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Africa :: Swaziland
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Swaziland
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Location of Swaziland
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Introduction ::Swaziland
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Autonomy for the Swazis of southern Africa was guaranteed by the British in the late 19th century; independence was granted in 1968. Student and labor unrest during the 1990s pressured King MSWATI III, the world's last absolute monarch, to grudgingly allow political reform and greater democracy, although he has backslid on these promises in recent years. A constitution came into effect in 2006, but political parties remain banned. The African United Democratic Party tried unsuccessfully to register as an official political party in mid 2006. Talks over the constitution broke down between the government and progressive groups in 2007. Swaziland recently surpassed Botswana as the country with the world's highest known HIV/AIDS prevalence rate.
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Geography ::Swaziland
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Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa
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26 30 S, 31 30 E
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total: 17,364 sq km
country comparison to the world: 158
land: 17,204 sq km
water: 160 sq km
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slightly smaller than New Jersey
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total: 535 km
border countries: Mozambique 105 km, South Africa 430 km
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0 km (landlocked)
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none (landlocked)
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varies from tropical to near temperate
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mostly mountains and hills; some moderately sloping plains
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lowest point: Great Usutu River 21 m
highest point: Emlembe 1,862 m
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asbestos, coal, clay, cassiterite, hydropower, forests, small gold and diamond deposits, quarry stone, and talc
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arable land: 10.25%
permanent crops: 0.81%
other: 88.94% (2005)
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500 sq km (2003)
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4.5 cu km (1987)
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total: 1.04 cu km/yr (2%/1%/97%)
per capita: 1,010 cu m/yr (2000)
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drought
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limited supplies of potable water; wildlife populations being depleted because of excessive hunting; overgrazing; soil degradation; soil erosion
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
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landlocked; almost completely surrounded by South Africa
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People ::Swaziland
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1,123,913
country comparison to the world: 156
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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2009 est.)
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0-14 years: 39.4% (male 223,420/female 219,420)
15-64 years: 56.9% (male 308,251/female 331,623)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 15,261/female 25,938) (2009 est.)
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total: 18.8 years
male: 18.2 years
female: 19.5 years (2009 est.)
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-0.459% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 225
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26.25 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
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30.83 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
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NA (2009 est.)
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urban population: 25% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.59 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 68.63 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 27
male: 71.87 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 65.29 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 31.88 years
country comparison to the world: 224
male: 31.62 years
female: 32.15 years (2009 est.)
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3.24 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
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26.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
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190,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
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10,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
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degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)
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noun: Swazi(s)
adjective: Swazi
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African 97%, European 3%
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Zionist 40% (a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship), Roman Catholic 20%, Muslim 10%, other (includes Anglican, Bahai, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish) 30%
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English (official, government business conducted in English), siSwati (official)
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.6%
male: 82.6%
female: 80.8% (2003 est.)
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total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 10 years (2005)
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7% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 23
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Government ::Swaziland
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conventional long form: Kingdom of Swaziland
conventional short form: Swaziland
local long form: Umbuso weSwatini
local short form: eSwatini
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monarchy
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name: Mbabane
geographic coordinates: 26 18 S, 31 06 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: Lobamba (royal and legislative capital)
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4 districts; Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, Shiselweni
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6 September 1968 (from the UK)
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Independence Day, 6 September (1968)
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signed by the King in July 2005 went into effect on 8 February 2006
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based on South African Roman-Dutch law in statutory courts and Swazi traditional law and custom in traditional courts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
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18 years of age
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chief of state: King MSWATI III (since 25 April 1986)
head of government: Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso DLAMINI (since 16 October 2008)
cabinet: Cabinet recommended by the prime minister and confirmed by the monarch
elections: the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch from among the elected members of the House of Assembly
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bicameral Parliament or Libandla consists of the Senate (30 seats; 10 members appointed by the House of Assembly and 20 appointed by the monarch; to serve five-year terms) and the House of Assembly (65 seats; 10 members appointed by the monarch and 55 elected by popular vote; serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Assembly - last held 19 September 2008 (next to be held in 2013)
election results: House of Assembly - balloting is done on a nonparty basis; candidates 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
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High Court; Supreme Court; judges for both courts are appointed by the monarch
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the status of political parties, previously banned, is unclear under the new (2006) Constitution and currently being debated - the following are considered political associations; African United Democratic Party or AUDP [Stanley MAUNDZISA, president]; Imbokodvo National Movement or INM; Ngwane National Liberatory Congress or NNLC [Obed DLAMINI, president]; People's United Democratic Movement or PUDEMO [Mario MASUKU, president]
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Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions; Swaziland and Solidarity Network or SSN
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ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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chief of mission: Ambassador Ephraim Mandla HLOPHE
chancery: 1712 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 234-5002
FAX: [1] (202) 234-8254
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chief of mission: Ambassador Maurice S. PARKER
embassy: 2350 Mbabane Place, Mbabane
mailing address: P. O. Box 199, Mbabane
telephone: [268] 404-2445
FAX: [268] 404-2059
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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
