Eswatini CBDC Tracker

CBDC Information

Economic Information



Country Information

Freedom Rankings

Cato and Fraser Human Freedom Index:


Freedom House Index:


Reporters Without Borders Freedom Index:


The Central Bank of Eswatini is currently conducting research and experiments on CBDC. The Central Bank of Eswatini said, “The Bank is carefully examining whether there is a need to issue a CBDC in Eswatini and how such a CBDC could work. … However, the Bank has not yet decided whether to introduce one.” Therefore, Eswatini is considered to be in the pilot phase.

Eswatini earned a 17 out of 100 in Freedom House’s 2023 Freedom in the World report. When it comes to the issuance or use of a CBDC, however, the most relevant issues are corruption and the effort to oppress free expression. A CBDC could worsen both issues.

“Corruption is a major problem, and implicated officials generally enjoy impunity,” according to Freedom House. There are mechanisms to combat corruption, but it’s been reported that civil society groups accused the government of using these tools in “pursuing politically motivated cases and serving the interests of the prime minister.” The existence of pervasive corruption is a major concern with CBDCs because it calls into question any promises that might be made by the government to limit surveillance, control, or other risks of CBDCs. Furthermore, the existence of corruption calls into question whether CBDC policies might be designed to exert political favoritism through subsidies, price controls, or other targeted restrictions.

Freedom House also reported that “Journalists have faced questioning, detention, or other forms of scrutiny for their reporting or their own political activity in recent years.” In fact, many journalists have left the country due to this treatment. Unfortunately, average citizens also experience similar oppression. Freedom House further reported that the government shut down the internet in an attempt to crack down on protests, security agencies monitor personal communications, and the government banned citizens from petitioning the government. Unfortunately, a CBDC could be used as another tool in this effort. Across the world, governments have often turned to freezing and seizing the money of activists, political rivals, and protestors to undermine the opposition. A CBDC would make such initiatives easier by allowing governments to take direct control of each citizen’s finances.

For additional information on concerns regarding violations of human rights and civil liberties, see the following reports by Amnesty International, Financial Tyranny Index, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, and the U.S. Department of State. For additional information on concerns regarding the risks of CBDCs, see the following webpage and report by the Cato Institute: The Risks of CBDCs and Central Bank Digital Currency: Assessing the Risks and Dispelling the Myths.

For additional information regarding metrics, the methodology page explains each of the data points and provides their respective sources.