Ambassador from Swaziland: Who Is Abednego Ntshangase?

Sunday, December 11, 2011
Reverend Abednego Mandla Ntshangase has served as the ambassador to the United States from the Kingdom of Swaziland since May 1, 2010. Impoverished and landlocked, Swaziland is the only African country still ruled by a royal family. It is bordered to the north, south, and west by South Africa, and to the east by Mozambique. A land of stark contrasts between the backward and the modern, Swaziland produces all of the Coca-Cola concentrate for the rest of Africa, yet 80% of the people engage in subsistence farming; most Swazis live on about $1.00 per day, yet King Mswati III lives an extravagant lifestyle that includes a fleet of limousines and a private jet; it is one of the last absolute monarchies on earth, yet the government uses such modern development tools as state-sponsored industrial parks to lure modern manufacturing.
Ntshangase previously served as Minister of Education from November 1998 to February 2001, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade from February 2001 to April 2003, and Minister for Public Service and Information, starting in April 2003. While he was Information Minister, Ntshangase had a reputation among journalists as a hard-liner who barred the press from reporting news stories deemed “controversial or embarrassing” to the government. Although Ntshangase denied any intent to censor the press, recent human rights reports conclude that censorship is still the rule in Swaziland.
Ntshangase is married to Phindile Ntshangase.
-Matt Bewig


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