND ARCHIVES IN THE COUNTRY, FOR ALMOST FIFTY YEARS, HAVE BEEN GOVERNED BY THE ARCHIVES ACT NO. 5 OF 1971 WHICH IS CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW AS PER THE DEMANDS OF THE EMERGING RECORDS MANAGEMENT LANDSCAPE.

AS TECHNOLOGY HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED TO BE ONE OF THE A KEY PILLARS AND DRIVER WITH WHICH THE COUNTRY WILL NAVIGATE HER WAY TOWARDS FOSTERING RADICAL ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION, IT IS ENVISIONED THAT THE EDRMS WILL ASSIST IN UPROOTING THE CULTURE OF COMPLACENCY IN THE CIVIL SERVICE AND SUBSEQUENTLY PROMOTE SERVICE EXCELLENCE.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, YOU MAY BE AWARE THAT CURRENTLY DIFFERENT INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS ARE USED IN GOVERNMENT AND ARE GENERATING VITAL PUBLIC RECORDS BEING STORED IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS. IT IS ENVISAGED THAT IN THE LONG TERM, THE EDRMS SHALL ACT AS AN INTEGRATED RECORDS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM THAT SHALL BE ABLE TO CAPTURE THE RECORDS FROM THE EXISTING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS.

WORTH NOTING IS THAT IN JULY, THE SYSTEM’S FUNCTIONALITY WAS DEMONSTRATED TO DIFFERENT USER GROUPS INCLUDING PRINCIPAL SECRETARIES, UNDER SECRETARIES, HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS, PERSONAL SECRETARIES AND REGISTRY STAFF INCLUDING SYSTEM ADMINISTRATORS AND SEED TRAINERS.

THE EDRMS SYSTEM CAN ONLY BE AS GOOD AND EFFECTIVE AS ITS USERS. ITS EFFICIENCY AND SUCCESS LIES IN THE HANDS OF THE USERS AND THAT IS OUR ESTEEMED SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM, WHO MUST LEAD BY EXAMPLE FOR THE REST OF THE WORKFORCE TO EMULATE.

WITH THESE REMARKS, I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AS WE PAVE THE WAY FORWARD TOWARDS ESTABLISHING A SMART ESWATINI FOR EFFICIENT DELIVERY OF E-SERVICES.

A FORMER AMERICAN BASEBALL PLAYER GEORGE HERMAN POPULARLY KNOW AS BABE RUTH ONCE SAID, "THE WAY A TEAM PLAYS AS A WHOLE DETERMINES ITS SUCCESS. YOU MAY HAVE THE GREATEST BUNCH OF INDIVIDUAL STARS IN THE WORLD, BUT IF THEY DON’T PLAY TOGETHER, THE CLUB WON’T BE WORTH A DIME."

 LADIES AND GENTLEMENT IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE TO DECLARE THE ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR ESWATINI GOVERNMENT OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED.

SIYABONGA BEKUNENE, MAY THE ALMIGHTY GOD BLESS US ALL!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROJECT LAUNCH
ENHANCING INNOVATIVE CAPACITY FOR SDG-SOLUTIONS
HER ROYAL HIGHNESS, HONOURABLE SENATOR
PRINCESS SIKHANYISO
MINISTER OF INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY

21ST FEBRUARY 2019 AT THE ROYAL VILLAS


 Honourable Ministers
United Nations Resident Coordinator - Ms Nathalie Ndongoh-She
UNDP Resident Representative ad. interim – Mr Lars Tushuizen
All Heads of UN Agencies
Principal Secretaries
Board of Directors of the Royal Science and Technology Park
Chief Executive Officers of the Royal Science and Technology Park and Standard Bank Eswatini
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

I am pleased to join you at this launch today. I am particularly delighted to see the youth and adults, the representation of all genders and the collaboration between Government, the private sector and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

When His Majesty King Mswati III introduced the concept of a Royal Science and Technology Park (RSTP) in the Kingdom of Eswatini, He was inspired by the impact of research, innovation and technology on the quality of life of people around the world and advancement of economies. During the Official Opening of Parliament this year, His Majesty reiterated that Information and communication technologies (I.C.Ts.) can be a vehicle for economic development as the country position’s itself for Vision 2022. I.C.Ts have played a major role in bringing a range of services to our society faster and cheaper compared to a decade ago and the country needs to continuously innovate in this area in order to uplift the lives of the poor and improve the competitiveness of the economy. I.C.Ts are also enablers of advancement in other technologies and business.

