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Introduction - Swaziland:

BackgroundAutonomy 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 worlds last ruling monarch, to grudgingly allow political reform and greater democracy, although he has backslid on these promises in recent years. Swaziland recently surpassed Botswana as the country with the worlds highest known rates of HIV/AIDS infection.

Location - Swaziland:
LocationSouthern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa

Geographic coordinates26 30 S, 31 30 E

Map referencesAfrica

Areatotal: 17,363 sq km
land: 17,203 sq km
water: 160 sq km

Area comparativeslightly smaller than New Jersey

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

Coastline0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)

Climatevaries from tropical to near temperate

Terrainmostly mountains and hills; some moderately sloping plains

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

Natural resourcesasbestos, coal, clay, cassiterite, hydropower, forests, small gold and diamond deposits, quarry stone, and talc

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

Irrigated land500 sq km (2003)

Natural hazardsdrought

Environment current issueslimited supplies of potable water; wildlife populations being depleted because of excessive hunting; overgrazing; soil degradation; soil erosion

Environment international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography notelandlocked; almost completely surrounded by South Africa

People - Swaziland:
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 2007 est.)

Age structure0-14 years: 40.3% (male 230,238/female 226,184)
15-64 years: 56.1% (male 304,899/female 331,036)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 15,870/female 24,839) (2007 est.)

Median agetotal: 18.6 years
male: 17.9 years
female: 19.3 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate-0.337% (2007 est.)

Birth rate26.98 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate30.35 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.018 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.921 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.639 male(s)/female
total population: 0.947 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality ratetotal: 70.66 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 74 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 67.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 32.23 years
male: 31.84 years
female: 32.62 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate3.43 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate38.8% (2003 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids220,000 (2003 est.)

Hiv aids deaths17,000 (2003 est.)

Nationalitynoun: Swazi(s)
adjective: Swazi

Ethnic groupsAfrican 97%, European 3%

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

LanguagesEnglish (official, government business conducted in English), siSwati (official)

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

Government - Swaziland:
Country nameconventional long form: Kingdom of Swaziland
conventional short form: Swaziland
local long form: Umbuso weSwatini
local short form: eSwatini

Government typemonarchy

Capitalname: 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)

Administrative divisions4 districts; Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, Shiselweni

Independence6 September 1968 (from UK)

National holidayIndependence Day, 6 September (1968)

Constitutionsigned by the King in July 2005 went into effect on 8 February 2006

Legal systembased on South African Roman-Dutch law in statutory courts and Swazi traditional law and custom in traditional courts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage18 years of age

Executive branchchief of state: King MSWATI III (since 25 April 1986)
head of government: Prime Minister Absolom Themba DLAMINI (since 14 November 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet recommended by the prime minister and confirmed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch from among the elected members of the House of Assembly

Legislative branchbicameral 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 18 October 2003 (next to be held in October 2008)
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

Judicial branchHigh Court; Supreme Court; judges for both courts are appointed by the monarch

Political parties and leadersthe 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]; Peoples United Democratic Movement or PUDEMO [Mario MASUKU, president]

Political pressure groups and leadersNA

International organization participationACP, 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, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the uschief 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

Diplomatic representation from the uschief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge dAffaires Lynn ALLISON
embassy: Central Bank Building, Mahlokahla Street, Mbabane
mailing address: P. O. Box 199, Mbabane
telephone: [268] 404-6441 through 404-6445
FAX: [268] 404-5959

Flag descriptionthree 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 overviewIn this small, landlocked economy, subsistence agriculture occupies more than 80% of the population. The manufacturing sector has diversified since the mid-1980s. Sugar and wood pulp remain important foreign exchange earners. 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. Customs duties from the Southern African Customs Union and worker remittances from South Africa 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. More than one-fourth of the population needed emergency food aid in 2004-05 because of drought, and nearly two-fifths of the adult population has been infected by HIV/AIDS.

Gdp purchasing power parity $5.936 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate $2.195 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate1.2% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp $5,200 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 8.6%
industry: 49.7%
services: 41.7% (2006 est.)

Labor force300,000 (2006)

Labor force by occupationagriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Unemployment rate40% (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line69% (2006)

Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1%
highest 10%: 50.2% (1995)

Inflation rate consumer prices 5.4% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed 15.5% of GDP (2006 est.)

Budgetrevenues: $984.6 million
expenditures: $1.019 billion; including capital expenditures of $147 million (2006 est.)

Agriculture productssugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep

Industriescoal, wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textile and apparel

Industrial production growth rate3.7% (FY95/96)

Electricity production156.3 million kWh (2005)

Electricity consumption1.123 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports697 million kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (2004)

Oil production0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption3,500 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exportsNA bbl/day

Oil importsNA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves0 bbl

Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)

Current account balance-$23.13 million (2006 est.)

Exports$2.201 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commoditiessoft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus and canned fruit

Exports partnersSouth Africa 59.7%, EU 8.8%, US 8.8%, Mozambique 6.2% (2006)

Imports$2.274 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commoditiesmotor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals

Imports partnersSouth Africa 95.6%, EU 0.9%, Japan 0.9%, Singapore 0.3% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$228.5 million (2006 est.)

Debt external$417 million (2006)

Economic aid recipient$104 million (2001)

Currency code lilangeni (SZL)

Exchange ratesemalangeni per US dollar - 6.85 (2006), 6.3593 (2005), 6.4597 (2004), 7.5648 (2003), 10.5407 (2002)

Communications - Swaziland:
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March

Telephones main lines in use44,000 (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular250,000 (2006)

Telephone systemgeneral assessment: a somewhat modern but not an advanced system
domestic: 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)

Radio broadcast stationsAM 3, FM 2 (plus 4 repeaters), shortwave 3 (2004)

Television broadcast stations12 (includes 7 relay stations) (2004)

Internet country code.sz

Internet hosts2,472 (2006)

Internet users41,600 (2005)

Transportation - Swaziland:
Airports18 (2006)

Airports with paved runwaystotal: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 10 (2006)

Railwaystotal: 301 km
narrow gauge: 301 km 1.067-m gauge (2006)

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

Military - Swaziland:
Military branchesUmbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (USDF): Ground Force (includes air wing), Royal Swaziland Police Force (RSPF) (2007)

Military service age and obligation18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; both sexes are eligible for military service (2005)

Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 227,617 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 89,609 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp4.7% (2006)

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>