CDIS | Swaziland's indicators

Culture’s significance for development and wellbeing has been increasingly recognized in Swaziland in recent years, as observed by the 2012 ratifications of key international instruments and the adoption of new policies and strategic development priorities, such as the Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture Policy (2009) and the Government Priority Programme (2008-2013). The challenge is to ensure that new objectives are translated into concrete action and monitoring systems. The new data generated by the CDIS is not only permitting a better understanding of culture’s development role between actors inside and outside of the culture sector, but the CDIS indicators are providing the first steps to conceiving a monitoring system that will measure achievements and progress in the area of culture and development. Data collection and the construction of the CDIS pointed to ways to improve national statistics by increasing cooperation between the Central Statistics Office and cultural stakeholders, as well as including culture in national surveys such as the Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (2014-2015).
Culture matters in Swaziland: CDIS indicators highlight the potential of culture for economic development, wellbeing, and social unity, while underlining certain obstacles in place that inhibit it from reaching its full potential in Swaziland.
The results suggest that culture is a non-negligible contributor to the national economy. Culture is a significant source of employment (1.85% of the total employed population) 2, even though currently available data underestimates the sector’s role as an employer. While statistical limitations do not yet permit calculating culture’s contribution to GDP, high levels of supply of domestic fiction productions on public TV 21 (32.43% of broadcasting time of fiction programmes) indirectly reflect a healthy production economy and publically supported opportunities for the diffusion and exposure of cultural contents provided by local creators and cultural industries. 
Public recognition of culture’s significance for development and wellbeing has grown substantially in recent years, reflected by the adoption of new policies and mechanisms, and the establishment of new institutional bodies 9 (0.75/1) for the promotion of culture, cultural diversity, multilingualism 5 (50%), heritage sustainability 22 (0.7/1) and the participation of civil society in decision-making regarding culture 11  (0.69/1). However, while some considerable achievements in legislation have occurred, such as the ratification of key international instruments, additional action is needed at the State level to adopt and update national legislation to better enforce commitments made at both the country and international levels 8 (0.42/1). 
Such increased action may help to make progress achieving concrete national policy objectives such as increasing arts education 6 (0%) and cultural training opportunities 7 (0.3/1), as well as access to cultural infrastructures 10 (0.36/1). Limited access to cultural facilities not only restricts participation in cultural life, but also disfavors outlets for cultural production, diffusion and enjoyment. Increased support of infrastructures may assist in expanding domestic consumption of cultural goods and services 3 (0.44% of total household consumption expenditures) and enhance the domestic market potential of the sector. Similarly, enhanced education opportunities may allow more individuals to develop the required interests and skills to pursue cultural employment and the development of new creative enterprises.
Through increased access and participation in cultural activities, the potential of culture to contribute to feelings of solidarity, mutual understanding across cultural groups, and trust may be enhanced, resolving the gap between indicators on intercultural tolerance and interpersonal trust 15 (9%). For culture to further contribute to wellbeing, focus may need to be placed on transforming cultural values and attitudes into positive perceptions and objective outputs of gender equality 17 (0.38/1).


In 2010, 1.85% of the employed population in Swaziland had occupations in cultural establishments (3588 people: 67.9% male and 32.1% female). 46% of these individuals held occupations in central cultural activities, while 54% held occupations in equipment/supporting related activities. 
While already significant, the global contribution of the culture sector to employment is underestimated in this indicator due to the difficulty of obtaining and correlating all the relevant data. This figure is only the tip of the iceberg since it does not cover cultural occupations performed in non-cultural establishments or induced occupations with a strong link to culture, such as employees of hospitality services located in or close to heritage sites. In addition, this does not account for informal employment. Furthermore, because the raw data in Swaziland is categorized by establishments and not occupations, and is only available to the two-digit level of international standard classifications, several categories of cultural occupations are not taken into account. For example, select creative industries of significance in Swaziland, such as glass blowing, are not taken into consideration. This indicator thus only provides a basic snapshot of culture’s contribution to national employment, which can serve to guide further research.
Nevertheless, this indicator already exposes culture’s non-negligible role as an employer and provides a great deal of new data, which can be utilized to make progress in light of Swaziland’s national development priorities and cultural policies. While Swaziland’s National Development Strategy (1997-2022) calls for sustainable economic development and employment creation in order to increase Swazis’ quality of life, the Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture Policy (2009) has specifically recognized the potential of the culture sector as an employer. “The Arts and Cultural Industries have over the past few years emerged…The promotion and development of the Arts and Cultural Industries can only enhance the capacity to create new jobs, generate income and increase inflows of foreign currency if it is based on a clear policy.” 
Though non-negligible, Swaziland’s results indicate that formal employment in cultural establishments remains below average compared to all test phase countries of the CDIS. This suggests potential for growth in employment in the culture sector, which in part may be addressed by improving the limited opportunities in arts education.
Employment Swaziland


