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  Swaziland   
Introduction
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational
Issues
  Introduction Back To Top

Background:
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.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 1.04 cu km/yr (2%/1%/97%)
per capita: 1,010 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
4.5 cu km (1987)

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

Environment - international agreements:
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

Climate:
varies from tropical to near temperate

Map references:
Africa

Geographic coordinates:
26 30 S, 31 30 E

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

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

Terrain:
mostly mountains and hills; some moderately sloping plains

Geography - note:
landlocked; almost completely surrounded by South Africa

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

Location:
Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa

Coastline:
0 km (landlocked)

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than New Jersey

Irrigated land:
500 sq km (2003)

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

Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)

Natural hazards:
drought

Land use:
arable land: 10.25%
permanent crops: 0.81%
other: 88.94% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
3.34 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.61 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
38.8% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
220,000 (2003 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 31.99 years
male: 31.69 years
female: 32.3 years (2008 est.)

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2008)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.6%
male: 82.6%
female: 80.8% (2003 est.)

Net migration rate:
NA (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
African 97%, European 3%

Median age:
total: 18.7 years
male: 18 years
female: 19.4 years (2008 est.)

Population:
1,128,814
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 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
7% of GDP (2005)

Population growth rate:
-0.41% (2008 est.)

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

Death rate:
30.7 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 69.59 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 72.87 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 66.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
17,000 (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 10 years (2005)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 39.9% (male 226,947/female 222,922)
15-64 years: 56.5% (male 306,560/female 331,406)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 15,594/female 25,385) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
26.6 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

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

Nationality:
noun: Swazi(s)
adjective: Swazi

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
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

National holiday:
Independence Day, 6 September (1968)

Suffrage:
18 years of age

Government type:
monarchy

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions; Swaziland and Solidarity Network or SSN

Diplomatic representation in the US:
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

International organization participation:
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

Legislative branch:
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; to 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

Legal system:
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

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

Independence:
6 September 1968 (from UK)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Kingdom of Swaziland
conventional short form: Swaziland
local long form: Umbuso weSwatini
local short form: eSwatini

Political parties and leaders:
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]

Capital:
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)

Constitution:
signed by the King in July 2005 went into effect on 8 February 2006

Executive branch:
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

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

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

  Economy Back To Top

Electricity - consumption:
1.2 billion kWh (2007)

Central bank discount rate:
11% (31 December 2007)

Electricity - imports:
872 million kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (2007)

Current account balance:
-$10 million (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$548 million (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
40% (2006 est.)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$5,100 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
19.7% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$204.1 million (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$5.708 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$2.968 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
50.4 (2001)

Exchange rates:
emalangeni per US dollar - 7.75 (2008 est.), 7.4 (2007), 6.85 (2006), 6.3593 (2005), 6.4597 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
2% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$244.8 million (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
300,000 (2006)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
12.7% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 11.9%
industry: 45.1%
services: 43% (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
3,530 bbl/day (2005)

Exports:
$1.83 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
lilangeni (SZL)

Economy - overview:
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.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

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

Industries:
coal, wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textiles and apparel

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007)

Population below poverty line:
69% (2006)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
13.17% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$529.4 million (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
460 million kWh (2007)

Imports:
$1.978 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$997 million (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
3,490 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$NA

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$203.1 million (31 December 2007)

Currency code:
SZL

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 40.7% (2001)

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

Economic aid - recipient:
$46.03 million (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 58%
hydro: 42%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $1.215 billion
expenditures: $1.155 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
42,000 (2006)

Telephones - main lines in use:
44,000 (2006)

Televisions:
23,000 (2000)

Internet country code:
.sz

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 3, FM 2 (plus 4 repeaters), shortwave 3 (2004)

Radios:
170,000 (1999)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
380,000 (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
12 (includes 7 relay stations) (2004)

Telephone system:
general assessment: a somewhat modern but not an advanced system
domestic: mobile-cellular subscribership is increasing; combined fixed-line and mobile cellular teledensity approaching 40 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)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
5 (2002)

Internet hosts:
2,582 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Railways:
total: 301 km
narrow gauge: 301 km 1.067-m gauge (2006)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2007)

Roadways:
total: 3,594 km
paved: 1,078 km
unpaved: 2,516 km (2002)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 10 (2007)

Airports:
18 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18-30 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 266,311 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 122,260 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (USDF): Ground Force (includes air wing) (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 15,951
female: 15,728 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
4.7% of GDP (2006)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
in 2006, Swazi king advocates resort to ICJ to claim parts of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal from South Africa

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