Eswatini

Country Summary

Introduction

Background

A Swazi kingdom was founded in the mid-18th century and administered as a UK territory of Swaziland from 1903 until its independence in 1968. The country’s absolute monarchy adopted limited political reforms in a 2005 constitution. Swaziland changed its name to the Kingdom of Eswatini in 2018.

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

1,130,043 (2023 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 traditional African religions - 40%, Roman Catholic 20%, other Christian 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

0.72% (2023 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 Russell Mmiso DLAMINI (since 3 November 2023)

 


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 69; 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, one each representing each region, 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)

$10.56 billion (2021 est.)
$9.788 billion (2020 est.)
$9.943 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$8,900 (2021 est.)
$8,300 (2020 est.)
$8,500 (2019 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

$2.132 billion (2021 est.)
$1.808 billion (2020 est.)
$2.048 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

South Africa 94% (2017)

Exports - commodities

carbonated drink mixtures, sugar, gold, industrial additives, clothing, lumber (2021)

Imports

$2.173 billion (2021 est.)
$1.686 billion (2020 est.)
$1.924 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

South Africa 81.6%, China 5.2% (2017)

Imports - commodities

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

Exchange rates

emalangeni per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
14.783 (2021 est.)
16.47 (2020 est.)
14.452 (2019 est.)
13.234 (2018 est.)
13.324 (2017 est.)


Page last updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024