MBABANE (Swaziland): A Malaysian company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Swazi Government to develop a national blueprint for the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.
This is one of the tangible results of the smart partnership dialogue which is being held here.
Applied Information Management Services (AIMS) Sdn Bhd, represented by its chief operating officer Afzal Abdul Rahim, signed on behalf of AIMS, while the Swazi Government was represented by its Enterprise and Employment Minister Senator Lutfo Dlamini.
Afzal is a member of Club 29 comprising a group of young entrepreneurs which is the youth link of the smart partnership movement.
The club’s patron is King Mswati III of Swaziland.
The MoU will cover areas of cooperation such as the consultation and knowledge sharing for ICT infrastructure development via the development of a national ICT blueprint, development of Swaziland as a potential ICT hub in southern Africa and the development of ICT-related businesses between the Malaysian and Swazi private sector.
Afzal said Swazis were among the fastest adopters of technology in the region, as demonstrated by the surprisingly high mobile phone penetration rate.
“Among the immediate opportunities that have been brought about by the MoU is the establishment of call centres in Swaziland and the southern African region.
“English and other regional languages are spoken widely in the kingdom, as is the understanding of regional cultural nuances.
“This potentially makes Swaziland an interesting location for outsourcing of Call Centre services from its neighbours,” he said.
More importantly, this initiative would have numerous benefits such as job opportunities for the Swazis, said Lutfo.
AIMS director Gan Te-Shen said Swaziland could be the springboard for business in southern Africa. Established in 1990, AIMS is operating Malaysia Online, the country’s first private Internet service provider which has been operating since 1995.
It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MY-Infotech Bhd, a Malaysian IT group listed on the KLSE. The group employs more than 250 IT professionals with annual revenues of RM150mil.