Swaziland. According to
Countryaah.com, Swaziland ended up in a foreign policy
conflict between China and Taiwan during the year. When
China managed to lure Burkina Faso on its side, Swaziland
was the only country in Africa to have diplomatic relations
with Taiwan. The Beijing government then exerted diplomatic
pressure for Swaziland to break with Taiwan as well.
Taiwan's president visited Swaziland in April and met
King Mswati in an effort to strengthen relations between the
countries. Later, King Mswati visited Taiwan, and the
relationship remained intact. Critics said that only the
king with family benefited from relations with Taiwan and
that the country's economy would feel better from ties with
In connection with the 50th anniversary of Swaziland's
independence and the king's 50th birthday, the king
announced that the country was changing its name from
Swaziland to Eswatini, the Swazi country. The name was used
before the country was colonized by the British.
The trade union movement with several organized
demonstrations in June in the capital Mbabane in protest
against poor service, abuse of the state pension fund and a
proposal for a fee for marriages with foreigners. Police
fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the protesters with
several injured as a result.
A report from the aid organization Oxfam described
Swaziland as the most unequal country in the world. Seven
out of ten residents are estimated to live in deep poverty
at the equivalent of $ 2 a day, while the royal mother gave
her son dining room furniture in gold as a birthday present.
In September, new demonstrations were held in several
cities demanding higher wages and protest against abuse of
the state pension fund. In the industrial city of Manzini,
several workers in the battalion were injured by police.
In September, parliamentary elections were held, but
political parties were banned and all candidates were
considered loyal to the single king. Voters complained about
voting and bribery, it became violent at several polling
stations, and police shot in the air to disperse protesters.
After the death of Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini, in
October the King appointed a new head of government,
Mandvulo Ambrose Dlamini, who was the CEO of the Swazi
division of the South African telecom company MTN.