Swaziland is the only absolute monarchy left in the world, and that status does not seem to be serving its subjects well. Mswati III has been king since 1986. GDP per capita is $9,800, and Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world. There are allegations that the nation’s wealth, which is also the king’s personal wealth, is spirited out of the country; if true, then the per capita GDP figures are overstated. (With just 1.5 million people in the country, it wouldn’t take much to manipulate the numbers.) A 2007 documentary, Without the King, explored the difference in life between Mswati and his subjects as well as a nascent democracy movement,
Swaziland’s population is very small and dependent on subsistence agriculture. Its largest export is human capital, as many people to to South Africa for work. As a result, Swaziland is not attactive as a market or as a place for investment.
Net up, the last country in the Africa series: The Republic of South Africa.