Swaziland. According to Countryaah.com, 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.
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.