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Parker sees hope for Swazi economy
By Timothy Simelane

AMERICAN Ambassador Maurice Parker says there are vast prospects of economic and social development in Swaziland, but such could only be tapped into if there is a will amongst the Swazi nation.

Parker said it was possible to make the Swazi economy strong and vibrant.

“But it is the people of Swaziland and leaders who can make this development a reality.”

He said Swaziland could qualify for the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) if it could improve on the categories used by the American government to determine qualifying states.

Through the Millennium Challenge Account, the US gives large sums of money to deserving countries.

Parker said Swaziland’s ranking in the MCA score card had improved over the past years.

Amongst those that have benefited from the MCA are Mozambique, which got US$500 million (E3 500m) and Lesotho which got US$365 million (E2 555m).

“Swaziland has improved in five areas that form the categories for the Millennium Challenge Account, and is above the medium level in two of the categories.”

The ambassador said since he arrived in Swaziland he had met His Majesty King Mswati III, Prime Minister Themba Dlamini, Foreign Affairs Minister Mathendele Dlamini, principal secretaries and many other people in a quest to learn how the Swazi government operates and to identify areas for mutual cooperation between the USA and Swaziland.

He pronounced himself a simple diplomat who works closely with the people. “There is no way in which I can learn what the people want if I do not go to them. But, I also have my way of doing things.”

He said he had worked on foreign missions in other countries including Spain and Barcelona, hence he was willing to share such knowledge and experience he got over the years.

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