Swaziland is a landlocked country in Southern Africa bordering South Africa and Mozambique. It has a population of 1.2 million. With a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of about $3,000, Swaziland is classified as a lower
Swaziland’s economic growth has been slowing since 2013, but it is expected to rebound to 1.7% in 2017 from -0.6% in 2016, corresponding with a recovery in agricultural production. The slowdown is due to continued drought and a difficult external environment, especially from South Africa, leading to a sharp decrease in South African Customs Union (SACU) revenues. Such a decrease in revenue, combined with increased public spending, is generating higher fiscal deficits and a growing public debt. Under the current policy stance, the public debt to GDP ratio could increase from 17.4% in 2015 to 24% in 2018, increasing risks of fiscal unsustainability.
The World Bank Group’s Doing Business (2017) report ranks Swaziland 111th out of 190 countries in the overall ease of doing business. A comparison across several of its indicators between 2006 and 2017 suggests that the country has made some absolute improvements in several indicators—but the overall pace of progress has been slower than in Sub-Saharan Africa overall. Some of the challenges the country faces include technological readiness, its brain drain to neighboring South Africa, and its relative paucity of business sophistication, higher education, and training.
Last Updated: Apr 01, 2017