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Economy ::Swaziland
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In this small, landlocked economy, subsistence agriculture occupies approximately 70% of the population. The manufacturing sector has diversified since the mid-1980s. Sugar and wood pulp remain important foreign exchange earners. In 2007, the sugar industry increased efficiency and diversification efforts, in response to a 17% decline in EU sugar prices. Mining has declined in importance in recent years with only coal and quarry stone mines remaining active. Surrounded by South Africa, except for a short border with Mozambique, Swaziland is heavily dependent on South Africa from which it receives more than nine-tenths of its imports and to which it sends 60% of its exports. Swaziland's currency is pegged to the South African rand, subsuming Swaziland's monetary policy to South Africa. Customs duties from the Southern African Customs Union, which may equal as much as 70% of government revenue this year, and worker remittances from South Africa substantially supplement domestically earned income. Swaziland is not poor enough to merit an IMF program; however, the country is struggling to reduce the size of the civil service and control costs at public enterprises. The government is trying to improve the atmosphere for foreign investment. With an estimated 40% unemployment rate, Swaziland's need to increase the number and size of small and medium enterprises and attract foreign direct investment is acute. Overgrazing, soil depletion, drought, and sometimes floods persist as problems for the future. More than one-fourth of the population needed emergency food aid in 2006-07 because of drought, and nearly two-fifths of the adult population has been infected by HIV/AIDS.
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$5.702 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
$5.552 billion (2007 est.)
$5.364 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$2.843 billion (2008 est.)
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2.7% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
3.5% (2007 est.)
2.8% (2006 est.)
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$5,100 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
$4,900 (2007 est.)
$4,700 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 11.2%
industry: 46%
services: 42.8% (2008 est.)
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457,900 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 154
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agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
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40% (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
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69% (2006)
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lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 40.7% (2001)
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50.4 (2001)
country comparison to the world: 22
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18.8% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
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revenues: $1.055 billion
expenditures: $1.083 billion (2008 est.)
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12.6% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 176
8.1% (2007 est.)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 33
11% (31 December 2007)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 58
13.17% (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 151
$244.8 million (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 139
$529.4 million (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 161
$204.1 million (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 106
$203.1 million (31 December 2007)
$199.9 million (31 December 2006)
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sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep
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coal, wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textiles and apparel
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1.1% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
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441 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
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1.266 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
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0 kWh (2008)
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770 million kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (2008 est.)
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0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
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4,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
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0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
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4,100 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
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0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
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0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 86
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
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0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
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$-30 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
$4 million (2007 est.)
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$1.759 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
$1.95 billion (2007 est.)
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soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus and canned fruit
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$1.858 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
$1.926 billion (2007 est.)
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motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
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$730 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
$774.2 million (31 December 2007 est.)
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$554 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
$524 million (31 December 2007 est.)
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$NA
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$NA
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emalangeni per US dollar - 7.75 (2008 est.), 7.4 (2007), 6.85 (2006), 6.3593 (2005), 6.4597 (2004)
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Communications ::Swaziland
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44,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 167
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457,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 157
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general assessment: a somewhat modern but not an advanced system
domestic: mobile-cellular subscribership is increasing; combined fixed-line and mobile cellular teledensity approaching 45 telephones per 100 persons; telephone system consists of carrier-equipped, open-wire lines and low-capacity, microwave radio relay
international: country code - 268; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)
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AM 3, FM 2 (plus 4 repeaters), shortwave 3 (2004)
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12 (includes 7 relay stations) (2004)
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.sz
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2,609 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 144
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48,200 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 171
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Transportation ::Swaziland
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14 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 148
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total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2009)
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total: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 7 (2009)
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total: 301 km
country comparison to the world: 122
narrow gauge: 301 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
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total: 3,594 km
country comparison to the world: 160
paved: 1,078 km
unpaved: 2,516 km (2002)
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Military ::Swaziland
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Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (USDF): Ground Force (includes air wing) (2008)
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18-30 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)
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males age 16-49: 266,311 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 124,132
females age 16-49: 118,570 (2009 est.)
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male: 15,985
female: 15,754 (2009 est.)
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4.7% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 21
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Transnational Issues ::Swaziland
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in 2006, Swazi king advocates resort to ICJ to claim parts of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal from South Africa
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