AD93: Most Swazis say free cross-border movement desirable but not yet a reality

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Free movement across borders vs. limited movement in Swaziland.
Vimbai Tsododo

As a result of its strong economic position on the continent, Southern Africa experiences high volumes of migration. Development and employment opportunities in the mining, manufacturing, and agricultural industries draw both skilled and unskilled labour. Southern Africa is also a springboard for regular and irregular migration to Europe and the Americas (International Organization for Migration, 2015).

Despite efforts to push for national legislation and regional agreements to create an environment that promotes freedom of movement for the region’s citizens, the latest Afrobarometer survey in Swaziland shows that Swazis still perceive it as difficult to cross international borders.

Two-thirds of Swazis support free cross-border movement in Southern Africa for trade or work in other countries. While Swazis hold mixed views on regional political integration, a majority see the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU) as at least “a little bit” helpful to their country.