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MBABANE – The Kingdom of Eswatini’s labour immigration legislation needs to be reviewed as it is no longer well-aligned with government’s ambitious targets for serious economic development.

Business Eswatini (BE) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nathi Dlamini said the reviews calls for an aggressive approach in mobilising not only local investments but also foreign direct investment projects in order expedite job creation. Dlamini was speaking during the labour migration workshop on ethical and fair recruitment held at SibaneSami Hotel from yesterday ending today.


Dlamini said to achieve these targets, it would mean that the country should put in place investor-friendly immigration policies that did not unwittingly undermine government’s ambitions; or discourage investment projects into the country. He noted that increasingly, many countries in the region were now leveraging their immigration policies in order to bolster their tourism numbers, as well as spur much-needed foreign direct investment projects into their own countries. “BE thinks this is a smart move by these countries and we feel it would be unprofitable, if not imprudent, for us to not jump into this bandwagon,” said CEO. Dlamini said serious investors had no patience for dealing with too much red tape as it was the case right now.


He said neither do they tolerate unnecessary artificial hurdles such as ill-conceived entry visa requirements and ill-defined paths to residence, be it temporary or permanent, which were seriously undermining the country’s FDI competitiveness and investment promotion initiatives. He said this was the opportunity to reposition the Kingdom of Eswatini as a viable destination for all investments, both local and foreign. The CEO highlighted that the private sector played a vital role in underpinning productivity and driving economic growth through the creation of productive employment and decent jobs for all. He said migration, private sector development, and trade were inextricably linked. He mentioned that inclusive and sustainable economic growth was reliant on an enabling environment for private sector development, as well as trade. He added that trade contributed to economic development, which could address some of the drivers of migration and make migration more of a choice.


“If well managed, this interrelationship can be leveraged to benefit sustainable development. Migrants can be agents for private sector development and trade at all stages of migration, from pre-departure, to return,” said Dlamini. He mentioned that while the private sector could be the engine of growth, innovation and job creation, government’s efforts to establish stable and supportive environments is critical and urgent. He added that strengthening cooperation between and among States, bilaterally, sub-regionally, regionally and internationally, including through south–south cooperation, bilateral and regional agreements could help to facilitate this.