Africa :: Swaziland

Introduction ::Swaziland

    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, Africa'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 the legal status of political parties remains unclear. 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 ::Swaziland

People and Society ::Swaziland

Government ::Swaziland

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Swaziland
    conventional short form: Swaziland
    local long form: Umbuso weSwatini
    local short form: eSwatini
    name: Mbabane
    geographic coordinates: 26 19 S, 31 08 E
    time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    note: Lobamba (royal and legislative capital)
    4 districts; Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, Shiselweni
    6 September 1968 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 6 September (1968)
    signed by the king July 2005; went into effect 8 February 2006
    mixed legal system of civil, common, and customary law
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age
    chief of state: King MSWATI III (since 25 April 1986)
    head of government: Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso DLAMINI (since 23 October 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Themba Nhlanganiso MASUKU (since 2008)
    cabinet: Cabinet recommended by the prime minister and confirmed by the monarch
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    elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch from among the elected members of the House of Assembly
    bicameral Parliament or Libandla consists of the Senate (30 seats; 10 members elected by the House of Assembly and 20 appointed by the monarch; members to serve five-year terms) and the House of Assembly (65 seats; 10 members appointed by the monarch and 55 elected by popular vote; members to serve five-year terms)
    elections: House of Assembly - last held on 19 September 2008 (next to be held on 20 September 2013)
    election results: House of Assembly - balloting is done on a nonparty basis; candidates for election 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
    highest court(s): the Supreme Court of the Judicature comprising the Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and at least 5 justices) and the High Court (consists of the chief justice - ex officio - and at least 4 justices); note - the Supreme Court has jurisdiction in all constitutional matters
    note - the national constitution as amended in 2006 shifted judicial power from the monarch and vested it exclusively in the judiciary
    judge selection and term of office: justices of the Supreme Court of the Judicature are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission or JCS, a judicial advisory body consisting of the Supreme Court Chief Justice, 4 members appointed by the monarch, and the JCS head; justices of both courts eligible for retirement at age 65 with mandatory retirement at age 75 for Supreme Court justices and at age 70 for High Court justices
    subordinate courts: magistrates' courts; National Swazi Courts for administering customary/traditional law (jurisdiction restricted to customary law for Swazi citizens)
    the status of political parties, previously banned, is unclear under the 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]
    Swaziland Democracy Campaign
    Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions
    Swaziland Solidarity Network or SSN
    chief of mission: Ambassador Abednigo Mandla NTSHANGASE
    chancery: 1712 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 234-5002
    FAX: [1] (202) 234-8254
    chief of mission: Ambassador Makila JAMES
    embassy: 7th Floor, Central Bank Building, Mahlokohla St., Mbabane
    mailing address: P. O. Box 199, Mbabane
    telephone: [268] 404-6441
    FAX: [268] 404-5959
    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; blue stands for peace and stability, red represents past struggles, and yellow the mineral resources of the country; the shield, spears, and staff symbolize protection from the country's enemies, while the black and white of the shield are meant to portray black and white people living in peaceful coexistence
    lion; elephant
    name: "Nkulunkulu Mnikati wetibusiso temaSwati" (Oh God, Bestower of the Blessings of the Swazi)

    lyrics/music: Andrease Enoke Fanyana SIMELANE/David Kenneth RYCROFT
    note: adopted 1968; the anthem uses elements of both ethnic Swazi and Western music styles

Economy ::Swaziland

    Surrounded by South Africa, except for a short border with Mozambique, Swaziland depends heavily on South Africa from which it receives more than 90% of its imports and to which it sends 60% of its exports. Swaziland's currency is pegged to the South African rand, effectively subsuming Swaziland's monetary policy to South Africa. The government is heavily dependent on customs duties from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), and worker remittances from South Africa supplement domestically earned income. Subsistence agriculture employs approximately 70% of the population. The manufacturing sector has diversified since the mid-1980s. Sugar and wood pulp were major foreign exchange earners; however, the wood pulp producer closed in January 2010, and sugar is now the main export earner. Mining has declined in importance in recent years with only coal and quarry stone mines remaining active. Customs revenues plummeted due to the global economic crisis and a drop in South African imports. The resulting decline in revenue has pushed the country into a fiscal crisis. Swaziland is looking to other countries, including South Africa, for assistance, but continues to struggle to meet its monthly payroll and fund government programs. 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 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 more than one-quarter of the adult population has been infected by HIV/AIDS.
    $6.345 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    $6.441 billion (2011 est.)
    $6.424 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $3.751 billion (2012 est.)
    -1.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    0.3% (2011 est.)
    1.9% (2010 est.)
    $5,900 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    $6,000 (2011 est.)
    $6,100 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    7.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    0.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
    -2.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 85.5%
    government consumption: 23.3%
    investment in fixed capital: 10.3%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 51.7%
    imports of goods and services: -70.8%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 7.8%
    industry: 45.1%
    services: 47.2% (2012 est.)
    sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep
    coal, wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textiles and apparel
    0.3% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    457,900 (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    agriculture: 70%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%
    40% (2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    69% (2006)
    lowest 10%: 1.7%
    highest 10%: 40.1% (2010 est.)
    50.4 (2001)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    revenues: $1.451 billion
    expenditures: $1.438 billion (2012 est.)
    38.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    0.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    1 April - 31 March
    9.4% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    6.1% (2011 est.)
    6.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    6.5% (31 December 2009 est.)
    8.75% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    9% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $403.3 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    $355.1 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $1.106 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    $1.087 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $762.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    $948.6 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $203.1 million (31 December 2007)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    $203.1 million (31 December 2007)
    -$3.8 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    -$280.9 million (2011 est.)
    $2.005 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    $2.011 billion (2011 est.)
    soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus and canned fruit
    $2.152 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    $2.108 billion (2011 est.)
    motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
    $741 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    $600.5 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $609.8 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    $604.5 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    emalangeni per US dollar -
    8.2031 (2012 est.)
    7.2597 (2011 est.)
    7.3212 (2010 est.)
    8.42 (2009)
    7.75 (2008)

Energy ::Swaziland

Communications ::Swaziland

    75,800 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    766,500 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    general assessment: a somewhat modern but not an advanced system
    domestic: single source for mobile-cellular service with a geographic coverage of about 90% and a rising subscribership base; combined fixed-line and mobile cellular teledensity roughly 60 telephones per 100 persons in 2011; 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) (2009)
    state-owned TV station; satellite dishes are able to access South African providers; state-owned radio network with 3 channels; 1 private radio station (2007)
    2,744 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    90,100 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 162

Transportation ::Swaziland

Military ::Swaziland

Transnational Issues ::Swaziland

    in 2006, Swazi king advocated resorting to ICJ to claim parts of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal from South Africa