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Swaziland, See : Flags, Maps

Adventures in Swaziland, by Owen Rowe O'Neil

Swaziland (Africa)

Introduction ::Swaziland

Background:

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, the world'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 political parties remain banned. 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


View Larger Map

Location:

Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa

Geographic coordinates:
26 30 S, 31 30 E

Map references:

Africa

Area:

total: 17,364 sq km country comparison to the world: 158 land: 17,204 sq km

water: 160 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than New Jersey

Land boundaries:

total: 535 km

border countries: Mozambique 105 km, South Africa 430 km

Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)

Swaziland 1

Climate:

varies from tropical to near temperate

Terrain:

mostly mountains and hills; some moderately sloping plains

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Great Usutu River 21 m

highest point: Emlembe 1,862 m

Natural resources:

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

Land use:

arable land: 10.25%

permanent crops: 0.81%

other: 88.94% (2005)

SWAZILAND-002

Irrigated land:

500 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

4.5 cu km (1987)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 1.04 cu km/yr (2%/1%/97%)

per capita: 1,010 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

drought

Environment - current issues:

limited supplies of potable water; wildlife populations being depleted because of excessive hunting; overgrazing; soil degradation; soil erosion

Environment - international agreements:

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

Geography - note:

landlocked; almost completely surrounded by South Africa

People ::Swaziland

Population:

1,354,051 country comparison to the world: 152 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 2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 38.6% (male 260,840/female 254,781)

15-64 years: 57.9% (male 383,236/female 391,478)

65 years and over: 3.5% (male 19,857/female 26,994) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 20.1 years

male: 19.7 years

female: 20.5 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.213% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 102

Birth rate:

27.12 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 51

Death rate:

14.99 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 13

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population country comparison to the world: 107

Urbanization:

urban population: 25% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 66.71 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 23 male: 70.76 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 62.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 47.97 years country comparison to the world: 218 male: 48.14 years

female: 47.8 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

3.19 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 58

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

26.1% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 1

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

190,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 33

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

10,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 32

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne disease: malaria

water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Swazi(s)

adjective: Swazi

Ethnic groups:

African 97%, European 3%

Religions:

Zionist 40% (a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship), Roman Catholic 20%, Muslim 10%, other (includes Anglican, Bahai, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish) 30%

Languages:

English (official, government business conducted in English), siSwati (official)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 81.6%

male: 82.6%

female: 80.8% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 10 years

male: 11 years

female: 10 years (2006)

Education expenditures:

7.9% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 13

Government ::Swaziland

Country name:

conventional long form: Kingdom of Swaziland

conventional short form: Swaziland

local long form: Umbuso weSwatini

local short form: eSwatini

Government type:

monarchy

Capital:

name: Mbabane

geographic coordinates: 26 18 S, 31 06 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

note: Lobamba (royal and legislative capital)

Administrative divisions:

4 districts; Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, Shiselweni

Independence:

6 September 1968 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 6 September (1968)

Constitution:

signed by the King in July 2005; went into effect on 8 February 2006

Legal system:

based on South African Roman-Dutch law in statutory courts and Swazi traditional law and custom in traditional courts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage:

18 years of age

Executive branch:

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

head of government: Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso DLAMINI (since 16 October 2008)

cabinet: Cabinet recommended by the prime minister and confirmed by the monarch (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch from among the elected members of the House of Assembly

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament or Libandla consists of the Senate (30 seats; 10 members appointed 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 in 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

Judicial branch:

High Court; Supreme Court; judges for both courts are appointed by the monarch

Political parties and leaders:

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]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Swaziland Democracy Campaign; Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions;
Swaziland and Solidarity Network or SSN

International organization participation:

ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD,
IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent),
ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD,
UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

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

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Earl M. IRVING

embassy: 2350 Mbabane Place, Mbabane

mailing address: P. O. Box 199, Mbabane

telephone: [268] 404-2445
FAX: [268] 404-2059

Flag description:

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

National anthem:

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

Economy - overview:

