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Government committed to fostering youth participation- Hon. Minister Bulunga

20 June 2019

The Honourable Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Harries Bulunga says Government is committed to involving young people in the search for sustainable solutions to the challenges that the youth face.

Bulunga was speaking yesterday during the official opening of the 2019 International Youth Fellowship (IYF) Youth Festival at the Southern Africa Nazarene University (SANU) in Manzini.

The two-day festival is aimed at empowering young people’s minds on a range of issues and will see them partake in a number of activities including mind educational lectures, leadership lectures and mind recreational games.

Making his remarks at the opening ceremony, Bulunga said Government would continue to strive to create an enabling environment for the responsible participation of young people in all sectors affecting their lives.

“As Government, we are cognizant of the challenges faced by our young people including high unemployment rates, HIV and AIDS as well as substance abuse among other challenges. As a Ministry, we have been tasked with finding sustainable solutions to these challenges with the assistance and support of fellow Government Ministries and departments as well as Non-Governmental Organisations. It is our sincere belief that we need to actively involve our youth in the search for solutions to the challenges they face. His Majesty’s Government remains committed to the endeavour of youth development by creating a conducive environment for responsible youth participation across all spheres,” he said.

IYF National Director (Eswatini) David Gang praised the partnership between the Ministry and the IYF.

“We appreciate the support we have received from His Majesty’s Government through the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs. We hope that this festival will be of great benefit to the young people of Eswatini,” he said.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry and the IYF was signed in 2017. His Majesty King Mswati III gave the IYF 10 hectors of land in Two Sticks, Manzini, for the construction of a youth centre.

Break 2016 record- Hon. Minister tells Sihlangu

22 May 2019

The Honourable Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Harries Bulunga has urged Sihlangu to better the country’s best ever finish of third place at the COSAFA Cup.

Bulunga was speaking at a farewell function held for Sihlangu at the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) Technical Centre in Lobamba ahead of the team’s departure to the 2019 COSAFA Cup to be held in Durban, South Africa. Sihlangu achieved a bronze medal finish at the 2016 edition of the regional showpiece in Namibia under the guidance of the Honourable Minister who was, at the time, the side’s Head Coach.

Speaking through representative Lucky Sihlongonyane, the Director of Sports in the Ministry, Bulunga urged the side to make history in South Africa.

“I am well aware of the pressures that come with playing in the COSAFA Cup. For all our consistent participation in this regional showpiece since the late 1990’s, we have never tasted true success or even reached a single final. Now, my challenge to you coach and the entire team is to better that 3rd-place finish achieved in 2016. I have no doubt in my mind that you are capable of doing that and rewriting the Kingdom’s history in the COSAFA Cup,” he said.

Meanwhile, the team’s Head Coach Kostadin Papic said they were ready to compete at the tournament.

“We will fight as much as we can to win our matches. We will take each game as it comes. We are ready and we want to show that we have quality,” he said.

The national side will leave Eswatini by road tomorrow (Thursday) and open their campaign against Mauritius on Saturday at the King Zwelithini Stadium. Sihlangu will then face Comoros in the last Group A fixture on Monday at the same venue. For progression to the quarterfinals, where Zimbabwe await, the locals will need to win the group which has been cut to three teams by the sudden withdrawal of Angola from the tournament.

MTN- Youth Fund Khula Natsi Loan Scheme officially launched

14 June 2019

A historic partnership between the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs and Eswatini MTN was officially launched at Ngobolweni in the Shiselweni region today.

The partnership sees MTN pump E100 000 to the Youth Enterprise Revolving Fund which will be used to empower youth owned businesses who are in need of expansion. The partnership was officially launched by the Honourable Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Harries Bulunga.

Making his remarks, Bulunga said the sponsorship was a game changing intervention.

“Through this E100 000 sponsorship to our Youth Enterprise Revolving Fund, we will be able to support youth owned businesses who are in need of expansion. This sponsorship complements the work that is already being done by the Youth Fund in funding business start-ups and assisting already existing businesses that need capital injection. I therefore take this moment, on behalf of the entire Ministry and all of Eswatini’s youth, to extend our deepest gratitude to Eswatini MTN for this sponsorship which will surely change the lives of many EmaSwati. It is true that many youth-owned businesses provide support not just to young people only but to many other EmaSwati,” Bulunga said.

Also present during the launch were the Chief of the Area Chief Dambuza Lukhele, Acting MTN CEO Sibusiso Nhleko as well as Members of Parliament, Senior Government officials and community leaders amongst others.

Hon. Minister travels to Namibia for SADC Youth Ministers’ meeting and Regional Sports Awards

22 May 2019

The Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Hon. Harries Bulunga today left the country for Namibia to attend a SADC Youth Ministers’ meeting and the 2019 Regional Sports Awards (RASA).

Bulunga will join the Youth Ministers’ meeting in Windhoek which starts on Thursday morning. Explaining about the importance of the meeting the Minister said, ”We will be meeting as Ministers responsible for youth to take decisions on policy and strategic issues relating to youth development and empowerment in the region. Some of these issues relate to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) as well as issues of infrastructure development for sustainable youth development. We will also discuss issues of innovation and youth entrepreneurship,” Bulunga said.

For that conference, the Minister is accompanied by Youth Enterprise Revolving Fund (YERF) CEO Bhekizwe Maziya.

At the completion of the Youth Ministers’ meeting on Friday, Bulunga will attend the RASA gala dinner on Saturday, May 25, at the Safari Court Hotel in Windhoek. The RASA’s bring together excelling athletes and sports officials from the 10 African Union Region 5 countries. The theme for this year’s awards ceremony is “Celebrating Excellence, Inspiring Innovation.” However, no LiSwati has been nominated for this year’s awards.

Despite the absence of EmaSwati nominees, the Minister urged the country’s athletes and officials not to despair.

“It is true that we are all disappointed that none of our athletes or officials made it into the list of nominees for the RASA’s. We believe that we certainly deserved to be represented on the list of nominees. However, we urge our stars not to despair and to actually work even harder. I am confident that we will make the cut in subsequent editions,” Bulunga said.

The Minister is expected back in the country on Sunday.

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