Barnes Dlamini, president of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland and a critic of the government of King Mswati III, resigned from the labor organization, the Swazi Observer reported.
Dlamini tendered his resignation on Jan. 17 as the union federation’s National Governing Council met. He also quit his position at Illovo Sugar Ltd. (ILV), the paper said. Dlamini said he plans to concentrate on a family business and wasn’t under political pressure to step down, according to the report.
Dlamini was prominent in 2011 protests demanding political change in Africa’s last absolute democracy. He campaigned against the Swazi government at the International Labour Organisation, efforts that were partly responsible for a U.S. decision to exclude Swaziland from the African Growth Opportunity Agreement.
Swaziland’s Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini is trying to cover up the devastating impact on the kingdom of the withdrawal of a trade agreement with the United States.
He said it would not affect trade, but an independent report said it would destroy the textile industry.
On 1 January 2015 the United States withdrew Swaziland’s trade benefits under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the kingdom’s exports to the US will no longer be free of tariffs.
The withdrawal came after Swaziland failed to meet five conditions of eligibility, regarding workers’ rights in the kingdom and King Mswati III’s refusal to introduce democratic reforms.
Since the decision was announced in May 2014, the Swazi Government, which is handpicked by King Mswati, who rules as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, has been on a mission to mislead Swazi people and the international community about the shattering consequences of withdrawal of trade benefits.
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development gives Dh36.7m loan to Swaziland’s government
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has extended Dh36.73 million as a concessionary loan to the Government of Swaziland aiming to support the kingdom’s economic and social development through the development of roads and improvement of surface transportation network.
As a starting point, the funding will finance phase 1 of the Manzini — Mbadlana road development. The project includes the reconstruction and upgrading of a 30-kilometre highway consisting of two lanes in each direction, including civil works, earth works and pavement, as well as intersection lighting works and provision of road safety equipment.