In Swaziland, 0.44% of household consumption expenditures were devoted to cultural activities, goods and services in the year of 2009.  69.5% was spent on central cultural goods and services, and 30.5% on equipment/supporting goods and services. In the category of central cultural goods and services, the consumption of newspapers (31.1%) was the largest singular contributor, followed by cable TV (16.7%), magazines (4.6%), books (4.0%) and cassettes/CDs/DVDs (3.7%). In the category of support and equipment, significant shares of expenditures were spent on radio/cassette/CD players (16.8%) and televisions (8.9%).
Swazis from urban areas spent 61% of all household expenditures on cultural goods, services and activities, while 39% was contributed by Swazis from rural areas. Cross-analyzing these results with the indicators of the Governance dimension suggests that the lower levels of consumption by rural inhabitants may in part be attributed to a lower proportion of cultural infrastructures in the Shiselweni and Lubombo regions.
While valuable information, this indicator underestimates the household consumption of cultural goods and services due to methodological constraints and gaps in data available at the national level. It does not account for the value of cultural goods and services acquired by households and provided by non-profit institutions at prices that are not economically significant (e.g. in-kind transfers). Similarly, spending on cultural products that are not directly financed by households, such as design services and advertisements, are not taken into consideration; and it excludes certain expenditures that cannot be isolated due to the aggregation of the national coding system or its omission of select categories of cultural goods, services and activities. This is the case for national park fees, cinema, select musical instruments, video recorders and cameras, photographic equipment, and the repair of audio-visual and photographic equipment. Despite these limitations, this indicator offers unprecedented insight into how Swazi households value cultural goods and services and consumption practices of rural and urban communities.
>> While the Economy indicators suggest that the culture sector is already making non-negligible contributions to the production economy as illustrated by significant levels of employment; they also indicate that the demand, or consumption, side of the domestic market of cultural goods and services is significantly lower. Combined, this may in part reflect consumption at insignificant prices, or alternatively it may suggest domestic production does not target domestic consumption of cultural goods and services, instead targeting a predominately foreign audience. More research regarding cultural participation practices is necessary to understand more about the growth potential of the domestic market, facilitating the realization of the objectives of the Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture Policy (2009) to “maximise the capacity of the culture sector to develop and promote the economic aspects of culture,” while realizing its potential “to assert the people’s national identity.”
Household expenditures Swaziland


4 INCLUSIVE EDUCATION: 0.73/1 (2007)

The Government Programme of Action (2008-2013) recognizes education as a basic right and the Education Sector Policy (2011) declares “every Swazi citizen has the right to education” and calls for “the provision of an equitable and inclusive education system that affords all learners access to free and compulsory basic education…enhancing their personal development and contributing to Swaziland’s cultural development, socio-economic growth and global competitiveness.” Within this context, the result of 0.73/1 reflects the efforts made by Swazi authorities to guarantee this fundamental cultural right and pursue measures to assure that this right is secured in a complete, fair and inclusive manner. This result shows that the average years of schooling of the target population aged 17 to 22 is 8 years. Therefore, though below the targeted average of 10 years of schooling, the majority of Swazi citizens can enjoy the right to an education and participate in the construction and transmission of values, attitudes and cultural skills, as well as personal and social empowerment throughout primary and secondary school. However, 9% of the target population in Swaziland is still living in education deprivation, meaning that they have fewer than 4 years of schooling. This 9% highlights the persistence of inequality in the enjoyment of this fundamental cultural right. These results indicate that for fair and inclusive education, more efforts are needed to identify and target socio-economic groups facing the brunt of deprivation and improve access to and continuity of education for marginalized youth.


Inclusive Education Swaziland


Though a small State and unified people, the Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland (2005) officially declares that there are two national languages (Art. 3) – English and siSwati, a localized language spoken by the Swazi people. The Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture Policy (2009) calls attention to the fact that in a globalized world, of the two official languages, “there is an increasing risk that siSwati will eventually lag behind” and declares as an objective of the policy to “ensure the protection of the siSwati language.” Furthermore, the Education Sector Policy (2011) acknowledges the role of education in teaching a shared understanding of cultural heritage and promoting an appreciation for cultural diversity.
According to the 1976 Current Trends in Educational Policy, still in application in 2013, 50% of the hours to be dedicated to languages in the first two years of secondary school is to be dedicated to the teaching of one of the official languages– English, while the remaining 50% of the time is to be dedicated to the teaching of the other official language– siSwati. Although, 0% of the required national curriculum is dedicated to the teaching of international languages or additional local or regional languages, these results still indicate that the national curriculum is designed to promote linguistic diversity in Swaziland and the safeguarding of Swazi intangible cultural heritage in the form of the localized siSwati language. It should be noted that some learners have the option of taking an additional international language –French– in the schools with the means to offer such an elective course. Expanding opportunities to learn additional regional and international languages –such as German, Afrikaans, and Portuguese– would further enhance the promotion of international cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding in the region. Such considerations should be taken into account when cross-analyzing with the results of other dimensions, particularly Social Participation.
Multilingual Education Swaziland


