The United States and Eswatini have had good bilateral relations since Eswatini’s independence from the United Kingdom in 1968. Five years after independence, Eswatini’s then-ruler King Sobhuza II, repealed the constitution through a royal proclamation known as the 1973 Decree. The Decree remained in effect until a new constitution entered into force in 2006. 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 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 Swatis 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 Eswatini.
Eswatini is struggling to mitigate the world’s highest prevalence rates of HIV and TB. Thirty-one percent of Eswatini’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 Eswatini 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, Eswatini’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 Swati 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 Swati security forces to the United States for education and training purposes. The United States also supports Swati participation in regionally based training and capacity-building programs, such as at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Gaborone, Botswana.
Bilateral Economic Relations
In January 2015, Eswatini became ineligible 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. Eswatini 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.
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.
Principal U.S. Officials
Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.—Earl Miller
Deputy Chief of Mission—Caitlin Piper
Peace Corps Country Director—Katherine Kreis
The U.S. Embassy in Eswatini is situated next to the Gables shopping center. Physical address is:
Corner of MR 103 and Cultural Center Drive, Ezulwini
P.O. Box D202
Phone number: (+268) 2417-9000
Fax: (+268) 2416-3344