Swaziland – 4 July 2014

Swaziland Struggle for Freedom
The United States has become the first nation to take action against Swaziland over the kingdom’s disregard for human and civil rights. After a lengthy inquiry the US withdrew Swaziland’s benefits under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA). This means from 1 January 2015 Swaziland will lose the ability to export textile goods to the US without having to pay tariffs. allAfrica.com

There might be a backup plan to AGOA
WITH the Minister of Labour and Social Security Winnie Magagula pronouncing that government will not fold its arms, a wave of optimism regarding AGOA has been noted.
Debates around the issue have not all been doom and gloom and there is hope that government will truly work at implementing the political and economic reforms necessary for the country to retain its AGOA eligibility status. The Swazi Observer

Police Clash With Sugar Strikers
Workers at Ubombo Sugar (also known as Illovo) have been on strike for more than three weeks for more pay. The company is partly owned by King Mswati III, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
One newspaper said 1,000 workers were involved, while a second newspaper put the figure at 2,000. The Swazi state police the Operational Support Services Unit (OSSU) were guarding the sugar plant on behalf of the company’s management when the attacks took place, according to local media reports. allAfrica.com