6 ARTS EDUCATION: 0% (1976)
Swaziland’s National Development Strategy (1997-2022) calls for the incorporation of the teaching of cultural values in the national curriculum. Going further, the Education Sector Policy (2011) recognizes the role of education to foster an appreciation for culture and the arts, as well as to nurture creative minds in order to develop their talents and guide them to make good choices on their paths to further education and employment, meaningfully enhancing the country’s skills base. Finally, the Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture (SNCAC) Policy (2009) recognizes that “schools are significant promoters of art and culture” and acknowledges not only their role in forming future cultural professionals but in passing down traditional arts and Swazi culture from generation to generation. To reap the benefits of culture through education, the SNCAC Policy claims “art and culture should be recognised as a subject and its curriculum should be … included in the timetables in schools.” Particular importance is given to arts education at the primary and secondary levels. 
Contrasting with policy statements, the results for this indicator illustrate that arts and culture are not currently compulsory subjects in the first two years of secondary school; 0% of the official curriculum is dedicated to arts or culture, according to the 1976 Current Trends in Educational Policy, still in application in 2013. This result indicates a low level of public priority given to arts and culture subjects. Nation-wide, students have few opportunities in these fields.  However, in select schools limited opportunities are available as extracurricular activities including traditional dance, drum majorettes and singing. Moreover, in an attempt to reach policy objectives, the Ministry of Education has already begun piloting the introduction of Practical Arts into the primary school system from Grades 3 to Grades 5, including music, drama, dance and the visual arts as topics.
Swaziland’s result for arts education in secondary schools is hoped to change in coming years, as secondary school curriculums are updated and made to conform to the government ambitions stated above. In 2010, the Ministry of Sports, Culture, and Youth Affairs developed a policy that would require the mainstreaming of the arts in secondary schools, and the Ministry of Education has publicly taken it upon itself to ensure that this becomes a reality. The National Curriculum Centre is developing an Arts and Culture Syllabus to incorporate drama, dance, music, visual arts, fine arts, craft, media and entrepreneurship studies as core subjects in secondary schools, dove tailing the piloted program in primary schools. The aim is to implement the new curriculum by 2016. However, extensive gaps are revealed in the offering of technical and tertiary training in the culture sector in the following indicator, which have led key stakeholders to question the ability to implement a new curriculum by 2016 due to a lack of qualified teachers. The cross-analysis of these CDIS indicators has led stakeholders to suggest approaching arts education at the secondary and tertiary levels in a holistic manner.
Arts Education Swaziland


For Swaziland to be globally competitive, recognition of the need to revise technical and tertiary training opportunities to ensure that students have relevant quality education available that widens their choices, economically empowers them, and meets the demands of a diverse job market can be found in the National Development Strategy (1997-2022), the Government Programme of Action (2008-2013), and the Education Sector Policy (2011). However, in spite of culture’s already significant contribution to the economy, limited opportunities for professional training in the culture sector exist. Swaziland’s result of 0.3/1 indicates that significant gaps persist in the coverage of cultural fields in technical and tertiary education programmes offered in public-supported schools. As highlighted in the Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture (SNCAC) Policy (2009), “Swaziland currently has no formal school of art and opportunities to study performing or visual art are limited.” These limitations extend to other cultural fields as well. The SNCAC Strategic Plan (2012-2017) recognizes culture’s already significant role as an employer, and seeks to improve the opportunities for skill development in key fields such as crafts production.
A closer look at the result of 0.3/1 reveals that while select opportunities exist in public-supported universities, no public-supported technical training programmes exist in any cultural field. The University of Swaziland, the Limkokwing University, the Swaziland College of Technology, the Institute of Development Management, and the Co-operative Development Centre offer select degree and certificate programmes in heritage-related fields, the fine arts, and film and image. No training programmes of any kind are available in the fields of music or cultural management, the latter being a key subject to foster the emergence of competitive domestic cultural enterprises. However, a few private facilities offer limited technical training opportunities in music, as well as fine arts, film and image. This result indicates a low level of public priority given to the development of a skilled and dynamic creative class, as it is well below the average for test phase countries of the CDIS, situated at 0.74/1.


