Sibanesenkhosi P Dlamini

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Democracy, Pluralism and ConstitutionalismEswatini

Sibanesenkhosi P. Dlamini, popularly known as "Barnes," is an Electrical Engineer by profession. He worked in the sugar industry for 21 years and eventually retired to focus on the family business. At his university, he majored in electronics and instrumentation. During this period, he also enrolled in a course on labor law and industrial relations. Mr. Dlamini is the founding President of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland. Currently, he holds the position of Chairperson at the Institute for Democracy and Leadership (IDEAL), an organization primarily focusing on promoting democracy within various organizations and in the broader national sphere. IDEAL is part of the multi-stakeholder forum in Eswatini, comprising non-governmental organizations, community representatives and political parties.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Democracy, Pluralism and Constitutionalism

The project brought together 3,025 community members of diverse thinking and ideologies, creating a platform for them to speak and engage peacefully.   

It responded to the need for facilitated conversations to encourage the country towards a process of healing and positive transformation process. Rather than resorting to violence, the project firmly believed in promoting and actively participating in a process that emphasizes peaceful engagement. The project included a diverse array of meetings, including a meeting with civic leaders, committee planning meetings, region-specific meetings and chiefdom-specific community dialogues. Overall, the combined attendees from the multiple meetings numbered in the thousands.

Inclusivity was a key principle of the project. Therefore, the proponents directly approached the communities, providing them with the time and space to articulate and shape their reform process. Through timely implementation, the project endeavored to prevent further civil unrest and the negative consequences it may bring. By promoting peaceful engagement and involving all members of society in the nation-building process, the project sought to foster a united community.

Finally, the project encouraged a healing process and trust building among diverse stakeholders by introducing people to new ways of discussing and listening to each other through 19 community dialogues.

"In meeting the various dignitaries in our visit to the United States, l learned that real positive outcomes come from little round table engagements. That really inspired my thinking on the present project. " - Sibanesenkhosi P. Dlamini

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Barnes was a participant in the IVLP Project Preparation for National Dialogue in Eswatini, organized by the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center.

U.S. Communities Visited

Washington, DC; Seattle, WA

"Fear results in total silence, which is falsely perceived to be peace, yet real peace is a product of serious engagement on pertinent issues." - Sibanesenkhosi P. Dlamini

Country: Eswatini

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