The Kingdom of Eswatini is a low middle-income country facing major social challenges, such as high poverty and inequality, high unemployment, especially amongst youth, and a high rate of HIV/AIDS which has led to one of Africa’s largest numbers of orphans and vulnerable children (Eswatini Central Statistical Office 2016). Only 21.6 % of the preschool age children (i.e. 3-5 years) have access to Early Childhood Education. Very recently, Eswatini has included reference to Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) in its National Education Sector Policy (2018), established an ECDE Inspectorate Unit and ECDE teacher training. However, ECDE remains largely inaccessible for most children, with high costs from largely private providers and inadequate regulation of ECDE practitioners.

Partner Insititution

The University of Eswatini is one of the largest universities in Eswatini, with eight highly regarded faculties that span the knowledge spectrum from classic academic fields to rapidly evolving new fields of study. The University, and particularly Dr Fortunate Shabalala, have been key partners working with Dr Deborah Fry of the University of Edinburgh. This includes the highly influential project, ‘BiNational Study: Social Norms and Violence in Zimbabwe and Swaziland’, which engages strongly with national stakeholders.


University of Eswatini

Eswatini Case Study

The site for the community case study is Msunduza. Msunduza grew out of people flocking to the capital Mbabane in search of employment but, with little work available, settling in the slum to make a living in one way or the other.

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