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News release

Emaswati want government to address unemployment amid worsening living conditions, new Afrobarometer survey shows

26 Jul 2023 Eswatini
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News release
Key findings
  • ▪ More than two-thirds (68%) of Emaswati describe their living conditions as “fairly bad” or “very bad,” more than double the share in 2018 (31%) (Figure 1).
  • ▪ Negative assessments of personal living conditions are especially common among citizens experiencing high lived poverty (90%) and those with primary schooling or less (80%) (Figure 2).
  • ▪ Three-fourths (75%) of respondents say the country’s economic conditions have worsened over the past year. Only about one in eight (13%) expect economic conditions to improve over the next year, while 71% predict that things will get worse (Figure 3).
  • ▪ Unemployment ranks at the top of the most important problems that citizens want their government to address (cited by 52% of respondents), followed by incomes (31%), education (28%), and health (23%) (Figure 4).

Emaswati assessments of their personal living conditions continue to nosedive, and most  citizens expect the situation to keep getting worse, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows. 

Unemployment and incomes outrank education, health, and infrastructure/roads among  citizens’ priorities for urgent government action.  

Eswatini’s stagnating economic growth, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and civil  unrest, has had a devastating impact on citizens’ livelihoods.