His Highness King Mswati III of Swaziland concluded a productive visit to Qatar to meet His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani in which he secured aviation scholarships for Swazi students and a pledge for the imminent dispatch of Qatari business delegation to the country.
During their discussions of how the relationship between the two countries could be improved, it was agreed that a group of Swazi students would be taken to Qatar to train in aviation as part of a scholarship programme that the countries will be looking to roll out.
The subject was brought up after the opening King Mswati III International Airport, which was officially opened this year and is expected to start serving airlines in the very near future.
His Majesty said: “We went to Qatar upon the invitation of the Royal family, and to have an opportunity to congratulate the new king. We also discussed how the relationship between the countries, the welfare of the people, the economy and other things could be improved.”
The Qatari explained the investments that they had made in other African countries, and King Mswati III expressed his hope for similar opportunities to also come to Swaziland, noting that the established Qatari embassy in Swaziland would be an aide to any investment.
“In Qatar, businessmen who have shown interest in investing in the country have promised to come along with the delegation that will be coming from Qatar this month,” His Highness continued.
“During the trip, we also met companies that are interested in finding investments and we learnt of institutions that offer funds for African countries. There will be a delegation to be sent back to do follow-ups as it is only a matter of Swaziland taking back feedback to them.”
The King travelled with Princess Sikhanyiso, who is a board member of Swazi MTN and who met with Dr Nasser Marafih, CEO of Qatari telecom Ooredoo, as well as the King’s fiancée Liphovela LaFogiyane, formerly Make Sindiswa, who met with HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
They discussed the organisation of the Educate A Child (EAC) initiative of Sheikha Moza’s Education Above All (EAA) programme, which aims to significantly reduce the number of out of school children in different parts of the globe, including a number of countries in Africa.
LaFogiyane told the gathering that Swaziland was committed to ensure education for all by 2015, commenting: “Our country has introduced free primary education for every child access to from grades one to six in public schools, and scheme for at least two meals a day.”
In other diplomacy, King Mswati visited the UAE on his return route for a meeting with Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy PM and Minister for Presidential Affairs, to discuss areas of bilateral cooperation between the UAE and the kingdom of Swaziland.
His Majesty was accompanied by Minister of Economic Planning and Development Prince Hlangu-sempi and the outgoing Ambassador to the UAE, Mlondi Dlamini.
Following the trip, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Al Soud Abdulaziz Bin Fahad bin Taki also paid a courtesy call on King Mswati, who was accompanied by Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze, Minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Prince Hlangusempi, Minister of economic planning and development, and Dr Vincent Mhlanga, chief officer of the King’s Office.