More information about Eswatini is available on the Eswatini Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The official name of the Kingdom of Swaziland was changed to the Kingdom of Eswatini, or Eswatini, in April 2018. The United States and Eswatini have had good bilateral relations since Eswatini’s independence from the United Kingdom in 1968 and establishment as a constitutional monarchy. Five years after independence, the country’s ruler, King Sobhuza II, repealed the constitution and began to rule by decree. In 2006, under Sobhuza’s son King Mswati III, the country implemented a new constitution that enshrined broader political freedoms, expanded the roles of the legislative and judicial branches, and established Eswatini as an executive monarchy ruled by Mswati alongside traditional parliamentary and bureaucratic structures. U.S. policy seeks to maintain and strengthen bilateral relations, and stresses Eswatini’s continued political and economic reform.
U.S. Assistance to Eswatini
Eswatini ranks as a lower-middle income country, but the World Bank estimates that 38% of the population lives below the international poverty line. The U.S. Government supports health promotion and health systems, strengthening accountable governance, rule of law, economic inclusion and empowerment, entrepreneurship, youth development and education, security sector capacity-building, and trade promotion in Eswatini.
Eswatini, which has the world’s highest prevalence rate of HIV (approximately 30% of adults aged 15-49), is now at the cusp of epidemic control, in part the result of PEPFAR’s contributions over the past 15 years to help stem the crisis. Eswatini is poised to reach the “90-90-90” benchmark by the end of FY2018, which means 90% of people living with HIV know their status, 90% of that group are on antiretroviral treatment (ART), and 90% of the population on ART have suppressed the virus to an extent that they will not infect others easily. At last measure, Eswatini stood at 85-87-92.
The U.S. Government brings an average of 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 another 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 six 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 2018, Eswatini regained eligibility for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) after enacting legislation and reforms related to freedom of assembly, association, and expression, and internationally accepted workers’ rights. 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. Eswatini 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.
Eswatini’s Membership in International Organizations
Eswatini 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.
Eswatini maintains an embassy in the United States at 1712 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009; tel: 202-234-5002.
More information about Eswatini is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: