Swaziland on the move with tech-savvy graduates

Swaziland on the move with tech-savvy graduates

Recently, we graduated our pioneer batch of graduates from Limkokwing University Swaziland. For the 825 young Swazi men and women, their lives are set to change.

Students graduated in 13 different Associate Degree programmes such as Business Information Technology, Architecture Technology, International Tourism, Journalism & Media, TV and Film Production and Creative Multimedia.

These were programmes that did not exist before we arrived there in Mbabane in 2012 on the invitation of the Swaziland Government.

We were invited to open a campus there following our success in Botswana and Lesotho in providing world-class education content and environment for young Africans.

In Mbabane we have set up the most high-tech, innovation-focused campus in the country. All our graduates are highly skilled in the use of the latest digital technology. We are glad to be working alongside the government in the building of capacities essential for innovation.
- Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Dr Lim Kok Wing

We set up the campus in 2012 by creating an exciting, stimulating campus environment purposefully built to stimulate creativity and innovation.

Urgent need for new skills for youth

Swaziland on the move

Swaziland is the smallest country in Africa, dwarfed by some of its geographically bigger and economically more dynamic neighbours with South Africa and towards the east with Mozambique.

Like many of the smaller and less developed countries on the Continent, Swaziland is acutely aware that it is at a socio-economic crossroads. Like many other countries on the Continent, it has suffered from the HIV/AIDs epidemic which has resulted in 50% of its population as orphans and life expectancy at a worrying 48 years of age.

But it has moved fast to stem the pandemic, and is recognised by world agencies as being close to achieving universal access to HIV/AIDs treatment for its population.

An urgent priority is human capital development, job creation and entrepreneurship to deal with the 50% unemployment the country currently faces in the 15-24 age group.

By 2040, Africa is expected to overtake China and India with the largest and youngest workforce in the world. So what better time is there for Swaziland to pick up its speed in driving for innovation?
- Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Dr Lim Kok Wing

The majority of the population today is employed in subsistence farming, and the majority of professional jobs (50%) comes from government employment.

Yet, the country has taken important steps to be plugged into the future.

Its mobile market penetration is well above the African average. A well-developed fibre-optic network has been crucial to this, though Swaziland depends on neighbouring countries for international fibre bandwidth which has led to high prices. New submarine fibre-optic have recently been introduced which is expected to lower costs and expand penetration.

Swaziland Vision 2022

Our presence and our mission in Swaziland is aligned to Swaziland’s Vision 2022 which is to embrace technological innovation, spur knowledge-based industries, and aim to be in the Top 10 Percent of Medium Human Development Countries.

That too is our focus. Because jobs are limited, our focus is on enterprise development and industry collaboration to transform the local economic landscape.

It is about ensuring that students are not just plugged in to globalisation with Internet access but also to give them skills for the future that make them equal to their peers anywhere else in the world.

One of the fundamental drivers of all that we do is not to have a cookie-cutter approach to education wherever we may be. Everytime we open a campus in this - or any other part of the developing world - we ensure that we align our mission to the country’s socio-economic vision for its future.

Driving technology and innovation

I have always said that the most valuable resource in a constantly changing world is creativity and innovation driven by new technology.

Everything on the campus is computerised and wireless so that students can access the Internet and learn beyond books and borders so they can keep up with their peers from around the world.

Swaziland on the move

We are proud to be working alongside the government in the building of the capabilities essential for innovation and we look forward to broadening our collaboration in the years ahead. We also very grateful that His Majesty has officially named the University as Swaziland’s University of Transformation.

Ever since this University was established in Swaziland, it has indeed pointed a direction towards the attainment of our first world status by the year 2022.
- His Majesty King Mswati 111, Kingdom of Swaziland, Limkokwing University Swaziland inaugural graduation 2014

Swaziland has a huge untapped potential for the tourism industry, and because of this we have made the development of the local arts and crafts industry as a priority. This will include research and development into new products, applications and services to establish Swaziland’s position as an important tourism destination on the Continent.

Set to take its place in the world community

With a GDP of US$3.65 billion, the World Bank has classified Swaziland as a Lower Middle Income Country. Like many smaller and less developed countries on the continent, Swaziland has set its sights on doing much better with a national blueprint called Vision 2022.

Swaziland on the move

Like every country on earth, Swaziland has a dream of what is possible for its people. Like any country, its people have had a great deal of challenges in its past, but they know they have an opportunity now to be part of the world community.

They are making important changes, and we are proud to be a partner in their development. Now that over 800 young Swazi have graduated with skills to build enterprises, to look at the world with a global mindset, and to be confident that they have a role to play in building their country, our journey with them now takes on a more ‘real life’ perspective.

Thirteen of the top students - who were recipients of the Limkowing University President’s Award (2 awards - Leadership and Excellence) received full scholarships to further their studies in Malaysia in July.

We are extremely proud of our graduates. Stay tuned to see how they are changing their country!

tansri photo

About Tan Sri Lim


Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Dr Lim Kok Wing, the Founder and President of Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, does not fit into any ordinary mould that would describe most entrepreneurs.

His journey has been closely linked with the economic and social development of Malaysia.

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Malaysia is at 31st position in the Economist Intelligence Unit study for 2004-2008 in innovation performance with 4.2 patents per million population. Japan, ranked at the top of the table, had 1,274.5 patents per million population. Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea were all ranked much higher than Malaysia in the study.

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