Eswatini 2018

Yearbook 2018

Swaziland. According to, Mbabane is the capital city of Swaziland, a country located in Southern Africa. 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.

Swaziland Mbabana Tourist Attractions 2

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 China.

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.

Economic conditions

Despite the moderate economic growth that characterized the years between the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, the country presents unsatisfactory conditions in various respects, as evidenced by the GDP per capita (4400 dollars in 2009; 150 Place in the world ranking), the very high unemployment (40% of the active population), the very large percentage of the population living below the poverty line (69%), the spread of diseases such as tuberculosis and, above all, AIDS, the recurring institutional crises linked to the traditional management of power and labor conflicts.

A high share (25.6%) of the active population is employed in agriculture, divided between export crops (sugar cane, cotton and fruit), practiced in large foreign-owned companies, and subsistence crops (sorghum, vegetables, potatoes, corn), practiced with traditional techniques on small plots. The exploitation of the extensive forests is important, providing over one million m3 of timber per year.

Mining activities, which in the 1980s had been the engine of economic modernization, are now limited to the extraction of coal and asbestos (the demand for which is also falling). A large number of miners from the Swaziland find employment in the mines of the Republic of South Africa, helping to make the country’s economy still very dependent on the South African one. The secondary sector (27.8% of the active population) is mainly represented by processing industries that deal with raw materials supplied by agro-forestry activities (sugar factories, breweries, textile companies, wood processing plants, paper mills, furniture factories).

The trade balance is constantly negative: exports (sugar, soft drinks, timber and wood pulp), in fact, do not cover imports of machinery, motor vehicles, fuels, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, etc. by value. The main trading partner, with a clear prevalence over the others, is the Republic of South Africa, where 80% of exports find an outlet and 90% of imports are purchased.

The Swaziland has a road network (3594 km in 2002, of which about 1/3 asphalted) and rail network (301 km in 2005) seriously insufficient for the needs of the town. International airport in Manzini.


You may also like...