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Countries > Swaziland Swaziland Flag

Languages   2 languages are spoken in Swaziland. We have 64 products available for those languages.

Capital: Mbabane
Population: 900,000
Click to Listen Play the National Anthem
Swaziland Map


Location: Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa

Geographic coordinates: 26 30 S, 31 30 E

Map references: Africa

total: 17,360 sq km
land: 17,200 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: 11%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 62%
forests and woodland : 7%
other: 20% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 670 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

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, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Desertification, Law of the Sea

Geography - note: landlocked; almost completely surrounded by South Africa


Population: 1,123,605 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years:45.5% (male 254,573; female 256,677)
15-64 years: 51.9% (male 281,645; female 301,071)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 12,027; female 17,612) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:1.63% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:39.59 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:23.26 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population : 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 109.43 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population:37 years
male:36.35 years
female:37.66 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.77 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: Swazi(s)
adjective: Swazi

Ethnic groups: African 97%, European 3%

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

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

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 78.3%
male :78%
female: 78.4% (1999 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form : Kingdom of Swaziland
conventional short form: Swaziland

Data code: WZ

Government type: monarchy; independent member of Commonwealth

National capital: Mbabane (administrative); Lobamba (legislative)

Administrative divisions: 4 districts; Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, Shiselweni

Independence: 6 September 1968 (from UK)

National holiday: Somhlolo (Independence) Day, 6 September (1968)

Constitution: none; constitution of 6 September 1968 was suspended 12 April 1973; a new constitution was promulgated 13 October 1978, but has not been formally presented to the people

Legal system: based on South African Roman-Dutch law in statutory courts and Swazi traditional law and custom in traditional courts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: NA; note - no suffrage before September 1993; 55 of the 65 seats in the House of Assembly were filled by popular vote in the elections of September and October 1993; of a population of less than 1 million, the electorate numbered 283,693

Executive branch:
chief of state: King MSWATI III (since 25 April 1986)
head of government:Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas DLAMINI (since 9 August 1996)
cabinet: Cabinet recommended by the prime minister and confirmed by the king
elections : none; the king is a hereditary monarch; prime minister appointed by the king

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Libandla, an advisory body, consists of the Senate (30 seats - 10 appointed by the House of Assembly and 20 appointed by the monarch; members serve five-year terms) and the House of Assembly (65 seats - 10 appointed by the monarch and 55 elected by popular vote; members serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Assembly - last held 16 and 24 October 1998 (next to be held NA 2003)
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, judges are appointed by the king; Court of Appeal, judges are appointed by the king

Political parties and leaders: political parties are banned by the constitution - the following are considered political associations - Imbokodvo National Movement or INM [leader NA]; Ngwane National Libertatory Congress or NNLC [Obed DLAMINI, president]; People's United Democratic Movement or PUDEMO [Mario MASUKU, president]; Swaziland National Front or SWANAFRO [Elmond SHONGWE, president]

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mary Madzandza KANYA
chancery: Suite 3M, 3400 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 362-6683, 6685
FAX: [1] (202) 244-8059

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador James D. McGEE
embassy: Central Bank Building, Warner Street, Mbabane
mailing address: P. O. Box 199, Mbabane
telephone: [268] 46441 through 46445
FAX : [268] 45959

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 - overview: In this small landlocked economy, subsistence agriculture occupies more than 80% of the population. Manufacturing features a number of agroprocessing factories. Mining has declined in importance in recent years: diamond mines have shut down because of the depletion of easily accessible reserves; high-grade iron ore deposits were depleted by 1978; and health concerns have cut world demand for asbestos. Exports of soft drink concentrate, sugar, and wood pulp are the main earners of hard currency. Surrounded by South Africa, except for a short border with Mozambique, Swaziland is heavily dependent on South Africa from which it receives nine-tenths of its imports and to which it sends more than two-thirds of its exports. Remittances from the Southern African Customs Union and Swazi workers in South African mines substantially supplement domestically earned income. The government is trying to improve the atmosphere for foreign investment. Overgrazing, soil depletion, drought, and sometimes floods persist as problems for the future. Prospects for 2002 are strengthened by the country's status as a beneficiary of the US African Growth and Opportunity Act initiative.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $4.6 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.5% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,200 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 10%
industry: 43%
services: 47% (1999 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 7.5% (2001 est.)

Labor force:
total: 160,355 (1986 est.)
by occupation: private sector about 65%, public sector 35%

Unemployment rate: 34% (2000 est.)

revenues: $448 million
expenditures: $506.9 million, including capital expenditures of $147 million (FY01/02)

Industries: mining (coal and asbestos), wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates

Industrial production growth rate: 3.7% (FY95/96)

Electricity - capacity: 50,000 kW (1993)

Electricity - production: 362 million kWh (2000)
note: imports 90% of its electricity from South Africa

Electricity - consumption per capita: 900.66 million kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: sugarcane, cotton, maize, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, corn, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep

total value : $702 million (f.o.b., 2001)
commodities: soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn
partners : South Africa 72%, EU 12%, UK 6%, Mozambique 4%, US 4% (1999)

total value:$850 million (f.o.b., 2001)
commodities: motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, petroleum products, foodstuffs, chemicals
partners : South Africa 89%, EU 5%, Japan 2%, Singapore 2% (2000)

Debt - external: $336 million (2001 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: $104 million (2001)

Currency: 1 lilangeni (SZL) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: eemalangeni per US dollar - 11.5808 (January 2002), 8.4933 (2001), 6.9056 (2000), 6.1087 (1999), 5.4807 (1998), 4.6032 (1997); note - the Swazi lilangeni is at par with the South African rand; emalangeni is the plural form of lilangeni

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March


Telephones:38,500 (2001)

Telephone system: a somewhat modern but not an advanced system
domestic : system consists of carrier-equipped, open-wire lines and low-capacity, microwave radio relay
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 2 plus 4 repeaters, shortwave 3 (2001)

Radios:170,000 (1999)

Television broadcast stations: 5 plus 7 relay stations (2001)

Televisions: 23,000 (2000)


total: 297 km; note - includes 71 km which are not in use
narrow gauge: 297 km 1.067-m gauge(2001)

total:3,800 km
paved: 1,064 km
unpaved: 2,736 km (2002)

Ports and harbors: none

Airports:18 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m : 10 (2001)


Military branches: Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (Army), Royal Swaziland Police Force

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 253,510 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 146,805 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $20 million (FY01/02)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:4.75% (FY00/01)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: Swaziland continues to press South Africa into ceding ethnic Swazi lands in Kangwane region of KwaZulu-Natal province that were long ago part of the Swazi Kingdom

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