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STATEMENT BY THE RT HON PRIME MINISTER

 

DR B.S.S.DLAMINI

 

AT THE LAUNCH OF THE LIMKOKWING ENTREPRENEURSHIP ACCELERATION PLATFOM (LEAP)

 

AT LIMKOKWING UNIVERSITY HALL OF FAME

 

 

THURSDAY 25 JULY 2013

 

Honourable Ministers

Honourable Members of Parliament

Limkokwing Vice-President of Corporate Development

Limkokwing Regional Director Corporate, Industry and Media Relations

Chief Executive Officers from the private sector, or their representatives

Campus Director

Staff and Students

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

It is an honour, and indeed a great pleasure, for me to represent His Majesty’s Government at the Official Launch today of the Limkokwing Entrepreneurship Acceleration Platform.

The title of this internship programme lends itself to a highly appropriate acronym in the form of “LEAP.” It is one that has already, shall we say, “leapt” into general usage and is especially suitable since it exudes the spirit of dynamism that we have come to associate with Limkokwing University. It also captures well the substantial step forward we expect to be achieved by the introduction of such a valuable undergraduate programme.

Adding this module to the Limkokwing curriculum reflects the pace of innovation and development by this highly reputable Malaysian institution, and underscores the interest and involvement in our country that the University has shown since it opened its doors of learning in 2011. Such has been the caliber of its academic teaching and skills transfer that His Majesty recently gave Limkokwing the title of “Swaziland’s University of Transformation.”

I must, at the outset, express our admiration and gratitude to the University’s founder, Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dato Dr Limkokwing, reaching out so generously from his Malaysian base, and for having set up a new tertiary institution in a country so far from home.

And today we are witnessing the launch of an internship programme that will make a significant contribution towards bridging a gap – the one that exists with many students, and in many countries on this continent - between academic knowledge and the ability to translate knowledge and skills into sustainable entrepreneurial activity.

The people of Swaziland were deeply moved by the recent conferment on His Majesty King Mswati III of an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Limkokwing. This has represented yet another measure that is deepening the friendship between the University and the Swazi Nation. It is a relationship that has grown at a pace in the years following that first contact at the SMART Partnership Dialogue held some years ago in Malaysia. What is particularly impressive is the optimism exhibited by Limkokwing and the faith it has shown in the Swazi people, working together in the win-win of SMART Partnership.

It is interesting to note that the dramatic economic progress made by Malaysia over the past few decades has been achieved in no small part through its moving away from dependence on the production of primary commodities and into adding value to those products. Such a transition is precisely what is called for in our own country but, invariably, such a transition demands skills that have hitherto largely been absent.

In the vanguard of institutions and initiatives that are filling that gap is our local Limkokwing University of Creative Technology which, through the LEAP programme we are launching today, will make a sizeable contribution to the empowerment of young Swazi people through skills development. The LEAP programme will help students put into practice their academic knowledge within a corporate setting under the supervision of an industry mentor and the University faculty.

Providing advisory support to the students will be the LEAP Industry Advisory Board that is being established at the same time. And Limkokwing’s provision of post-graduate training to 30 Swazi students will add a further boost to our national reserves of technological skill.

In Limkokwing we are seeing a University that is committed to helping the future economic and social development of our country by building its human capital. It is an institution known and respected for its special characteristics. It breaks the norm with a non-traditional approach that is a typical feature of a creative institution.

As the LEAP programme forges close ties with those companies that will employ the graduates of this University it is providing industry with a direct link to influence the production of the skills it needs. It also gives the University the opportunity to build up its market intelligence and re-engineer its delivery accordingly.

There are many representatives from our private sector here today. Their very presence indicates an interest in what the LEAP programme has to offer. I take the opportunity to appeal to the private sector to take that interest up a level and into a commitment. Each of you is being asked to provide five internship places of three months each. I urge you to take the Limkokwing appeal very seriously. We are all part of the same economy and we all have much to gain from the economic growth that will come from additional entrepreneurial activity. The release of technologically empowered graduates will have a significant impact on high-tech growth in the years to come.

The collaboration with the private sector will produce the techno savvy graduates who are primed for entrepreneurship through the industry-readiness derived from the LEAP internships.

I wish the programme well and, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government I now declare the new Limkokwing Entrepreneurship Acceleration Platform (LEAP) officially launched.

 

Thank you.

 

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