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Africa :: SWAZILAND
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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 was not defined and their status remains unclear. Swaziland has surpassed Botswana as the country with the world's highest known HIV/AIDS prevalence rate.
  • Geography :: SWAZILAND

  • Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa
    26 30 S, 31 30 E
    Africa
    total: 17,364 sq km
    land: 17,204 sq km
    water: 160 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 159
    slightly smaller than New Jersey
    total: 546 km
    border countries (2): Mozambique 108 km, South Africa 438 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    none (landlocked)
    varies from tropical to near temperate
    mostly mountains and hills; some moderately sloping plains
    mean elevation: 305 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Great Usutu River 21 m
    highest point: Emlembe 1,862 m
    asbestos, coal, clay, cassiterite, hydropower, forests, small gold and diamond deposits, quarry stone, and talc
    agricultural land: 68.3%
    arable land 9.8%; permanent crops 0.8%; permanent pasture 57.7%
    forest: 31.7%
    other: 0% (2011 est.)
    500 sq km (2012)
    4.51 cu km (2011)
    total: 1.04 cu km/yr (4%/2%/94%)
    per capita: 962.1 cu m/yr (2005)
    drought
    limited supplies of potable water; wildlife populations being depleted because of excessive hunting; overgrazing; soil degradation; soil erosion
    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
    landlocked; almost completely surrounded by South Africa
  • People and Society :: SWAZILAND

  • noun: Swazi(s)
    adjective: Swazi
    African 97%, European 3%
    English (official, used for government business), siSwati (official)
    Zionist 40% (a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship), Roman Catholic 20%, Muslim 10%, other 30% (includes Anglican, Baha'i, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish)
    1,435,613
    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 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    0-14 years: 35.99% (male 261,213/female 255,489)
    15-24 years: 22.26% (male 161,626/female 157,990)
    25-54 years: 33.64% (male 249,233/female 233,703)
    55-64 years: 4.26% (male 24,229/female 36,968)
    65 years and over: 3.84% (male 21,582/female 33,580) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 69.3%
    youth dependency ratio: 63.2%
    elderly dependency ratio: 6.1%
    potential support ratio: 16.5% (2015 est.)
    total: 21.2 years
    male: 21 years
    female: 21.5 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    1.11% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    24.67 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    13.56 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    urban population: 21.3% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 1.32% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    MBABANE (capital) 66,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.66 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    19.8
    note: median age at first birth among women 20-24 (2006/07 est.)
    389 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    total: 52.57 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 56.49 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 48.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    total population: 51.05 years
    male: 51.6 years
    female: 50.5 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 221
    2.8 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    65.2% (2010)
    9.3% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    0.17 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
    2.1 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    improved:
    urban: 93.6% of population
    rural: 68.9% of population
    total: 74.1% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 6.4% of population
    rural: 31.1% of population
    total: 25.9% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 63.1% of population
    rural: 56% of population
    total: 57.5% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 36.9% of population
    rural: 44% of population
    total: 42.5% of population (2015 est.)
    27.73% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    214,300 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    3,500 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    degree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne disease: malaria
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2016)
    14.8% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    5.8% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    8.6% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 87.5%
    male: 87.4%
    female: 87.5% (2015 est.)
    total: 11 years
    male: 12 years
    female: 11 years (2013)
  • Government :: SWAZILAND