Swaziland’s result of 0.42/1 reflects persisting gaps in the national standard-setting framework for culture and indicates a need for heightened public efforts. Establishing a comprehensive framework would assist in realizing the objective of the Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture (SNCAC) to create an environment favorable to the culture sector (SNCAC Policy, 2009). Thus, in addition to recent accomplishments, authorities should work towards the ratification of key international legal instruments affecting cultural development, cultural rights and cultural diversity, as well as establish a national framework to recognize and implement these obligations. A result of 0.42/1 indicates a low degree of completeness when compared to the average score of 0.78/1 for all countries that have implemented the CDIS.
Swaziland scored 0.45/1 at the international level, which reflects the many recent achievements, while still highlighting significant international legal tools that have yet to be adopted. Important recent achievements include the 2012 ratifications of the 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage; the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage; the 2005 Convention of the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions; and the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. Swaziland is still working towards the ratification of several additional international instruments for the protection of cultural assets, such as the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, the 1971 Universal Copyright Convention and the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty.
At the national level, a score of 0.40/1 indicates a need to reinforce national legislation to assist in implementing international commitments that Swaziland has agreed to at the country level, or is still working towards including in the framework. However, as at the international level, some key successes show a recent move in the right direction. The 2005 Constitution already recognizes cultural and linguistic diversity, the cultural right to an education and the right to cultural life. Similarly, national sectoral laws already exist for heritage, books and publishing, cinema, television and radio. Nevertheless, many of these are outdated. For example, the Cinematography Act dates from 1920. Many monumental changes have occurred in the industry and updated legislation is needed to structure the sector. The same can be said for the Copyright Act, which dates 1912. No reformed copyright law exists. As stated in the SNCAC Policy (2009), “the absence of a copyright law in Swaziland has been a thorny issue to artists for many years.  Many artists have lost a lot of money and recognition because they could not lay legal claim to their rights for published creative works.” Nevertheless, it is hoped that the 2010 Intellectual Property Rights Bill will pass and resolve this deficiency. Additional gaps in the framework include the inexistence of a ‘framework law’ for culture, as well as a lack of regulations dealing with the tax status of culture, public assistance and subsidies, and the status of the artist. Nevertheless, as for copyright legislation, if passed, the 2011 National Arts and Culture Council Bill will resolve many outstanding issues as well as update old legislation.


The final result of 0.75/1 reflects great progress in establishing targeted policies and mechanisms to promote the culture sector, while revealing the remaining improvements necessary in the institutional framework and administrative system. Indeed, Swaziland’s results are just below the average result of test phase countries of the CDIS, which is 0.79/1.
In Swaziland, the responsibility for formulating, implementing and managing culture related policies and activities is shared between multiple actors due to the isolation of heritage as separate to other cultural issues. Demonstrating the government’s recent boost in commitment to the arts and culture, the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs was created (MSCYA) in 2008 and has a significant role being tasked with the formulation of all policies related to culture, as well as the promotion, development, and monitoring of cultural empowerment and development. To accomplish these tasks, they are to maintain data banks of information relevant to culture and mobilize resources for the development and maintenance of infrastructure. Within the Ministry, the Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture (SNCAC) acts as an administrative organization with delegated powers to preserve, promote and coordinate all matters of culture and the arts in the Kingdom. Concerning heritage, the Swaziland National Trust Commission (SNTC) is the parastatal organization responsible for the conservation of nature and cultural heritage, operating under the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs. 
Swaziland scored 1/1 for the Policy Framework sub-indicator, indicating that in the short time since the creation of the MSCYA, many well-defined culture and sectoral policies and strategies have been put in place.  Most significant, the 2011 SNCAC Policy is broad in scope and provides policy and strategy elements for various individual sub-sectors. In continuation with the past mention of culture in the National Development Strategy (1997-2022), culture was recognized as important, especially for youth, in the Government Priority Programme (2008-2013) in 2008. However, although culture has been integrated as a priority, no concrete objectives have yet to be established in these national development strategy documents, rather the private sector is encouraged to invest in culture. Increased public initiative is still needed.
Swaziland scored 0.58/1 for the Institutional Framework sub-indicator, which assesses the operationalization of institutional mechanisms and the degree of cultural decentralization. Positive accomplishments include the creation of the MSCYA in 2008, the establishment of a committee dealing with culture in Parliament, training programmes for workers in the public administration of culture, and the existence of several organizations to promote one or more culture sectors, such as the Swaziland Arts and Music Association, the Association of Swazi Theatre Groups, and the Swaziland Schools Culture Association to name a few. However, many key areas for improvement remain. Though key institutions have been established at the national level, no system for public subsidies yet exists, and there is a lack of formal decentralization of cultural responsibilities and funds to the regional and municipal levels. For all competencies, the NDS (1997-2022) calls for the strengthening of decentralization to ensure effective delegation and execution of functions and duties. With recent policies in place, it is hoped that this may effectively change as the SNCAC Policy (2011) and Strategic Plan (2012-2017) aim for such decentralization regarding culture, but as a first step the necessary authorities and institutions must be established at these more local levels.


The Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture (SNCAC) Policy (2009) aims “to create an enabling environment that facilitates the preservation, development, promotion and sustainability of arts and culture and to make it accessible to every person,” as well as “to ensure that all citizens can freely, equally and democratically participate in all art and cultural activities and to enable them to benefit from the sector.” As part of achieving this, the SNCAC Strategic Plan sets an objective of developing regional amphitheatres. In addition, the National Development Strategy (1997-2022) recognizes that it is the role of the government to improve infrastructure to stimulate development, and though not specific to culture, recognizes the need to construct and develop recreational facilities for all Swazis. The distribution of cultural infrastructure in Swaziland paints a picture of ongoing challenges to equal access.
On a scale from 0 to 1, Swaziland’s result for this indicator is 0.36, 1 representing the situation in which selected cultural infrastructures are equally distributed amongst regions according to the relative size of their population. The score of 0.36 thus reflects that across the 4 regions of Swaziland, there is an unequal distribution of cultural facilities. 
When looking at the figures for the three different categories of infrastructures, Swaziland scores 0.28/1 for Museums, 0.28/1 for Exhibition Venues Dedicated to the Performing Arts and 0.52/1 for Libraries and Media Resource Centers. This suggests that the most equal distribution of access exists for Libraries, and that the most unequal distribution of infrastructures exists for Museums and Exhibition Venues, there being 4 of each such facilities nation-wide. The Shiselweni and Lubombo regions have neither of the latter facilities. Overall, the most fair distribution relative to population size occurs in Manzini, while the capital region of Hhohho has proportionally more Museums and Exhibition Venues. Building cultural infrastructures and increasing equality of access across all 4 regions could increase opportunities to take part in cultural and creative activities as stated in the SNCAC Policy (2009), as well as promote the development of the creative industries by providing facilities for the production and consumption of cultural goods and service. This is a crucial and common challenge for countries that have implemented the CDIS, as the average result is only 0.43/1.


The final result of 0.69/1 indicates that many opportunities exist at the national level for dialogue and representation of both cultural professionals and minorities in regards to the formulation and implementation of cultural policies, measures and programmes that concern them, but that increased opportunities for the participation of cultural professionals at the regional and local levels can still be achieved. 
Regarding the participation of minorities, for the purpose of constructing this core CDIS indicator in Swaziland, flexibility was adopted regarding the definition of ‘minorities’ as there are no recognized minorities in Swaziland but rather all Swazis are considered one tribe. Thus, focus was instead placed on inclusive participation more generally and the access of individuals from all clans to participate in the decision-making process regarding cultural policies, measures and programmes that affect them. Similarly, participation processes in Swaziland are unique compared to other CDIS countries, as it is the only monarchy to take part in implementation. Applying this flexibility, mechanisms for popular participation can be observed at both the national and local levels. At the national level, the process of Sibaya, or Swazi National Council, assures that each individual has an opportunity to voice their opinions on all laws, policies, measures and programmes that concern them. Sibaya is called by the King in order for all adult citizens to gather at his residence. Recent examples showing the use of this practice for participation in the adoption of new cultural legislation include the Sibaya that occurred in 2012, preceding the adoption of the 1970, 2003 and 2005 Conventions. Similarly, at the local level, the 318 Chiefdoms of Swaziland permit Chiefs to act as the ‘eyes of the King’.  Should an individual of any clan have a concern with a policy, measure or programme, they are to bring their concerns to the Chiefs, who then meet amongst themselves before making a decision or bringing these concerns to the King. For issues of particular importance, discussion will pass first to Parliament before being brought to the King. In urban environments, Town Councils act in the same manner as Chiefdoms.
To facilitate the participation of cultural professionals in governance, the Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture (SNCAC) Committee operates at the national level. Acting under the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, the SNCAC has delegated powers concerning the promotion of culture and the arts in the Kingdom. Within the SNCAC, the Committee is composed of members representing cultural associations and professions, and is called on to solicit their views on programme activities and draft legislation, as early as its inception. Recent examples of legislation debated by the Committee include the SNCAC National Arts and Culture Council Bill (2011) and the Intellectual Property and Neighbouring Rights Bill (2010). Improvement of opportunities still remains for the participation of cultural professionals at the regional and local levels. While some regional structures mobilize to form committees on an ad hoc basis, this is not a formalized or regular activity. Existing regional structures are more actively involved in carrying out cultural events via logistics and planning activities, but less involved in decision-making processes. Such mechanisms would assist in assuring that effective policies correspond to the needs of the culture sector community.



The Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture Policy (SNCAC) (2009) recognizes that due to globalization there are diverse cultures in Swaziland and that policies should “focus on the promotion of harmonious co-existence among the different communities and encourage intra and inter-cultural exchange,” going on to state “respect for culture is crucial for mutual interdependence, which is a prerequisite for social harmony and cohesion.” The National Development Strategy (1997-2022) recognizes such social integration as a key dimension to increase the quality of life.
Within this context, 59.9% of Swazis agreed that they can usually accept people from different cultures in 2001. The result for this alternative indicator suggests that the values, attitudes and convictions of three-fifths of Swazis favor the acceptance of other cultures, while two-fifths of the population do not. In the same survey, only 7.2% of Swazis responded that it is easy to trust a person from a different culture. Combined, these results suggest a rather low degree of tolerance. However, in the same survey, 75.6% of Swazis agreed that beyond accepting other cultures, they agree that exposure to other cultures enriches their own lives. Such mixed data suggests that while the cultural system of values in place may promote openness to diversity and an interest in new or different traditions, it does not permit



