By Lungelo Nkambule | 2018-04-10
His Majesty King Mswati III yesterday conferred the Order of the Lion on the President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind for being the first Indian head of state to visit the Kingdom of Swaziland.
His Majesty making his remarks yesterday at a short welcoming ceremony for the President and his delegation at Mandvulo Grand Hall stated that it was a great honour for the country to host the president especially after all the support India had afforded the country.
He said the order was in recognition of the fact that Kovind was the first India head of state to visit Swaziland and in his African tour he had chosen Swaziland to be one of his destinations.
“In recognition of this visit and support, I would like to confer upon the president the Order of the Lion. This honour is to recognise the fact that Mr President, you are India’s first head of state to visit the Kingdom. This also acknowledges the contribution India has made in advancing Swaziland’s development agenda, including the new initiatives announced during the present visit,” he said.
His Majesty also thanked the government of India for the medical support afforded to members of the royal family and other Swazis who had visited that country for special treatment.
“We also appreciate the professional eye treatment afforded to a member of the royal family, as well other Emaswati who have gone to India for specialised medical care, who have returned with impressive recovery,” he said.
His Majesty further thanked the president for his visit to the country that had come with additional support to various projects which would form part of the communiqué which will be issued today.
“Your excellency, we are pleased that your visit has come with additional support to various initiatives, which will form part of the communique that will be issued tomorrow.
These include the construction of the new Parliament building through technical and financial support, a new line of credit to help establish a disaster recovery site for the national data centre, a donation of medicines and medical equipment to the ministry of health, assisting the ministry of agriculture in establishing a centre for agricultural excellence, a grant for the construction of irrigation infrastructure in the Lubuyane area, setting up 20 solar charging stations in various low electricity access areas in the country, financial support and food aid to the national disaster management agency (NDMA), doubling the scholarships for short term, as well as degree courses in India, and the donation of 500 blankets to the Philani Maswati foundation and Khulisa Umntfwana project by the first lady,’’ said His Majesty.
“This support will greatly change the development landscape of the country.
We take this opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate India’s financial support towards the construction of the science and technology park, which the president will have an opportunity to open before he leaves tomorrow.
We expect the park to have downstream projects in areas of science, research and industry and we trust that India will encourage her business people to support this initiative,’’ added the King.
His Majesty also invited the business community from India to take advantage of the special economic zone, which seeks to create an investment friendly sphere for the business community and boost economic growth. He pointed out that the zone had very good incentives for foreign investors.
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