  • conventional long form: Kingdom of Swaziland
    conventional short form: Swaziland
    local long form: Umbuso weSwatini
    local short form: eSwatini
    etymology: "Land of the Swazi" people; the name "Swazi" derives from 19th century King MSWATI II, under whose rule Swazi territory was expanded and unified
    absolute monarchy
    name: Mbabane; note - Lobamba is the royal and legislative capital
    geographic coordinates: 26 19 S, 31 08 E
    time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    4 districts; Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, Shiselweni
    6 September 1968 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 6 September (1968)
    previous 1968, 1978; latest signed by the king 26 July 2005, effective 8 February 2006 (2016)
    mixed legal system of civil, common, and customary law
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: both parents must be citizens of Swaziland
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    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, confirmed by the monarch
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch from among elected members of the House of Assembly
    description: bicameral Parliament or Libandla consists of the Senate (30 seats; 20 members appointed by the monarch and 10 indirectly elected by simple majority vote by the House of Assembly; members serve 5-year terms) and the House of Assembly (65 seats; 55 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 10 members appointed by the monarch; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: House of Assembly - last held on 20 September 2013 (next scheduled for September 2018)
    election results: House of Assembly - no results of the election were released; note - balloting is done on a nonparty basis; 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
    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 laws (jurisdiction restricted to customary law for Swazi citizens)
    note: the national constitution as amended in 2006 shifted judicial power from the monarch and vested it exclusively in the judiciary
    the status of political parties, previously banned, is unclear under the 2006 Constitution; the following are considered political associations:
    African United Democratic Party or AUDP [Stanley MAUNDZISA]
    Ngwane National Liberatory Congress or NNLC [Alvit DLAMINI]
    People's United Democratic Movement or PUDEMO [Mario MASUKU]
    Swaziland Democratic Party ro SWADEPA [Jan SITHOLE]
    Swaziland Democracy Campaign
    Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions
    Swaziland Solidarity Network or SSN
    ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Abednigo Mandla NTSHANGASE (since 19 July 2010)
    chancery: 1712 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 234-5002
    FAX: [1] (202) 234-8254
    chief of mission: Ambassador Lisa PETERSON (since January 2016)
    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; national colors: blue, yellow, red
    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; 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 on South Africa for 60% of its exports and for more than 90% of its imports. Swaziland's currency is pegged to the South African rand, effectively relinquishing 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. Swaziland’s GDP per capita makes it a lower middle income country, but its income distribution is highly skewed, with an estimated 20% of the population controlling 80% of the nation’s wealth. As of 2014, more than one-quarter of the adult population was infected by HIV/AIDS; Swaziland has the world’s highest HIV prevalence rate.
    Subsistence agriculture employs approximately 70% of the population. The manufacturing sector diversified in the 1980s and 1990s, but manufacturing has grown little in the last decade. Sugar and wood pulp had been major foreign exchange earners until the wood pulp producer closed in January 2010, and sugar is now the main export earner. Mining has declined in importance in recent years. Coal, gold, diamond, and quarry stone mines are small scale, and the only iron ore mine closed in 2014.
    With an estimated 40% unemployment rate, Swaziland's need to increase the number and size of small and medium enterprises and to attract foreign direct investment is acute. Overgrazing, soil depletion, drought, and floods are persistent problems. On 1 January 2015, Swaziland lost its eligibility for benefits under the US African Growth and Opportunity Act, resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs.
    The IMF forecasted that Swaziland’s economy will grow at a slower pace in 2016/2017 because of a region-wide drought, which is likely to hurt Swaziland’s revenue from sugar exports and other agricultural products, and a decline in the tourism and transport sectors. Swaziland’s revenue from SACU receipts and remittances from Swazi citizens abroad will also decline in 2016/2017, making it harder to maintain fiscal balance.
    $10.85 billion (2015 est.)
    $10.67 billion (2014 est.)
    $10.41 billion (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 156
    $4.028 billion (2015 est.)
    1.7% (2015 est.)
    2.5% (2014 est.)
    2.9% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    $8,500 (2015 est.)
    $8,400 (2014 est.)
    $8,300 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 143
    11.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
    12.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    12.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    household consumption: 78.7%
    government consumption: 24%
    investment in fixed capital: 11.6%
    investment in inventories: -0.1%
    exports of goods and services: 50.7%
    imports of goods and services: -64.9% (2015 est.)
    agriculture: 11.9%
    industry: 46.6%
    services: 41.5% (2015 est.)
    sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep
    coal, forestry, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textiles and apparel
    1.1% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    446,100 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    agriculture: 70%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%
    40% (2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    69% (2006 est.)
    lowest 10%: 1.7%
    highest 10%: 40.1% (2010 est.)
    50.4 (2001)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    revenues: $1.153 billion
    expenditures: $1.264 billion (2015 est.)
    26.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    -2.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    1 April - 31 March
    5% (2015 est.)
    5.7% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    6.5% (31 December 2010)
    6.5% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    8.7% (31 December 2015 est.)
    8.63% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    $317.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $367.8 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    $825.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $1.008 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    $562.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $685 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    $NA
    $203.1 million (31 December 2007)
    $199.9 million (31 December 2006)
    $20 million (2015 est.)
    $145 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    $1.575 billion (2015 est.)
    $1.803 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    soft drink concentrates, sugar, timber, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus and canned fruit
    $1.581 billion (2015 est.)
    $1.687 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
    $572.3 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $690.8 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    $561.3 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $463.6 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    $NA
    $NA
    emalangeni per US dollar -
    12.58 (2015 est.)
    10.8469 (2014 est.)
    10.8469 (2013 est.)
    8.2 (2012 est.)
    7.2597 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: SWAZILAND

  • 425 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    1.295 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    0 kWh (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 217
    900 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    149,000 kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    59.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    40.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    4,800 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    4,785 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    936,900 Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
  • Communications :: SWAZILAND

  • total subscriptions: 43,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    total: 941,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 66 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    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 65 telephones per 100 persons in 2015; 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) (2015)
    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)
    AM 3, FM 2 (plus 4 repeaters), shortwave 3 (2004)
    12 (includes 7 relay stations) (2004)
    .sz
    2,744 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    total: 436,000
    percent of population: 30.4% (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
  • Transportation :: SWAZILAND

  • 14 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    total: 2
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 12
    914 to 1,523 m: 5
    under 914 m: 7 (2013)
    total: 301 km
    narrow gauge: 301 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    total: 3,594 km
    paved: 1,078 km
    unpaved: 2,516 km (2002)
    country comparison to the world: 161
  • Military and Security :: SWAZILAND

  • Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (USDF): Ground Force (includes Air Wing (no operational aircraft)) (2013)
    18-30 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; compulsory HIV testing required, only HIV-negative applicants accepted (2012)
    3.17% of GDP (2012)
    3.11% of GDP (2011)
    3.17% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 18
  • Transnational Issues :: SWAZILAND

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