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Key findings
  • Two in three Swazis (68%) say people living in Southern Africa should be able to move freely across international borders for trade or work in other countries
  • More than half (55%) of Swazis say it is currently “difficult” or “very difficult” to cross international borders to work or trade in other countries.
  • Swazis are divided over whether governments in the region should help guarantee free elections and human rights in neighbouring countries (43%) or should instead respect other countries’ national sovereignty (50%).
  • Pluralities of Swazis say the AU (44%) and SADC (48%) help their country “somewhat” or “a lot.” More than one-third of citizens say they do not know enough about these organisations to assess whether they are helpful.

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.

Vimbai Tsododo

Vimbai Tsododo is operations manager for activQuest, the Afrobarometer national partner in<br /> Swaziland.<br />