Last month, King Mswati III of Swaziland announced the country’s name change to the “Kingdom of eSwatini”.
This announcement was made on the 50th anniversary of independence.
The King has used the name eSwatini a number of times in previous speeches. The new name means “land of the Swazis”. Swaziland is the last monarchy in Africa, and the name change has been criticized by many who think the King should focus on more pressing issues. Issues such as low employment and the low life expectancy due to high HIV rate.
Those in favor of the name change see the action as a signal sent by the King. It officially reclaims the Swazis heritage and the country’s identity from the colonial-imposed name of “Swaziland”. However it will take some time for the country’s new name to be registered with international organizations as eSwatini.
In the meantime, travellers going in-country should be aware that they have landed in the right country if they see the name referenced as eSwatini!