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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 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

  • 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
    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
    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.)
    498.5 sq km (2003)
    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)
    1,419,623
    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 2014 est.)
    0-14 years: 36.5% (male 261,715/female 255,949)
    15-24 years: 22.3% (male 160,283/female 156,685)
    25-54 years: 33.2% (male 241,958/female 229,140)
    55-64 years: 4.2% (male 23,739/female 36,469)
    65 years and over: 3.8% (male 21,321/female 32,364) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 69.7%
    youth dependency ratio: 63.7%
    elderly dependency ratio: 6%
    potential support ratio: 16.7% (2014 est.)
    total: 21 years
    male: 20.7 years
    female: 21.3 years (2014 est.)
    1.14% (2014 est.)
    25.18 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    13.75 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    urban population: 21.3% of total population (2014)
    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: 1.06 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    19.8
    note: median age at first birth among women 20-24 (2006/07 est.)
    310 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total: 54.82 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 58.8 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 50.72 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    total population: 50.54 years
    male: 51.04 years
    female: 50.04 years (2014 est.)
    2.88 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    65.2% (2010)
    8.4% of GDP (2013)
    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 (2012 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 (2012 est.)
    27.36% (2013 est.)
    204,100 (2013 est.)
    4,500 (2013 est.)
    degree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne disease: malaria
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2013)
    14.8% (2014)
    5.8% (2010)
    7.8% of GDP (2011)
    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 (2011)
    total number: 28,043
    percentage: 9% (2000 est.)
  • Government :: SWAZILAND

  • conventional long form: Kingdom of Swaziland
    conventional short form: Swaziland
    local long form: Umbuso weSwatini
    local short form: eSwatini
    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 (2013)
    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
    elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch from among the 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 - 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
    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 and currently being debated; the following are considered political associations
    African United Democratic Party or AUDP [Stanley MAUNDZISA, president]
    Ngwane National Liberatory Congress or NNLC [Alvit 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
    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 Makila JAMES (since 27 August 2012)
    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, aside from 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. 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. Subsistence agriculture employs approximately 70% of the population. The manufacturing sector diversified in the 1980’s and 1990’s, but manufacturing has grown little in the last decade. Sugar and wood pulp had been 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. 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 attract foreign direct investment is acute. Overgrazing, soil depletion, drought, and floods persist as problems for the future. On 1 January 2015, Swaziland lost its eligibility for benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), threatening the remaining 12,000 jobs in the textile and apparel sector; approximately 3,000 jobs have been lost since the 2014 announcement of the loss of AGOA. As of 2013 more than one-quarter of the adult population was infected by HIV/AIDS; Swaziland has the world’s highest HIV prevalence rate.
    $8.672 billion (2014 est.)
    $8.493 billion (2013 est.)
    $8.263 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    $3.842 billion (2014 est.)
    2.1% (2014 est.)
    2.8% (2013 est.)
    1.9% (2012 est.)
    $7,800 (2014 est.)
    $7,800 (2013 est.)
    $7,700 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 147
    13.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
    15.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
    11.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    household consumption: 80.5%
    government consumption: 25.3%
    investment in fixed capital: 13.5%
    investment in inventories: -0.1%
    exports of goods and services: 51%
    imports of goods and services: -70.2%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 7.2%
    industry: 47.4%
    services: 45.4% (2014 est.)
    sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep
    coal, forestry, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textiles and apparel
    2.1% (2014 est.)
    435,500 (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 70%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%
    40% (2006 est.)
    69% (2006)
    lowest 10%: 1.7%
    highest 10%: 40.1% (2010 est.)
    50.4 (2001)
    revenues: $1.349 billion
    expenditures: $1.406 billion (2014 est.)
    35.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -1.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    1 April - 31 March
    5.7% (2014 est.)
    5.6% (2013 est.)
    6.5% (31 December 2010)
    6.5% (31 December 2009)
    8.8% (31 December 2014 est.)
    8.5% (31 December 2013 est.)
    $453.5 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $419.6 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $1.109 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.068 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $657 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $643.9 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $NA
    $203.1 million (31 December 2007)
    $199.9 million (31 December 2006)
    $47.5 million (2014 est.)
    $140.8 million (2013 est.)
    $2.192 billion (2014 est.)
    $2.104 billion (2013 est.)
    soft drink concentrates, sugar, timber, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus and canned fruit
    $2.097 billion (2014 est.)
    $1.987 billion (2013 est.)
    motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
    $780.9 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $762.5 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $568.3 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $488.5 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $NA
    $NA
    emalangeni per US dollar -
    10.6 (2014 est.)
    9.64 (2013 est.)
    8.2 (2012 est.)
    7.26 (2011 est.)
    7.32 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: SWAZILAND

  • 415 million kWh (2011 est.)
    1.295 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    0 kWh (2013)
    909 million kWh (2011 est.)
    149,000 kW (2011 est.)
    59.7% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    40.3% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    4,520 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    4,761 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    936,900 Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: SWAZILAND

  • 48,600 (2012)
    805,000 (2012)
    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)
    AM 3, FM 2 (plus 4 repeaters), shortwave 3 (2004)
    12 (includes 7 relay stations) (2004)
    .sz
    2,744 (2012)
    90,100 (2009)
  • Transportation :: SWAZILAND

  • 14 (2013)
    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 (2008)
    total: 3,594 km
    paved: 1,078 km
    unpaved: 2,516 km (2002)
  • Military :: 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)
    males age 16-49: 344,038 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 201,853
    females age 16-49: 175,477 (2010 est.)
    male: 16,168
    female: 15,763 (2010 est.)
    3.17% of GDP (2012)
    3.11% of GDP (2011)
    3.17% of GDP (2010)
  • Transnational Issues :: SWAZILAND

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