In 2013, approximately 9% of Swazis agreed that most people can be trusted. Within the context described above, this indicator further assesses the level of trust and sense of solidarity and cooperation in Swaziland, providing insight into its social capital. A result of 9% indicates a persistent low level of trust and solidarity as the average of the countries having implemented the CDIS is situated at 19.22%. This result does not suggest that factors creating a social environment favorable to development have improved over the last decade, since the recording of the data from the previous alternative indicator in 2001. Though all groups of the population show low levels of trust, there are variations in the results for men and women and across age groups. Only an approximate 7% of women agree that most people can be trusted compared to 10% of men, and the results for different age groups vary from 7% of the people ages 30-49 to, to 9% of the population 15-29 and 10% of the people ages 50+. Regardless, all of these figures remain rather low, and when combined with the alternative and additional indicators presented above, these figures suggest that there remains an obstruction to fostering trust in the fabric of Swaziland’s society. This indicates that building on culture’s potential to further reinforce the feelings of mutual cooperation and solidarity amongst Swazis, and as a consequence, nurture social capital, deserves to be considered as a priority through the development of targeted measures and programmes.  
The conflicting results seen in this dimension between openness to diversity and interest in other cultures on the one hand, and tolerance and trust on the other, suggest that much work still remains in this area and it is recommended to not only emphasize social priorities in Government Programmes for Action and cultural policies, but also to integrate relevant cultural and social questions into regular national surveys in order to establish consistent statistics and monitor progress on all topics.


The 2005 Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland states “a person of whatever gender… shall be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual” (Art. 14) and “a person shall not be discriminated against on the grounds of gender (Art. 20). Likewise, the National Development Strategy (1997-2022) declares gender equity as key to increasing the quality of life.
Within this context, the result of 0.38/1 reflects the significant remaining disparities in gender equality objective outputs and the needed efforts of the Swazi government in order to elaborate and implement laws, policies and measures intended to support the ability of women and men to enjoy equal opportunities and rights. Swaziland’s result suggests that the government’s actions are not currently as effective as those of other countries as the average result for test phase countries of the CDIS is situated at 0.64/1. 
A detailed analysis of the four areas covered by the indicator, reveals major gaps where additional investment is needed to improve gender equality basic outputs. A comparison of the average number of years of education for men and women aged 25 years and above reveals little divergence, but greater differences can be observed regarding labour force participation. Although 70.8% of men are either employed or actively searching for work, women only have a labor force participation rate of 46.3%. Additionally, the adoption and implementation of targeted gender equity legislation needs to be improved. While the National Development Strategy calls for a review of legislation to remove all forms of discrimination, as well as a review for penalties of violent crimes including rape, much remains to be done. While limited legislation is in place against rape, insufficient legal tools protect against domestic violence and sexual harassment, and no quota systems are in place to assist in promoting women’s participation in politics. More aggressive reforms and new legislation is needed to fully assure gender equity. Finally, an equally significant gap is observed regarding the outcomes of political participation where a major imbalance persists. Indeed, in 2013, women represented only 14% of parliamentarians.  This is in great contrast with the Swazi government’s commitment, as a signatory of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development (2008), to increase women’s political participation and reach a goal of 50% of all public and private decision-making posts being held by women by 2015 (Art. 12).
In conclusion, even though gender equality is reflected as an objective in national legislation and regional commitments, much progress remains to be achieved in Swaziland. Policies require people, and a further look at the alternative and additional subjective indicators below suggests not only a need to continue to pursue more effective legislation, policies and mechanisms, but also a need to address deep-set cultural values that reinforce the subordinate role of women and challenge progress on key development issues. Resistance due to embedded cultural values can undermine the feasibility of objectives and the sustainability of performance outcomes.
Gender Equality Montenegro



