Introduction

Africa :: 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, 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

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: 159
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)

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: 10.08%
Permanent crops: 0.86%
Other: 89.06% (2011)

Irrigated land:
498.5 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:
4.51 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 1.04 cu km/yr (4%/2%/94%)
Per capita: 962.1 cu m/yr (2005)

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 and Society

Nationality:
Noun: Swazi(s)
Adjective: Swazi

Ethnic groups:
African 97%, European 3%

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

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

Population:
1,403,362 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 154
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

Age structure:
0-14 years: 36.9% (male 261,954/female 256,144)
15-24 years: 22.4% (male 158,947/female 155,421)
25-54 years: 32.7% (male 234,805/female 224,703)
55-64 years: 4.2% (male 23,287/female 35,900)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 21,042/female 31,159) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 70.4 %
Youth dependency ratio: 64.4 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 5.9 %
Potential support ratio: 16.8 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 20.7 years
Male: 20.4 years
Female: 21.1 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
1.17% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 99

Birth rate:
25.68 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 54

Death rate:
13.95 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 11

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 108

Urbanization:
Urban population: 21.2% of total population (2011)
Rate of urbanization: 1.19% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
MBABANE (capital) 74,000 (2009)

Sex ratio:
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: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.65 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:
19.5 (2007 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
320 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 36

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 57.19 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 32
Male: 61.21 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 53.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 50.01 years
Country comparison to the world: 220
Male: 50.44 years
Female: 49.56 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.96 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 61

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
65.2% (2010)

Health expenditures:
6.6% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 95

Physicians density:
0.16 physicians/1,000 population (2004)

Hospital bed density:
2.1 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 91% of population
rural: 65% of population
total: 71% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 9% of population
rural: 35% of population
total: 29% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 64% of population
rural: 55% of population
total: 57% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 36% of population
rural: 45% of population
total: 43% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
25.9% (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 1

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
180,000 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 28

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
7,000 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 31

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 (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
19.7% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 98

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
6.1% (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 81

Education expenditures:
8.2% of GDP (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 11

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 87.8%
Male: 88.4%
Female: 87.3% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 11 years
Male: 12 years
Female: 11 years (2011)

Child labor - children ages 5-14:
Total number: 28,043
Percentage: 9 % (2000 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 19 S, 31 08 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 July 2005; went into effect 8 February 2006

Legal system:
mixed legal system of civil, common, and customary law

International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt

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 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

Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament or Libandla consists of the Senate (30 seats; 10 members elected 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 on 20 September 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:
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
note - the national constitution as amended in 2006 shifted judicial power from the monarch and vested it exclusively in the judiciary
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 law (jurisdiction restricted to customary law for Swazi citizens)

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 Solidarity Network or SSN

International organization participation:
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

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 Makila JAMES
Embassy: 7th Floor, Central Bank Building, Mahlokohla St., Mbabane
Mailing address: P. O. Box 199, Mbabane
Telephone: [268] 404-6441
FAX: [268] 404-5959

National symbol(s):
lion; elephant

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

Economy - overview:
Surrounded by South Africa, except for 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. Subsistence agriculture employs approximately 70% of the population. The manufacturing sector has diversified since the mid-1980s. Sugar and wood pulp were 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 with only coal and quarry stone mines remaining active. Customs revenues plummeted due to the global economic crisis and a drop in South African imports. The resulting decline in revenue has pushed the country into a fiscal crisis. Swaziland is looking to other countries, including South Africa, for assistance, but continues to struggle to meet its monthly payroll and fund government programs. 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. 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):
$6.345 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 163
$6.441 billion (2011 est.)
$6.424 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$3.751 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
-1.5% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 204
0.3% (2011 est.)
1.9% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$5,900 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 151
$6,000 (2011 est.)
$6,100 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

Gross national saving:
7.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 135
0.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
-2.3% of GDP (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 85.5%
Government consumption: 23.3%
Investment in fixed capital: 10.3%
Investment in inventories: 0%
Exports of goods and services: 51.7%
Imports of goods and services: -70.8%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 7.8%
Industry: 45.1%
Services: 47.2% (2012 est.)

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:
0.3% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 128

Labor force:
457,900 (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 157

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 70%
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%: 1.7%
Highest 10%: 40.1% (2010 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
50.4 (2001)
Country comparison to the world: 20

Budget:
Revenues: $1.451 billion
Expenditures: $1.438 billion (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
38.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 48

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
0.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 40

Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
9.4% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 194
6.1% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
6.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 45
6.5% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
8.75% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 101
9% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$403.3 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 162
$355.1 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$1.106 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 168
$1.087 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$762.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 165
$948.6 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$203.1 million (31 December 2007)
Country comparison to the world: 113
$203.1 million (31 December 2007)

Current account balance:
-$3.8 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 58
-$280.9 million (2011 est.)

Exports:
$2.005 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 141
$2.011 billion (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:
soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus and canned fruit

Imports:
$2.152 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 164
$2.108 billion (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:
motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$741 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 144
$600.5 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:
$609.8 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 171
$604.5 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA

Exchange rates:
emalangeni per US dollar -
8.2031 (2012 est.)
7.2597 (2011 est.)
7.3212 (2010 est.)
8.42 (2009)
7.75 (2008)

Energy

Electricity - production:
450 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 163

Electricity - consumption:
1.175 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 148

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 149

Electricity - imports:
597 million kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 72

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
130,000 kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 164

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
67.7% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 113

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 205

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
32.3% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 70

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 205

Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 207

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 207

Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 143

Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 206

Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 146

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
4,567 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 171

Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 145

Refined petroleum products - imports:
4,898 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 156

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 210

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 210

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 208

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 80

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 207

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
1.113 million Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 164

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
75,800 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 153

Telephones - mobile cellular:
766,500 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 158

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 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)

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:
2,744 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 158

Internet users:
90,100 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 162

Transportation

Airports:
14 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 149

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 2
Over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 5
Under 914 m:
7 (2013)

Railways:
Total: 301 km
Country comparison to the world: 120
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

Military branches:
Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (USDF): Ground Force (includes Air Wing) (2013)

Military service age and obligation:
18-30 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; compulsory HIV testing required, only HIV-negative applicants accepted (2012)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 344,038 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 201,853
Females age 16-49: 175,477 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 16,168
Female: 15,763 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
2.6% of GDP (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 48

Transnational Issues

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

Flag of Swaziland



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