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  The World Factbook.  2008.
 
Swaziland
 
Flag of Swaziland                                Map of 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
  
Location:Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa
Geographic coordinates:26 30 S, 31 30 E
Map references:Africa
Area:total: 17,363 sq km
land: 17,203 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)
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)
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, 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
  
Population:1,133,066
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 40.3% (male 230,238/female 226,184)
15-64 years: 56.1% (male 304,899/female 331,036)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 15,870/female 24,839) (2007 est.)
Median age:total: 18.6 years
male: 17.9 years
female: 19.3 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:-0.337% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:26.98 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:30.35 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.018 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.921 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.639 male(s)/female
total population: 0.947 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 70.66 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 74 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 67.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 32.23 years
male: 31.84 years
female: 32.62 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:3.43 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS—adult prevalence rate:38.8% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS—people living with HIV/AIDS:220,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS—deaths:17,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2008)
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.)
  
Government
  
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 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 Absolom Themba DLAMINI (since 14 November 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet recommended by the prime minister and confirmed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch 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; to serve five-year terms) and the House of Assembly (65 seats; 10 members appointed by the monarch and 55 elected by popular vote; to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Assembly - last held 18 October 2003 (next to be held in October 2008)
election results: House of Assembly - balloting is done on a nonparty basis; candidates for election are 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 new (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:NA
International organization participation:ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, 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 Ephraim Mandla HLOPHE
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 Maurice S. PARKER
embassy: Central Bank Building, Mahlokahla Street, Mbabane
mailing address: P. O. Box 199, Mbabane
telephone: [268] 404-6441 through 404-6445
FAX: [268] 404-5959
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
  
Economy
  
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, which may equal as much as 70% of government revenue this year, and worker remittances from South Africa substantially supplement domestically earned income. Swaziland is not poor enough to merit an IMF program; however, the country is struggling to reduce the size of the civil service and control costs at public enterprises. The government is trying to improve the atmosphere for foreign investment. 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 nearly two-fifths of the adult population has been infected by HIV/AIDS.
GDP (purchasing power parity):$5.424 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$2.674 billion (2007 est.)
GDP—real growth rate:1.6% (2007 est.)
GDP—per capita (PPP):$4,800 (2007 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:agriculture: 11.8%
industry: 45.8%
services: 42.3% (2007 est.)
Labor force:300,000 (2006)
Labor force—by occupation:agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate:40% (2006 est.)
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)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):6% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):17.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:revenues: $1.216 billion
expenditures: $1.15 billion (2007 est.)
Agriculture—products:sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep
Industries:coal, wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textile and apparel
Industrial production growth rate:1% (2007 est.)
Electricity—production:460 million kWh (2005)
Electricity—consumption:1.3 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity—exports:0 kWh (2005)
Electricity—imports:872 million kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (2007)
Oil—production:0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—consumption:3,500 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—exports:0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—imports:3,530 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—proved reserves:0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas—production:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—consumption:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—exports:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—imports:0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas—proved reserves:0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:$-26.71 million (2007 est.)
Exports:$2.169 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports—commodities:soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus and canned fruit
Exports—partners:South Africa 59.7%, EU 8.8%, US 8.8%, Mozambique 6.2% (2006)
Imports:$2.31 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports—commodities:motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Imports—partners:South Africa 95.6%, EU 0.9%, Japan 0.9%, Singapore 0.3% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$394.9 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt—external:$538.6 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment—at home:$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment—abroad:$NA
Market value of publicly traded shares:$196.8 million (2005)
Economic aid—recipient:$46.03 million (2005)
Currency (code):lilangeni (SZL)
Exchange rates:lilangeni per US dollar - 7.4 (2007), 6.85 (2006), 6.3593 (2005), 6.4597 (2004), 7.5648 (2003)
Fiscal year:1 April - 31 March
  
Communications
  
Telephones—main lines in use:44,000 (2006)
Telephones—mobile cellular:250,000 (2006)
Telephone system:general assessment: a somewhat modern but not an advanced system
domestic: mobile-cellular subscribership is increasing; combined fixed-line and mobile cellular teledensity about 25 telephones per 100 persons; 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)
Radio broadcast stations:AM 3, FM 2 (plus 4 repeaters), shortwave 3 (2004)
Television broadcast stations:12 (includes 7 relay stations) (2004)
Internet country code:.sz
Internet hosts:2,672 (2007)
Internet users:41,600 (2005)
  
Transportation
  
Airports:18 (2007)
Airports—with paved runways:total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2007)
Airports—with unpaved runways:total: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 10 (2007)
Railways:total: 301 km
narrow gauge: 301 km 1.067-m gauge (2006)
Roadways:total: 3,594 km
paved: 1,078 km
unpaved: 2,516 km (2002)
  
Military
  
Military branches:Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (USDF): Ground Force (includes air wing), Royal Swaziland Police Force (RSPF) (2007)
Military service age and obligation:18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; both sexes are eligible for military service (2005)
Manpower available for military service:males age 18-49: 227,617 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:males age 18-49: 89,609 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures—percent of GDP:4.7% (2006)
  
Transnational Issues
  
Disputes—international:in 2006, Swazi king advocates resort to ICJ to claim parts of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal from South Africa

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