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Vol 52 No 5

Published 4th March 2011


Swaziland

The King's budget

Swaziland is suffering a severe economic crisis and the monarchy looks ill-equipped to survive it

While rebellion has spread only within North Africa and the Middle East so far, monarchies all over the world fear the worst and Swaziland’s has more reasons than most to fear change. King Mswati III has absolute power in a country of extreme poverty, where political parties are banned and human rights activists are labelled ‘terrorists’ (AC Vol 46 No 9). He and his 13 wives live in the lap of luxury while 70% of his subjects live on less than US$1 a day. At 25%, the country also suffers the highest HIV rate in the world. The economy is highly dependent on foreign remittances, which have fallen along with the number of jobs available in South Africa.

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