Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
February 21, 2014


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 Five years after independence, Swaziland's ruler, King Sobhuza II, repealed the constitution. Sobhuza II ruled by decree until 2006, when the country implemented its first constitution in over 30 years. 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 prevalence rates of HIV and TB. Thirty-one percent of Swaziland’s adult population (aged 18-49) is infected with HIV. Peak prevalence among women stands at a staggering 54 percent in the 30-34 age group. In 2009, the U.S. and Swaziland signed the second-ever Partnership Framework Agreement under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The agreement is a five-year joint program strategy to strengthen, scale up, and sustain key components of the HIV response and the overall health sector capacity. Through PEPFAR support, Swaziland’s Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) program now reaches approximately 75 percent of those in need of ART; 91 percent of HIV+ pregnant women are receiving antiretrovirals for their health or for prevention of mother-to-child transmission. The two countries also have finalized a memorandum of understanding expanding the Peace Corps mission's HIV/AIDS-focused duties to include education capacity-building activities such as computer-skills training, life-skills support, and teacher training.

The U.S. Government brings about six Swazi professionals to the United States each year, from both the public and private sectors, primarily for master's degrees, and about six others for 3-week to 4-week International Visitor programs. Through the security assistance program, the U.S. brings approximately 25 members of the Swazi security forces to the United States for education and training purposes. The United States also supports Swazi participation in regionally based training and capacity-building programs, such as at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Gaborone, Botswana.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Swaziland is eligible 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, 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 Makila James; 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
USAID Southern Africa Page | USAID Southern Africa Mission Page
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel and Business Information

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