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King Mswati III is top African king - REPORT 5 DEC. 2009

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By MABANDLA BHEMBE - SWAZI TIMES-07-Dec-2009

MBABANE – His Majesty King Mswati III has received international recognition for his leadership skills.

A new research by the International Corporate Research considers His Majesty the most influential monarch in Africa.

The research titled, Powers That Be — Africa’s Most Influential Monarchs has been circulating to various media houses this week. “Monarchy remains our undeniable roots and antecedent even in today’s most sophisticated countries,” declares the report.

It states that although democratic governments enjoy the most popularity in the 21st century, King Mswati III remains the only monarch in Africa who effectively governs.

Recognised

It notes that he represents Swaziland in the African Union and the Southern African Development Community, and is recognised by bodies such as the United Nations. It states that a monarchy also retains considerable power in Jordan and Morocco, while the most recent nation to abolish its monarchy is Nepal, which became a republic last year.

In determining the most influential monarchs in Africa, the report has considered the type of monarchy; the size of domain; whether the monarch has direct or indirect influence; and whether the monarch has international recognition.

The report says that, while most monarchies have been abolished since the 1800s, the nations that retain them often turned these institutions into constitutional monarchies. The influence of some of these monarchs is still large, though. “The respect for these traditional institutions has made some of these monarchs retain considerable influence,” the report says.

Youngest

Among the reasons for King Mswati III’s selection by the researchers is that he has reigned since 1986, when he became king at the age of 18. He was the youngest reigning monarch until the ascension of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan in 2006, and he was also the youngest head of state until Joseph Kabila became President of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2001.

According to the International Corporate Research report, King Mohammed of Morocco has taken second position on the monarchs’ list as a well-respected international leader who leads the Maghrebian nation almost as an absolute monarch. King Letsie of Lesotho has been placed third for overseeing the affairs of the nation as a constitutional monarch. Most of his duties are ceremonial and he has reigned for 18 years — making him the world’s 24th- longest reigning monarch.

Sultan Sa’adu Abuba-kar of Sokoto, leader of Nige-ria’s 70- million Muslims, is in fourth place, followed by Africa’s longest-reigning monarch and an influential Muslim leader in Nigeria, Dr Ado Bayero, the Emir of Kano. King Goodwill Zwelithini Ka- Zulu in KwaZulu-Natal and Ashanti King Osei Tutu are in sixth and seventh place respectively, while the traditional ruler of Nigeria’s Lagos Island follows in eighth place.

Contentment

The bottom two positions are held by Kabaka Mutebi of Buganda, Uganda; and Oba Samuel Odugade, the Olubadan of Ibadan Oyo state in Nigeria. King’s Private Secretary Sihle Dlamini when interviewed first requested to go over the study. He then expressed contentment and said such recognition was positive and an honour for the country. He said it was not only about the king but also reflects on the people he leads. “It shows that the Swazi people support the king and it is recognition to them as well,” he said.


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