The business incubator at the Royal Science and Technology Park was established to cultivate innovation and entrepreneurship and thereby contribute to job creation and wealth creation in the country. It targets technology start-ups that were previously unserved by business development programs in the Kingdom of Eswatini. These are start-ups that are either producing technology or using technology in a unique way to solve real problems facing humanity or industries or Government in any of the following areas:

  • Information and communication technologies;
  • Electronics;
  • Biotechnology
  • Food and agriculture;
  • Health and cosmetics;
  • Renewable energy; and
  • Environmental preservation.

Such start-ups differ from traditional small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in two ways. Firstly, they plan and manage a process of designing, developing and testing the technology or product while also planning how to become a repeatable and scalable business. Secondly, they often spend some time delivering a solution to users or potential customers, with very little internal resources, without earning revenue. This happens because of their need to prove that the unique solution delivers benefits outside the testing environment yet first users usually do not want to pay them. These ventures are known for their high growth potential, contribution to industry diversification and wealth creation but their long product-to-market journey makes them unattractive to lending institutions at the early stages. This creates a huge challenge for every Government that seeks to stimulate job creation and wealth creation through innovative enterprises.

Therefore, I would like to express my utmost gratitude to the United Nations Development Programme for aligning itself with the development objectives of the country by providing a financial facility that will close the gap between business ideas and resources available to the youth, women and people living with a disability. It is wonderful to see the banking sector, in this case, Standard Bank Eswatini, playing an active role in closing this gap too.

The target beneficiaries in this Project are the most vulnerable in our society hence empowering them economically will have a direct impact on their welfare. I am happy to learn that the Project will offer much more than training as it will result in the matching of upcoming entrepreneurs with advisors and mentors and connection with broader networks. This is a comprehensive capacity building approach that can reduce the failure rate of new ventures. I trust that the beneficiaries will take advantage of this initiative and develop their skills in order to develop their products within a short time and create bankable businesses.

The priority sectors chosen for the Project will stimulate the creation of eco-friendly technologies and other solutions that will contribute towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals in our country and beyond. Climate change is threatening humanity’s access to safe and reliable drinking water, nutrition and sufficient food, affordable energy and other resources. We have to actively seek solutions to these problems while ensuring that actions do not cause more and irreparable harm to our environment. Therefore, these risks present opportunities for innovation.

I am aware that market access for new or unique solutions can be a bottleneck to the growth of start-ups. I would like to request my colleagues in government to take the position of ‘enablers’ of innovation and help the country to achieve its development targets. It will be necessary to relax certain laws, within specific limits, in order to allow inventors and start-ups to carry out tests in the real world in order to prove the efficacy of their technologies and other solutions. This can be done in a number of ways, for example by creating simple rules to govern the testing of new or unique solutions and waiving licence fees for the pilot period. Once testing is successfully completed, the Government should be flexible in its procurement approach like in other neighbouring countries and give local start-ups an opportunity to supply solutions that can result in efficient and affordable service delivery. Such will make the private sector to be amenable to become first users of solutions that can enhance productivity. Solutions from this country will be more likely to enter regional and international markets and compete successfully once the start-ups have built a track record in the local market. If current laws and mindsets remain unchanged, young people entering the job market are unlikely to gain employment through their ventures.

In closing, I would like to request the management of the Royal Science and Technology Park to be thorough in implementing and monitoring this Project. Your success in delivering the objectives set out will have a direct effect on the welfare of EmaSwati.

Once again, let me express my joy in receiving this financial support today from the United Nations Development Programme. I pray that you will continue to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the Kingdom of Eswatini in the future years to come.

I now declare the Project titled “Enhancing Innovative Capacity for SDG-solutions Project” officially launched.

Thank you.

The Minister for ICT, Her Royal Highness Princess Sikhanyiso, officially opened a stakeholder consultative meeting on the Roll-Out of SADC Strengthening National- Regional Linkages Programme (SNRL) in the Kingdom of Eswatini at the Royal Villas.

In its endeavor to strengthen the National System of Innovation (NIS) for sustainable socio-economic development, the Ministry of ICT has intensified its participation in regional initiatives. Consequently, Eswatini ratified the 2008 SADC Protocol on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in 2016. The Department of Research, Science, Technology and Innovation (RSTI) domiciled in the Ministry of ICT, is mandated to domesticate the SADC Protocol on STI in line with the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).

The Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), based in Botswana is one of the SADC partners that has played a leading role in assisting the country to domesticate the Protocol.

The SADC delegation was led by Senior Programme Officer-Policy and Strategy Development Mr. Dennis Rweyemamu. He was accompanied by Mr. Robson Chakwana and Miss Patricia Mwanyisa. Mr. Sipho Vilakati was the Acting Principal Secretary of the Ministry of ICT during the occasion.

