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RealTime IT News

First Swaziland Internet Cafe Claims "Surprising"

[Mbabane, SWAZILAND] Press reports that the Swaziland National Association of Journalists intends to launch the country's first Internet center in Mbabane are untrue and "surprising" according to the Director of Real Image Internet Lachezar Karadjov.

While reports claim that this initiative will be the first such Internet Cafe operation in the country, both Real Image Internet and the Swaziland Posts have been operating similar Internet offerings for some time already.

According to Karadjov, this allegation is made more puzzling by the fact that it was announced by Swazi Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini who called on the country's citizens to use the center as a "professional tool" and not in the "frivolous" manner in evidence in other countries.

"The statement is surprising," Karadjov commented to sa.internet.com this morning, "as our company is the main provider of Internet services to the Swaziland Government and particularly to the Office of the Prime Minister."

Karadjov revealed that in addition to his company's three Internet Cafe's in Mbabane, Manzini and at the Royal Swazi Sun in the Ezulwini Valley, the Swaziland Posts operate three other such centers in Mbabane, Manzini and Matsapha. In addition, there is also one other Independent Internet Cafe in the country's capital. Real Image Internet has been providing Internet Access to Swaziland since 1995, launching its first Internet Cafe in Mbabane in 1997.

This new Internet Cafe offering will be funded by a $20,000 donation by the UN and UNESCO and no date has yet been set for the launch. Inflated reports aside, a government supported Internet initiative such as this will do much to promote a more ubiquitous Internet presence in a country that boasts a mere 3,000 users. This represents 0,28 percent of the Swazi population, a woeful penetration rate when compared with neighbors South Africa who boast a 4,19 percent penetration rate with over 1,82 million Internet users.