Eswatini

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Autonomy for Eswatini was guaranteed by the British in the late 19th century and independence was granted in 1968. A new constitution came into effect in 2006, which included provisions for a more independent parliament and judiciary, but the legal status of political parties remains unclear.

Geography

Area

total: 17,364 sq km

land: 17,204 sq km

water: 160 sq km

Climate

varies from tropical to near temperate

Natural resources

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

People and Society

Population

1,121,761 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

predominantly Swazi; smaller populations of other African ethnic groups, including the Zulu, as well as people of European ancestry

Languages

English (official, used for government business), siSwati (official)

Religions

Christian 90% (Zionist - a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship - 40%, Roman Catholic 20%, other 30% - includes Anglican, Methodist, Church of Jesus Christ, Jehovah's Witness), Muslim 2%, other 8% (includes Baha'i, Buddhist, Hindu, indigenous, Jewish) (2015 est.)

Population growth rate

0.75% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

absolute monarchy

Capital

name: Mbabane (administrative capital); Lobamba (royal and legislative capital)

Executive branch

chief of state: King MSWATI III (since 25 April 1986)

head of government: Prime Minister Cleopas DLAMINI (since since 19 July 2021); Deputy Prime Minister Themba MASUKU (since 6 November 2018)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament (Libandla) consists of:

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)
House of Assembly (70 seats statutory, current 74; 59 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies or tinkhundla by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed, 10 members appointed by the monarch, 4 women elected by the members if representation of elected women is less than 30%, and 1 ex-officio member - the attorney general; members serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

landlocked southern African economy; South African trade dependent and currency pegging; CMA and SACU member state; COVID-19 economic slowdown; growing utilities inflation; persistent poverty and unemployment; HIV/AIDS labor force disruptions

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$9.74 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$8,400 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, maize, roots/tubers nes, grapefruit, oranges, milk, beef, potatoes, vegetables, bananas

Industries

soft drink concentrates, coal, forestry, sugar processing, textiles, and apparel

Exports

$1.81 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

South Africa 94% (2017)

Exports - commodities

soft drink concentrates, sugar, timber, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus, and canned fruit

Imports

$1.7 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

South Africa 81.6%, China 5.2% (2017)

Imports - commodities

motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals


Page last updated: Thursday, May 12, 2022