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Swaziland Flag

Capital City: Mbabane (admin.)

Other Cities: Manzini

Border countries: Mozambique, South Africa

Internet Links

Official Sites of Swaziland
King Mswati III

The Swaziland Government

Additional site of the Swaziland Government

Swaziland High Commission of Ottawa

Map of Swaziland



Background:  Autonomy for the Swazis of southern Africa was guaranteed
by the British in the late 19th century; independence was granted
1968. Student and labor unrest during the 1990s have pressured the
monarchy (one of the oldest on the continent) to grudgingly allow
political reform and greater democracy.

Geography Swaziland

Location:  Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa

Geographic coordinates:  26 30 S, 31 30 E

Map references:  Africa

Area:  total: 17,363 sq km water: 160 sq km land: 17,203 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly smaller than New Jersey

Land boundaries:  total: 535 km border countries: Mozambique 105 km,
South Africa 430 km

Coastline:  0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:  none (landlocked)

Climate:  varies from tropical to near temperate

Terrain:  mostly mountains and hills; some moderately sloping plains

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Great Usutu River 21 m highest point:
Emlembe 1,862 m

Natural resources:  asbestos, coal, clay, cassiterite, hydropower,
forests, small gold and diamond deposits, quarry stone, and talc

Land use:  arable land: 10% permanent crops: 1% other: 89% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  690 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  drought

Environment - current issues:  limited supplies of potable water; wildlife
populations being depleted because of excessive hunting; overgrazing;
soil degradation; soil erosion

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Desertification, Law of the Sea

Geography - note:  landlocked; almost completely surrounded by South

People Swaziland

Population:  1,123,605 note: estimates for this country explicitly take
into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result
in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower
population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population
by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 45.5% (male 254,573; female 256,677) 15-64
years: 51.9% (male 281,645; female 301,071) 65 years and over: 2.6%
(male 12,027; female 17,612) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  1.63% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  39.59 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  23.26 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 0.99
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.68 male(s)/female total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  109.43 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   37.66 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  5.77 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  35.6% (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  212,000 (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  7,100 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Swazi(s) adjective: Swazi

Ethnic groups:  African 97%, European 3%

Religions:  Zionist (a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral
worship) 40%, Roman Catholic 20%, Muslim 10%, Anglican, Bahai, Methodist,
Mormon, Jewish and other 30%

Languages:  English (official, government business conducted in English),
siSwati (official)

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 78.3% male: 78% female: 78.4% (1999 est.)

Government Swaziland

Country name:   Kingdom of Swaziland conventional short form: Government
type:  monarchy; independent member of Commonwealth

Capital:  Mbabane; note - Lobamba is the royal and legislative capital

Administrative divisions:  4 districts; Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini,

Independence:  6 September 1968 (from UK)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 6 September (1968)

Constitution:  none; constitution of 6 September 1968 was suspended 12
April 1973; a new constitution was promulgated 13 October 1978, but was
not formally presented to the people; since then a few more outlines
for a constitution have been compiled under the Constitutional Review
Commission (CRC), but so far none have been accepted

Legal system:  based on South African Roman-Dutch law in statutory
courts and Swazi traditional law and custom in traditional courts;
has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:  18 years of age

Executive branch:   King MSWATI III (since 25 April 1986) head of
government:  Cabinet recommended by the prime minister and confirmed by
the monarch elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister
appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch:  bicameral Parliament or Libandla, an advisory body,
consists of the Senate (30 seats - 10 appointed by the House of Assembly
and 20 appointed by the monarch; members serve five-year terms) and the
House of Assembly (65 seats - 10 appointed by the monarch and 55 elected
by popular vote; members serve five-year terms) elections: House of
Assembly - last held 16 and 24 October 1998 (next to be held NA 2003)
election results:  for election are nominated by the local council of
each constituency and for each constituency the three candidates with
the most votes in the first round of voting are narrowed to a single
winner by a second round

Judicial branch:  High Court; Court of Appeal; judges for both courts
are appointed by the monarch

Political parties and leaders:  political parties are banned by the
constitution - the following are considered political associations
- Imbokodvo National Movement or INM [leader NA]; Ngwane National
Libertatory Congress or NNLC [Obed DLAMINI, president]; People's United
Democratic Movement or PUDEMO [Mario MASUKU, president]; Swaziland
National Front or SWANAFRO [Elmond SHONGWE, president]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA,
Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, PCA, SACU,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador Mary
Madzandza KANYA FAX: [1] (202) 234-8254 telephone: [1] (202) 234-5002
chancery: 1712 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
James D. McGEE embassy: Central Bank Building, Warner Street, Mbabane
mailing address: P. O. Box 199, Mbabane telephone: [268] 404-6441 through
404-6445 FAX: [268] 404-5959

