Though it sounds like an attempt to bring the small, landlocked nation into the digital age, it’s actually the country’s name in Swazi, the local tongue. AFP reports the change was made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country’s complete independence from British rule in 1968. The move also coincides with the king’s own 50th birthday, which was on April 19, Sewell Chan at the New York Times reports.
“I would like to announce that Swaziland will now revert to its original name,” the king said during the independence day celebration, according to Reuters. “African countries on getting independence reverted to their ancient names before they were colonized. So from now on, the country will be officially known as the Kingdom of eSwatini.”
The change, according to the king, is also an attempt to distinguish the country’s name from other nations. “Whenever we go abroad, people refer to us as Switzerland,” he added.
The switch is not out of the blue. Reuters points out the country had recently begun using its traditional name at the U.N. General Assembly and at the African Union. In recent years, during addresses to parliament, the king has used the name for the region used before British colonization in 1906.
Guess we will have a new name pop up on the ARRL DXCC list soon.