Eswatini, the last absolute monarchy in Africa under King Mswati III’s rule, has faced significant unrest since June 2021. Protests demanding democratization escalated into violence, leading to arbitrary detentions, police-inflicted deaths and instances of torture. New political parties emerged and demanded a role in the electoral process. While calls for political change intensified, the government and the king denied meaningful dialog.

Most of the population endures minimal economic progress and lives in poverty. The economic landscape does not generate favorable conditions for business, owing to the royal family’s negative and capricious political interventions and their connections to associated companies.

The government’s goals are solely focused on regime survival. The king postponed the long-awaited dialog with civil society after the unrest in June 2021. Eswatini’s Vision 2022, which aimed to improve economic performance and achieve human development, was abandoned because there was no clear plan or resources.

Show country report