In 2013, 62% of Swazis positively perceived gender as a factor for development, according to their responses to questions regarding two key domains that parallel the objective indicator for this dimension- political participation and education. The final result is a composite indicator, which suggests that three-fifths of the population of Swaziland view gender as a positive factor for development, while two-fifths still consider it as an irrelevant or a negative factor. However, the perception of gender equality greatly varied according to the domain of the question asked, and select findings contradict the observed objective outputs in the previous indicator. 44% of the population agreed that when funds for school are limited, all children should have equal opportunities to learn based on abilities. This figure is surprisingly low in comparison to the marginal gap recorded for men and women’s average years of education. Less unexpected, only 7% of Swazis agreed that boys should always have a priority to education over girls. More openly favorable perceptions were recorded regarding political participation. When asked if “women should have the same chance of being elected to political office as men,” 80% of respondents agreed, suggesting that politics is a domain in which gender equality is likely to be perceived by Swazis as a positive factor for development, though these figures are inconsistent with the still significant gap regarding women’s political participation in parliament. A further look into additional subjective indicators reveals more inconsistencies in the public’s perception of gender equality according to various topics, including issues of particular significance in Swaziland. 
At the top end of the spectrum of responses to key questions on gender equality in the Demographic and Health Survey (2006/2007), 93.3% of married women in Swaziland feel that they have a say in how their own cash earnings are spent. This suggests that employment is a source of empowerment for Swazi women. Less positive, only 65.2% of married women felt that they have a role in household decision-making regarding areas such as personal health care, major household purchases, purchases of daily needs and visits to her family. Room for improvement still remains, but more serious negative culturally based perceptions on gender equality persist in other key areas such as violence against women. Indeed, only 60.8% of the population believe that a husband is never justified in beating his wife; the other 39.2% of the population agrees that beating one’s wife can be justified for the following reasons: she burns the food, argues with him, goes out without telling him, neglects the children, refuses to have sexual intercourse with him, or has sex with other men. An astoundingly low figure of 43.4% of the population between the ages of 15-19 agree that being beaten can never be justified, while 69.6% of the population ages 45-49 agree. This indicates that domestic violence is not only accepted by over one-third of the population, but more widely accepted amongst youths. In any context, violence against women is a key issue for gender equality, but as stated in the Swaziland National Development Strategy (1997-2022), domestic violence and sexual abuse are also related to a key national development and health priority: the spread of HIV/AIDS. The same survey revealed that only 37.5% of women and 44.1% of men agree that a woman has the right to refuse sexual intercourse with her husband, including if she knows her husband has a sexually transmitted disease or has intercourse with other women. 
>> This cross-analysis of the subjective and objective indicators reveals that certain gender-biased social and cultural norms remain dominant, resulting in inconsistent perceptions of gender equality, inadequate legislation and low objective outputs. Improved policies and legal tools, as well as targeted cultural and educational measures are needed to instill ownership and understanding of how gender equality is beneficial for all. In this sense, the National Development Strategy has recognized “that some cultural practices can be obstacles, and [there is a] need to sensitise agents of socialisation to change attitudes and behaviour patterns” in order to empower girls and women to equally participate in national development. Similarly, the Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture Policy (2009) calls for the discouragement of harmful cultural practices through public education and appropriate legislation, and the effective implementation of gender policies to achieve a “culturally supportive society in respect of the rights and status of women and girls.”
Gender Perception Swaziland Gender Perception Swaziland Gender Perception Swaziland Gender Perception Swaziland


20 ACCESS AND INTERNET USE: 20.8% (2012)
In 2012, only 20.8% of the national population used the Internet in Swaziland. When compared to the regional average for all of Sub-Saharan Africa (48 countries), 12.56%, Swaziland’s results are above this regional average, though below the average for all countries that have implemented the CDIS, which is situated at 28.19%.
The National Development Strategy (1997-2022) recognizes the role of the government to improve the necessary infrastructure, services and telecommunications in order to stimulate development. Digital technologies, in particular the Internet, play a key role in boosting the economy and encouraging new forms of access, creation, production, and the dissemination of ideas, information and cultural content. 
Many Swazis access the Internet via mobile phones; 12 out of 100 inhabitants have mobile broad-band subscriptions. Increased use of such new technologies has resulted in the rapid growth of the use of the Internet from 0.93% of the population in 2000, to 11.04% in 2010, and finally 20.8% in 2012. However, Swaziland’s result is still rather low and half of that of their South African neighbours (41%), which may reflect the need to further increase public investments in the development of infrastructures, policies and measures that facilitate the use of new technologies. The country may need to address issues such as pricing, bandwidth, skills, public facilities, content and applications targeting low-end users in order to bring more people online.


