Swaziland

Eswatini (officially the Kingdom of Eswatini) formerly and still commonly known as Swaziland, is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. Its national currency is the Eswatini lilangeni (SZL) issued by the Central Bank of Eswatini. One SZL is subdivided into 100 cents. The lilangeni is pegged to the South African Rand. In 2018, Swaziland was officially re-named Eswatini. Before this, the lilangeni was introduced in 1974 by the Monetary Authority of Swaziland to replace the South African Rand at par. Both currencies remained pegged at par since replacement.

In 1974, the establishment of the Rand Monetary Area (RMA) allowed Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland to issue currencies that are unique to their nations. Swaziland participated in an unofficial arrangement with the same countries before the agreement. Only the South African currency was circulated in the region under the former provision. Through the agreement, the South African rand continued legal tender in every member nation and circulated alongside the nations' national money. Following the substantial depreciation of the rand, the countries replaced the Rand Monetary Area with the Common Monetary Area (CMA) in 1986 to control monetary policy. The Southern African Customs Union and the CMA operate together to assist member nations. The terms of the new agreement gave Swaziland (presently Eswatini) added flexibility in its monetary policy.

As Swaziland, the country gained recognition of independence in 1881 but would eventually become a British protectorate in 1903. British control lasted until 1968, when the area reacquired independence. Eswatini, at this stage, has a small developing economy with its leading trading partners being the U.S, the European Union, and South Africa. The country has seen an economic slowdown in the past years, in part because of the ongoing drought conditions. Almost three-quarters of the population are subsistence farmers on low-yielding land.

The country was barred from the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act in 2015 because of concerns over its ability to meet democratic standards about freedom of peaceful assembly set out in the Act's eligibility criteria. However, in 2017, the U.S. government reestablished its eligibility for the program. In the meantime, Swaziland's economic growth between 2015 and 2019 remained stagnant. According to the 2019 World Bank data, Eswatini experienced a 2.2% annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth and an inflation rate of 2.3%
 

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