U.S. Relations With Swaziland

Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
August 2, 2017


More information about Swaziland is available on the Swaziland Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-SWAZILAND RELATIONS

The United States and Swaziland have had good bilateral relations since Swaziland's independence from the United Kingdom in 1968 as a constitutional monarchy. Five years after independence, Swaziland's ruler, King Sobhuza II, repealed the constitution and began to rule by decree. In 2006, the country implemented its first constitution in over 30 years under Sobhuza’s son King Mswati III. U.S. policy seeks to maintain and strengthen bilateral relations, and stresses Swaziland's continued political and economic reform.

U.S. Assistance to Swaziland

Swaziland ranks as a lower middle income country, but it is estimated that 69 percent of the population lives in poverty. Most of the high-level economic activity is in the hands of non-Africans, but ethnic Swazis are becoming more active. The U.S. supports health promotion and health systems strengthening, entrepreneurship, youth development and education, security sector capacity-building, and trade promotion in Swaziland.

Swaziland is struggling to mitigate the world’s highest estimated rate of HIV, with a prevalence rate of approximately 30 percent for adults (aged 15-49). Women between the ages of 30-34 years old have the highest prevalence rate at 54 percent. PEPFAR in Swaziland supports the Swaziland’s efforts to both control the HIV epidemic and reverse its impact. This includes putting approximately 82 percent of people living with HIV on antiretroviral treatment (ART), and ensuring 93 percent of pregnant women with HIV receive ARTs for their health and for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission.

The U.S. Government brings about three Swazi professionals to the United States each year through the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, from both the public and private sectors, to pursue their master's degrees, and about three people each year for three to four-week International Visitor Leadership programs. Each year, the Mandela Washington Fellowship allows up to 12 Swazis to attend six-week leadership and professional development programs at U.S. universities. The Pan African Youth Leadership Program sends 6 Swazi high school students and one mentor/teacher to the U.S. for leadership training, community service exchanges, and host-family stays.

Through the security assistance program, the U.S. brings approximately six members of the Swazi military forces per year to the United States for education and training purposes. The United States also supports training for Swazi law enforcement entities in regionally based training and capacity-building programs, such as at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Gaborone, Botswana. The ILEA hosts approximately 15 Swazi officers each year in trainings on specialized skills such as investigating public corruption and combatting human trafficking.

Bilateral Economic Relations

In January 2015, Swaziland became ineligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The country belongs to the Southern African Customs Union, which has signed a Trade, Investment, and Development Cooperative Agreement (TIDCA) with the United States. The TIDCA establishes a forum for consultative discussions, cooperative work, and possible agreements on a wide range of trade issues, with a special focus on customs and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and trade and investment promotion. Swaziland also is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which has a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with the United States.

Swaziland's Membership in International Organizations

Swaziland and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Swaziland is Lisa Peterson; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Swaziland maintains an embassy in the United States at 1712 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009; tel: 202-234-5002.

More information about Swaziland is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Swaziland Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Swaziland Page
U.S. Embassy
USAID Southern Africa Page
History of U.S. Relations With Swaziland
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Country Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel Information