In Swaziland, approximately 32.4% of the broadcasting time for television fiction programmes on public free-to-air television is dedicated to domestic fiction programmes. 
The 2009 Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture (SNCAC) Policy recognized “the role of the media as channels for promoting understanding of our arts and cultural values,” and encouraged “the public broadcaster to allocate significant air time to local productions especially those with cultural content.” Not only does the SNCAC Policy see public television as an outlet for the growth of the cultural industries and encourage local television stations to “support independent local producers by accepting low budget films with local content,” but the policy also recognizes the less tangible benefits of sharing diverse cultural content through new media and utilizing the medium to retain and transmit practices like folktales, traditional music and dance to all parts of the country. Indeed, programming domestic productions, and particularly fictions with a high share of cultural content, may increase the population’s level of information on national events and issues, while also helping to build or strengthen identities and promoting cultural diversity. Moreover, public broadcasting has major implications for the development of the domestic audio-visual industry, as well as for the flourishing of local cultural expressions and creative products. 
The result of 32.4% indicates that approximately one-third of fiction programmes within public broadcasting are of domestic origin. This result is above the average result for all countries that implemented the CDIS, which is situated at 25.82%, suggesting a healthy local production economy. Additional figures on the diversity of origin of the foreign fiction programmes that aired during the observed period, which in total represent 67.6% of broadcasting time for fictional content, indicate that diverse foreign programmes are promoted on Swazi television. Programmes from no less than 4 continents were aired and no one country produced more than one-third of the foreign content. These results indicate that pluralism and a range of choices are provided for audiences, elements that help in the promotion of cultural diversity.
However, improvement in the support of high quality production and the dissemination of domestic content and local cultural industries may still be achieved through enhanced regional promotion and education. While sectoral laws and policies for film and television exist as illustrated by the Governance dimension, the indicators of the Education dimension underline the limited training opportunities in the fields of film and image. No publicly supported technical training programmes are offered. Furthermore, 0% of the domestic fiction programmes are co-productions, which may highlight underexplored regional opportunities in line with the objective of the National Development Strategy (1997-2022) to utilize regional relations to work to the benefit of the Swazi economy. Encouraging co-productions with regional neighbours could help boost domestic production by intensifying creative cooperation and expanding the market for domestic fictional content.


Swaziland’s result of 0.70/1 is reflective of the high level of priority given to the protection, safeguarding and promotion of heritage sustainability by Swazi authorities. While many public efforts are dedicated to national registrations and inscriptions, raising-awareness, and community involvement; select persisting gaps in conservation and management, capacity-building, and stimulating support amongst the private sector call for additional actions to improve this multidimensional framework.
The Swaziland National Trust Commission (SNTC) is the parastatal organization responsible for the conservation of nature and the cultural heritage of the Kingdom of Swaziland, operating under the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs. The SNTC was established by the SNTC Act of 1972. The National Museum, the National Monuments, Archaeology and Wildlife/Parks departments of the SNTC work in their respective capacities toward the protection and promotion of natural and cultural heritage.
Swaziland scored 0.73/1 for registrations and inscriptions, indicating that authorities’ efforts have resulted in many up-to-date national registrations and inscriptions of Swazi sites and elements of tangible and intangible heritage. Swaziland has 79 items on the national registry of natural and cultural heritage, 1 of which, the Ngwenya Mines, was submitted in 2008 on the World Heritage Tentative List but has failed to complete the inscription due to the reopening of mining activities. In addition, though having only ratified the 2003 Convention in 2012, fifteen elements of intangible heritage have already been inventoried as part of the Flanders financed Projects on Community-based Inventorying of Intangible Heritage since 2011. Likewise, prior to the 2012 ratification of the 1970 Convention, stolen cultural objects were already part of a national register of stolen movable heritage and museum property. 
Swaziland scored 0.67/1 for the protection, safeguarding and management of heritage, indicating that there are several well-defined policies and measures, as well as efforts to involve communities. Many recent efforts have been made to enhance the promotion of heritage, include the ratifications of the 1970, 1972, 2003, and 2005 Conventions, and the consequent review of national policies to accommodate new commitments such as those regarding intangible heritage. Regarding community involvement, the SNTC Act (1972) clearly states that heritage belongs to communities. As a result, the SNTC actively involves communities in the process of identifying tangible and intangible heritage, and traditional authorities are consulted in order to respect customary practices and the sacred nature of sites. Heritage site management is also entirely driven by community committees; the SNTC acts as an advisory body. However, notable gaps in the framework can still be identified. While recent policy changes have been made to better accommodate intangible cultural heritage, additional efforts are needed to adopt concrete policies and measures to prevent the illicit trafficking of cultural property. Other exclusions include the incorporation of heritage in the National Development Strategy, the existence of a specialized police unit for illicit trafficking and specific training efforts regarding the protection of cultural property in armed conflict.
Swaziland scored 0.72/1 for the transmission and mobilization of support, which reflects efforts taken to raise awareness of heritage’s value and its threats amongst the population, as well as efforts to involve the civil society and the private sector. In addition to signage at heritage sites and differential pricing, awareness-raising measures include the SNTC’s radio programme to promote heritage and environmental issues, as well as the inclusion of heritage topics in school syllabi as early as Grade 4. While many means are used to educate the public, limited efforts are put into place to gain the support of the private sector. Though the SNTC is currently in the process of signing a memorandum of understanding with the Swaziland Television Authority to promote heritage, and efforts to form private foundations to assist in the protection of heritage have resulted in such groups as the Natural History Society, explicit agreements with tour operators is an additional means to be further explored. The Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture Policy (2009) states as an objective to “draw and enter into memoranda of agreement with other countries and international organisations on the promotion of arts and culture.” This includes the promotion of heritage. The National Development Strategy (1997-2022) similarly calls for cooperation with neighbouring countries to promote tourism. Thus, formalizing existing tentative partnerships between South African tour providers and museum officers could enhance the framework for heritage sustainability.