Four graduate researchers will be joining the Eswatini Economic Policy Analysis and Research Centre (ESEPARC) in January 2019 under the ESEPARC and UNDP graduate research programme.

The graduates form the third cohort of researchers joining the Centre under the graduate research programme administered by ESEPARC with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The 12-month internship programme gives graduates intensive on-the-job training, the opportunity to network with their counterparts from all over the world and opens doors for the exchange of ideas with their peers from around the world.

ESEPARC Executive Director Dr Thula Sizwe Dlamini says the programme has so far achieved its objectives; that is, offering graduates the opportunity to acquire practical experience in policy analysis and research work, as well as undergoing intensive on-the-job training to build their capacities in research skills, personal development, and leadership.

He says the Centre’s goal is to grow the critical mass of policy analysis and research in Eswatini, and ESEPARC has been able to achieve this through UNDP’s support. Adding, he appreciated the partnership with UNDP, adding that the development agency has become one of ESEPARC’s leading ambassadors in the country.

UNDP Programme Specialist Ms Sithembiso Gina says the collaboration with ESEPARC is one of the ways in which the UNDP is working towards ensuring its role to maximise impact and help to shift the development trajectory of the Kingdom of Eswatini onto a higher path.

She says the collaboration between UNDP and ESEPARC is one of the interventions aimed at adopting innovative approaches that apply research and knowledge management tools to enhance the delivery of public services and contribute to unlocking new resources for sustainable development in the country.

The four graduate researchers are:

Zenanile Dlamini

Zenanile’s research interest is in the area of mental health policy as a key to economic and social development. She will be working on a study that focuses on the sociology of health and illness, specifically mental health and its integration into primary healthcare in Eswatini. She holds a Master of Sciences in Development Studies, an Honours in the same discipline, as well as a Bachelor of Social Science, with majors in Organisational Psychology and Industrial & Economic Sociology, all obtained from Rhodes University.

Tamika Du-Pont

Tamika’s research focus is around nature reserves that claim to integrate community-based tourism in Eswatini. While at ESEPARC, she will be working on a study on community-based tourism in Eswatini, with a particular focus on possible pathways to sustainable conservation management. She has an Honours in Environmental Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Legal Theory, both completed at Rhodes University.

Zamokuhle Manana

Zamokuhle will be conducting research on youth brain drain in Eswatini, specifically looking at an analysis of the economic impact of youth brain on the economy of the country. She holds a Master of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Economics, both obtained from the Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus.

Ntando Nkambule

Ntando’s research interest is skewed towards micro-finance and women’s empowerment. He will be working on a study on the role of stokvels in improving people’s lives in Eswatini communities. He has a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics obtained from the University of Eswatini (UNESWA).