Saturday, 19 June, 2021


King renames African country in celebration of birthday

Swaziland now eSwatini King renames Africa's last absolute monarchy King renames African country in celebration of birthday
Bennie Garza | 20 April, 2018, 02:28

Addressing a large crowd gathered in a stadium in the city of Manzini, 25 miles east of the capital Mbabane, the king said Swaziland was reverting to the original name it had before being colonised by the British.

Swaziland's King Mswati III has announced he is renaming the country as the Kingdom of eSwatini.

He announced the name change in the stadium while the country celebrated 50 years since they gained independence and his 50th birthday.

The process for changing a country's name is not almost as complicated as when a country gains independence, prompting decisions over a flag and national borders.

As Swaziland works for its development plan, Taiwan - which has excellent track records and great experience - can play a good role, said the king.

This was the name the king used when he addressed the United Nations general assemblyin 2017 and at the state opening of the country's parliament in 2014.

The new name, eSwatini, means "land of the Swazis".

Head of State of the Kingdom of Swaziland King Mswati III.

The name Swaziland angers some citizens as it is a mix of Swazi and English.

The move has been mooted for several years, with legislators considering the issue in 2015.

The king, who was crowned in 1986 aged 18, rules by decree in a country widely seen as Africa's last absolute monarchy.

Political parties are banned from taking part in elections and only candidates approved by chiefs loyal to the king can stand for office. There is widespread poverty in a country with the world's highest HIV/AIDS rate.

Take, for example, the country's constitution, where the name Swaziland appears over 200 times.

Other countries in southern Africa changed their name after independence, with Bechuanaland becoming Botswana, Rhodesia becoming Zimbabwe and Nyasaland became Malawi.

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