In this small, landlocked economy, subsistence agriculture occupies approximately 70% of the population. The manufacturing sector has diversified since the mid-1980s. Sugar and wood pulp remain important foreign exchange earners. In 2007, the sugar industry increased efficiency and diversification efforts, in response to a 17% decline in EU sugar prices. Mining has declined in importance in recent years with only coal and quarry stone mines remaining active. Surrounded by South Africa, except for a short border with Mozambique, Swaziland is heavily dependent on South Africa from which it receives more than nine-tenths of its imports and to which it sends 60% of its exports. Swaziland's currency is pegged to the South African rand, subsuming Swaziland's monetary policy to South Africa. Customs duties from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) account for two-thirds of Swaziland's government revenues, and worker remittances from South Africa substantially supplement domestically earned income. Customs revenues plummeted during the global economic crisis and Swaziland has appealed to SACU for assistance. 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 sometimes 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.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$6.055 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 155 $5.937 billion (2009 est.)

$5.913 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$3.165 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

2% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 150 0.4% (2009 est.)

2.4% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$4,500 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 154 $4,400 (2009 est.)

$4,500 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 8.6%

industry: 42%

services: 49.4% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

457,900 (2007) country comparison to the world: 156

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%

Unemployment rate:

40% (2006 est.) country comparison to the world: 188

Population below poverty line:

69% (2006)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.6%

highest 10%: 40.7% (2001)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

50.4 (2001) country comparison to the world: 22

Investment (gross fixed):

12.6% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 144

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 144 7.3% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

6.5% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 39 11% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

11.38% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 49 14.83% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$335.7 million (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 163 $273.9 million (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$1.266 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 153 $920.7 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$258.5 million (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 171 $274.5 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 108 $203.1 million (31 December 2007)

$199.9 million (31 December 2006)

Agriculture - products:

sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep

Industries:

coal, wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textiles and apparel

Industrial production growth rate:

1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 147

Electricity - production:

441 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 161

Electricity - consumption:

1.266 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 144

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008)

Electricity - imports:

770 million kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 128

Oil - consumption:

4,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 172

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 171

Oil - imports:

4,100 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 166

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 117

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 123

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 172

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 117

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 127

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 129

Current account balance:

-$374 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 107 -$213 million (2009 est.)

Exports:

$1.417 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 139 $1.338 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

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

Imports:

$1.643 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 158 $1.585 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

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

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$708 million (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 115 $959 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$497 million (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 161 $411 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA

Exchange rates:

emalangeni per US dollar - 7.57 (2010), 8.4737 (2009), 7.75 (2008), 7.4 (2007), 6.85 (2006)

Communications ::Swaziland

Telephones - main lines in use:

44,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 165

Telephones - mobile cellular:

656,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 154

Telephone system:

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 exceeded 60 telephones per 100 persons in 2009; 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)

Broadcast media:

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)

Internet country code:

.sz

Internet hosts:

2,335 (2010) country comparison to the world: 152

Internet users:

90,100 (2009) country comparison to the world: 162

Transportation ::Swaziland

Airports:

15 (2010) country comparison to the world: 146

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 13

914 to 1,523 m: 6

under 914 m: 7 (2010)

Railways:

total: 301 km country comparison to the world: 121 narrow gauge: 301 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:

total: 3,594 km country comparison to the world: 160 paved: 1,078 km

unpaved: 2,516 km (2002)

Military ::Swaziland

Military branches:

Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (USDF): Ground Force (includes Air
Wing) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18-30 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; only HIV-negative applicants accepted; compulsory HIV testing required (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 336,436 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 196,633

females age 16-49: 172,602 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 16,024

female: 15,630 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

4.7% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 18

Transnational Issues ::Swaziland

Disputes - international:

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

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Swaziland is a source, destination, and transit country for women and children trafficked internally and transnationally for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and forced labor in agriculture; Swazi girls, particularly orphans, are trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude, as well as to South Africa and Mozambique; Swazi boys are trafficked for forced labor in commercial agriculture and market vending; some Swazi women are forced into prostitution in South Africa and Mozambique after voluntarily migrating to these countries in search of work

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the government of Swaziland does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government believes that trafficking probably does occur, but does not know the extent of the problem; the government does not judge trafficking to be an "important" problem and chooses to direct its limited resources towards other issues, a judgment which significantly limited the government's current efforts to eliminate human trafficking, or to plan anti-trafficking activities or initiatives for the future (2010)

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