Flag description:  three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (triple
width), and blue; the red band is edged in yellow; centered in the red
band is a large black and white shield covering two spears and a staff
decorated with feather tassels, all placed horizontally

Economy Swaziland

Economy - overview:  In this small landlocked economy, subsistence
agriculture occupies more than 80% of the population. Manufacturing
features a number of agroprocessing factories. Mining has declined in
importance in recent years: diamond mines have shut down because of the
depletion of easily accessible reserves; high-grade iron ore deposits
were depleted by 1978; and health concerns have cut world demand for
asbestos. Exports of soft drink concentrate, sugar, and wood pulp are
the main earners of hard currency. Surrounded by South Africa, except
for a short border with Mozambique, Swaziland is heavily dependent on
South Africa from which it receives nine-tenths of its imports and to
which it sends more than two-thirds of its exports.  Remittances from the
Southern African Customs Union and Swazi workers in South African mines
substantially supplement domestically earned income. The government is
trying to improve the atmosphere for foreign investment. Overgrazing,
soil depletion, drought, and sometimes floods persist as problems for
the future.  Prospects for 2002 are strengthened by the country's status
as a beneficiary of the US African Growth and Opportunity Act initiative.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $4.6 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  2.5% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $4,200 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 10% industry: 43% services:
47% (1999 est.)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  7.5% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  NA

Labor force - by occupation:  NA

Unemployment rate:  34% (2000 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $448 million expenditures: $506.9 million, including
capital expenditures of $147 million (FY01/02)

Industries:  mining (coal), wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates,
textile and apparel

Industrial production growth rate:  3.7% (FY95/96)

Electricity - production:  362 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 55.8% other: 0% (2000)
hydro: 44.2% nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  900.66 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  564 million kWh note: supplied by South Africa

Agriculture - products:  sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus,
pineapples, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep

Exports:  $702 million (f.o.b., 2001)

Exports - commodities:  soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp,
cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus and canned fruit

Exports - partners:  South Africa 72%, EU 12%, UK 6%, Mozambique 4%, US 4%

Imports:  $850 million (f.o.b., 2001)

Imports - commodities:  motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment,
foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals

Imports - partners:  South Africa 89%, EU 5%, Japan 2%, Singapore 2%

Debt - external:  $336 million (2001 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  $104 million (2001)

Currency:  lilangeni (SZL)

Currency code:  SZL

Exchange rates:  emalangeni per US dollar - 11.5808 (January 2002),
8.4933 (2001), 6.9056 (2000), 6.1087 (1999), 5.4807 (1998), 4.6032
(1997); note - the Swazi lilangeni is at par with the South African rand;
emalangeni is the plural form of lilangeni

Fiscal year:  1 April - 31 March

Communications Swaziland

Telephones - main lines in use:  38,500 (2001)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  45,000 (2001)

Telephone system:   a somewhat modern but not an advanced system domestic:
microwave radio relay international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat
(Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 3, FM 2 plus 4 repeaters, shortwave 3 (2001)

Radios:  170,000 (1999)

Television broadcast stations:  5 plus 7 relay stations (2001)

Televisions:  23,000 (2000)

Internet country code:  .sz

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  6 (2001)

Internet users:  6,000 (2001)

Transportation Swaziland

Railways:  total: 297 km narrow gauge: 297 km 1.067-m gauge note:
includes 71 km which are not in use (2001)

Highways:  total: 3,800 km paved: 1,064 km unpaved: 2,736 km (2002)

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  none

Airports:  18 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 1 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 17 914 to 1,523 m: 7 under 914 m:
10 (2001)

Military Swaziland

Military branches:  Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (Army), Royal
Swaziland Police Force

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 253,510 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 146,805
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $20 million (FY01/02)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  4.75% (FY00/01)

Transnational Issues Swaziland

Disputes - international:  Swaziland continues to press South Africa into
ceding ethnic Swazi lands in Kangwane region of KwaZulu-Natal province
that were long ago part of the Swazi Kingdom

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Swaziland News
The Guardian

Swazi Observer

The Sawzi News

The Times

Arts & Culture
Mantenga Cultural Village

Business & Finance
Central Bank of Swaziland

The Swaziland Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Country Guides
Swaziland Tourism

Big Game Parks

Swazi Trails

What's Happening in Swaziland

University of Swaziland

Short History of Swaziland

History of the Nkosi Dlamini and Swaziland

Mbuluzi Game Park and Nature Reserve

Africa Online (Swaziland)




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