MINISTRY OF ICT PRINCIPAL SECRETARY’S SPEECH MADE AT THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE SADC NATIONAL MEDIA AWARDS 2019 AT THE ROYAL SWAZI SUN, JANUARY 31, 2019

PROGRAMME DIRECTOR,
THE SADC NATIONAL CONTACT POINT,
OUR SPONSORS,
THE MEDIA INSTITUTE OF SOUTHERN AFRICA (MISA),
THE ESWATINI EDITORS’ FORUM,
THE ESWATINI NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF JOURNALISTS,
DISTINGUISHED GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS,
ALL MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA PRESENT,
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, 
National Media Awards Winners  National Media Awards Winners

GOOD MORNING.
IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE TO BE STANDING BEFORE YOU THIS MORNING AT THIS AUSPICIOUS OCCASION WHERE WE WILL NOT ONLY LAUNCH THE 2019 EDITION OF THE SADC NATIONAL MEDIA AWARDS, BUT ALSO RECOGNIZE THE JOURNALISTS WHO, THROUGH THEIR WORK, REPRESENTED THE KINGDOM OF ESWATINI IN THE SADC REGIONAL AWARDS IN THE YEARS 2016 AND 2017.
BEFORE I CONTINUE, I WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE OUR PARTNERS AND SPONSORS; ESWATINI POSTS AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND ESWATINI MOBILE, FOR MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO GATHER IN THIS MANNER TODAY. THIS EVENT HAS BEEN LONG IN THE MAKING AND WITHOUT OUR PARTNERS’ GRACIOUS SUPPORT, IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE GIVEN GOVERNMENT’S FISCAL DIFFICULTIES.
IT IS ALWAYS A MOMENTOUS OCCASION WHEN OFFICIALS IN THE MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY SIT DOWN WITH MEMBERS OF THE FOURTH ESTATE, AS JOURNALISTS ARE APTLY CALLED, PARTICULARLY WHEN THE AGENDA IS THAT OF NATION BUILDING. THIS MORNING IS AN EXAMPLE OF SUCH AN OCCASION. AS WE ALL KNOW, THE KINGDOM OF ESWATINI IS ONE OF SADC’S FOUNDING MEMBERS, HAVING JOINED THE ORGANISATION AT INCEPTION IN 1980. OVER TIME, SADC HAS RECORDED NUMEROUS STRATEGIES AND MILESTONES, WHICH HAVE PROMOTED THE ADVANCEMENT OF SOCIO- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, POLITICAL STABILITY AND CONSOLIDATION OF DEMOCRACY IN MEMBER STATES. HOWEVER, SUCH MILESTONES OFTEN GO UNNOTICED BY THE POPULACE, RENDERING SOCIO –DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AND STRATEGIES INEFFECTIVE, RESULTING IN LITTLE BENEFIT, IF ANY, TO THE PUBLIC.
IT IS IN NOTING THIS CHALLENGE THAT THE SADC SECRETARIAT CAME UP WITH THE REVISED SADC COMMUNICATION AND PROMOTION STRATEGY (2016 – 2020) AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION PLAN, WHICH WERE BOTH APPROVED BY THE SADC COUNCIL OF MINISTERS IN 2016. THE AIM OF THE STRATEGY AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION PLAN IS TO STRENGTHEN INFORMATION CHANNELS THAT ENHANCE PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE AND CONSCIOUSNESS OF SADC’S VISION. THIS IS WHERE THE MEDIA COMES IN. JOURNALISTS EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT EVENTS AND ISSUES AND HOW THESE AFFECT THEIR LIVES.
IN THE AGE OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SADC INDUSTRIALISATION STRATEGY (2015 – 2063), CITIZENS OF MEMBER STATES MUST BE INFORMED ABOUT THE ACTIVITIES THAT SADC HAS UNDERTAKEN TO PROMOTE REGIONAL INTEGRATION AND ERADICATE POVERTY.
THE MEDIA MUST ENSURE THAT THESE STORIES REACH THE MASSES. THIS IS A CHALLENGE I AM SETTING FOR YOU TODAY. LET US SEE MORE STORIES ABOUT REGIONAL INTEGRATION IN PRINT MEDIA, AND LET US HEAR ABOUT ACTIVITIES PROMOTING REGIONAL INTEGRATION ON RADIO, AS WELL AS WATCH DOCUMENTARIES THAT PORTRAY A RESULT OF SADC’S EFFORT TO ERADICATE POVERTY ON TELEVISION.
AT THIS JUNCTURE, IT IS MY SINGULAR HONOUR TO DECLARE THE 2019 SADC NATIONAL MEDIA AWARDS LAUNCHED. I WISH ALL PARTCIPANTS THE BEST OF LUCK IN THIS COMPETITION.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION.

OffCanvas Menu