The Federation of Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce (FSECC) advocates for issues affecting trade, commerce, labour and industrial relation. However the organizations proposals and agenda have lacked structure and development. Furthermore, no research was available concerning past advocacy efforts and achievements, follow-up or implementation.
There is little to no evidence of the FSECC’s policy position. The monarchical system of governance in Swaziland makes it difficult for the FSECC to progress business environment reforms.
How employers’ organizations dealt with it
In 2010 and 2011, an EESE assessment of Swaziland’s business environment was conducted. The Prime Minister published the report and it was disseminated widely. At the same time, the FSECC conducted research on the financial crisis in Swaziland. The outcome of the report helped to inform United Nations Development Programme projects.
In 2012, as a result of the Swaziland EESE report and Industry Focus Group Discussions, the FSECC developed the ‘Growing Swaziland Business Agenda’ to guide its advocacy efforts.
In 2013, research was conducted focusing on the information communications technology service environment. The aim of the research was to help inform the FSECC on creating a competitive ICT services environment instead of a monopoly. Regulations of the ICT Act are currently being discussed and FSECC is providing its inputs.
The development of Policy Position papers led to a higher capacity for the FSECC to lobby and advocate for issues of importance.
The result, outcome and main intervention
Swaziland EESE Assessment Report and Focus Group Discussions assisted the development of a three year FSECC ‘Growing Swaziland Business Agenda’. The agenda will guide the FSECC’s advocacy priorities regarding enterprise growth and development.
As a result of the FSECC’s research into the to the ICT environment, the monopoly has now been broken and a three year transition period has been given to introduce competition into the ICT market.
The FSECC is conducting a monthly meeting between the Ministry of Trade and Commerce and Employers’ organization, this will help with communication of private sector issues.
The immediate and expected long-term result
The FSECC now has a clear advocacy agenda to guide a consistent policy. The FSECC can now track its policy advocacy efforts, and follow-up on their implementation.
An expected long term result will be a growth in the number of interventions made to influence enterprise growth and development policies. Tracking of advocacy efforts will also be easier and allow for more efficient revision of strategies. The FSECC will strengthen its relevance and position on reforms and measures.