Eswatini 2002

In 2002, Swaziland was a small African country located on the eastern border of South Africa. It had a population of 1.2 million people and an area of 17,364 square kilometers. The main language spoken was siSwati, although English was also widely used. Majority of the population were Christians, while some practiced traditional African religions. Swaziland’s economy was largely agricultural with sugarcane being the main crop and forestry and mining providing additional sources of income. The tourism industry was growing as well due to its scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage. Despite its natural resources, according to computerannals, Swaziland faced numerous economic problems in 2002 due to high unemployment rates, poverty levels, and low foreign investment. The government had implemented various reforms in order to improve the economy but these had not been successful in addressing the underlying issues. HIV/AIDS prevalence rate was estimated at 33%, one of the highest in the world at that time, leading to an increased mortality rate among adults aged 15-49 years old. In addition, there were still many social issues such as gender inequality and discrimination against those living with HIV/AIDS which needed to be addressed by the government if it wanted to make progress towards sustainable development in Swaziland by 2002.

Yearbook 2002

Swaziland. Opposition politician Mario Masuku was brought to trial at the beginning of the year. He was charged with rebellion by demanding the king’s departure and was threatened with 20 years in prison. After several months of interruption, the trial resumed in August, when Masuku was acquitted.

When Masuku was released, after being imprisoned for close to a year, he declared that Swaziland should be granted a constitutional monarch like Britain. In a later speech to his supporters, Masuku argued that Swaziland’s royal government can never be reformed but must be removed. He warned the king of the “tide of masses” he said were on the way. Masuku’s party, the People’s United Democratic Movement, is banned by the regime.

During the year, Swaziland’s Catholic Church accused the government and the royal family of allowing corruption and violating human rights. Criticism came from several directions against the regime for mismanagement of the economy. Unemployment is around 40% and about one fifth of the population is dependent on food aid after a few years of drought and malnutrition. At the same time, one third of the population is estimated to be HIV-infected.

According to Countryaah website, national day of Eswatini is every September 6. The polygamy system was challenged during the year. When King Mswati appointed an 18-year-old girl to his tenth wife, the girl’s mother sued employees at the court and accused them of kidnapping. It was the first public protest of its kind against the king. The case developed into a legal scandal with pressure from the government against lawyers who pursued the case. However, the mother gave up her fight when the intended queen said she would accept the king’s decision.

Eswatini Border Countries Map


The Prime Minister dies in covid-19

December 14

Swaziland’s Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini is dying of complications from covid-19 virus. In mid-November, Dlamini tested positive for covid-19 but then said that he felt healthy and was without symptoms. A couple of weeks later, he was taken to neighboring South Africa for treatment, but he died in hospital there.


Economic stimulus package after corona

20th of August

The government promises an economic stimulus package that will help the country recover from the corona pandemic. Private investors are expected to contribute two-thirds of the $ 1.7 billion bailout package. It will run over 18 months and focuses on various projects in, among other things, the tourism, mining and agricultural industries. At the same time, new criticism is leveled at King Mswati III and his luxurious lifestyle. The government denies that it is the taxpayers’ money that the king spends. The country’s economy is expected to shrink by 6.7 percent due to the pandemic.

Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) Country Overview

Finnish citizen does not need a visa to Eswatin (formerly Swaziland). Visa policies and rates are subject to change without notice depending on local authorities.

Every person participating in the trip must have a valid travel insurance that covers medical expenses in the event of illness or other similar need. Please check the validity of your own insurance and the terms and conditions of the insurance cancellation cover.

Please pay attention to the special nature of your trip and check the coverage of the insurance in that respect as well. In many locations, the insurance must also be valid when moving at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, in which case it also covers mountain sickness.

Many hiking or diving trips require more extensive insurance, which covers, for example, diving or moving on a glacier. Please check the contents of your insurance with your insurance company.

Climate The climate in
Eswatin (formerly Swaziland) is predominantly subtropical, but due to the mountainous areas, the temperature and rainfall vary considerably from one region to another. Summer is usually wetter and warmer, but the temperature rarely gets really hot.

Travel Seasons
The best time to travel is from April to December, when the air temperature stays at 19-25 degrees and there is little rain.

Currency The currency of
Eswatin (formerly Swaziland) is Lilangeni (SZL). On South African rand you can pay directly. Dates are available in Finland by booking in advance.

Time difference
The areas in which we move are in the same time zone in winter as Finland. In summer, the time difference is -1 hour.

Electric current
The electric current is 220V. An adapter is required for devices used in Finnish sockets.

Mobile phones
Please check the coverage and prices of your mobile phone with your operator. The area code for Eswatin (Swaziland) is +268. Internet access is still rare in accommodations and usually chargeable.

Food & beverage In
Eswatin, food is largely based on rice and corn. Served with a variety of sauces, such as bean sauce. Water and beverages must be industrially bottled. It is also a good idea to rinse fruits and vegetables with bottled water. Heated or tablet-purified water can be drunk. Reheated foods should be avoided.