[Country map of Swaziland]



Location: Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa

Map references: Africa

total area: 17,360 sq km
land area: 17,200 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than New Jersey

Land boundaries: total 535 km, Mozambique 105 km, South Africa 430 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none; landlocked

International disputes: Swaziland has asked South Africa to open negotiations on reincorporating some nearby South African territories that are populated by ethnic Swazis or that were long ago part of the Swazi Kingdom

Climate: varies from tropical to near temperate

Terrain: mostly mountains and hills; some moderately sloping plains

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

Land use:
arable land: 10.9%
permanent crops: 0.2%
meadows and pastures: 62.2%
forest and woodland: 6.9%
other: 19.8%

Irrigated land: 640 sq km (1993 est.)

current issues: limited access to potable water; wildlife populations being depleted because of excessive hunting; overgrazing; soil degradation; soil erosion
natural hazards: NA
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Climate Change, Law of the Sea

Note: landlocked; almost completely surrounded by South Africa


Population: 966,977 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 46% (female 222,544; male 221,003)
15-64 years: 52% (female 261,973; male 238,726)
65 years and over: 2% (female 13,291; male 9,440) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.23% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 43.06 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 10.8 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 90.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 56.84 years
male: 52.83 years
female: 60.96 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.1 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Swazi(s)
adjective: Swazi

Ethnic divisions: African 97%, European 3%

Religions: Christian 60%, indigenous beliefs 40%

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

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1986)
total population: 67%
male: 70%
female: 65%

Labor force: NA
by occupation: private sector about 65%, public sector 35%


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

Digraph: WZ

Type: monarchy; independent member of Commonwealth

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, Swazi traditional law and custom in traditional courts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: none

Executive branch:
chief of state: King MSWATI III (since 25 April 1986)
head of government: Prime Minister Prince Jameson Mbilini DLAMINI (since 12 November 1993)
cabinet: Cabinet; designated by the monarch

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament is advisory
Senate: consists of 30 members (10 appointed by the House of Assembly and 20 appointed by the king)
House of Assembly: elections last held NA October 1993 (next to be held NA); results - NA; seats - (65 total, 55 directly elected, 10 appointed by the king) - balloting held on a non-party basis

Judicial branch: High Court, Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders:
note: political parties are banned by the Constitution promulgated on 13 October 1978; illegal parties are prohibited from holding large public gatherings
illegal parties: Peoples' United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), Kilson SHONOWE; Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYCO), Benedict TSABEDZE; Swaziland Communist Party (SWACOPA), Mphandlana SHONGWE


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

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador John T. SPROTT
embassy: Central Bank Building, Warner Street, Mbabane
mailing address: P. O. Box 199, Mbabane
telephone: [268] 46441 through 46445
FAX: [268] 45959

Flag: 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


Overview: The economy is based on subsistence agriculture, which occupies more than 60% of the population and contributes nearly 25% to GDP. Manufacturing, which includes a number of agroprocessing factories, accounts for another quarter of GDP. Mining has declined in importance in recent years; high-grade iron ore deposits were depleted by 1978, and health concerns cut world demand for asbestos. Exports of sugar and forestry products 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 90% of its imports and to which it sends about half of its exports. Remittances from Swazi workers in South African mines may supplement domestically produced income by as much as 20%.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $3.3 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 4.5% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $3,490 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 11.3% (1993 est.)

Unemployment rate: 15% (1992 est.)

revenues: $342 million
expenditures: $410 million, including capital expenditures of $130 million (1994 est.)

Exports: $632 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: sugar, edible concentrates, wood pulp, cotton yarn, asbestos
partners: South Africa 50% (est.), EC countries, Canada

Imports: $734 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, petroleum products, foodstuffs, chemicals
partners: South Africa 90% (est.), Switzerland, UK

External debt: $240 million (1992)

Industrial production: growth rate 4.2% (1993 est.)

capacity: 120,000 kW
production: 410 million kWh
consumption per capita: 1,003 kWh (1993)

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

Agriculture: accounts for over 60% of labor force; mostly subsistence agriculture; cash crops - sugarcane, cotton, maize, tobacco, rice, citrus fruit, pineapples; other crops and livestock - corn, sorghum, peanuts, cattle, goats, sheep; not self-sufficient in grain

Economic aid:
recipient: bilateral aid (1991) $35 million of which US disbursements $12 million, UK disbursements $6 million, and Denmark $2 million; multilateral aid (1991) $24 million of which EC disbursements $8 million

Currency: 1 lilangeni (E) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: emalangeni (E) per US$1 -3.5389 (January 1995), 3.5490 (1994), 3.2636 (1993), 2.8497 (1992), 2.7563 (1991), 2.5863 (1990); note - the Swazi emalangeni is at par with the South African rand

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March


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

total: 2,853 km
paved: 510 km
unpaved: crushed stone, gravel, stabilized earth 1,230 km; improved earth 1,113 km

Ports: none

total: 18
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 9
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 8


Telephone system: 17,000 telephones; telephone density is only 17.6 telephones/1,000 persons
local: NA
intercity: system consists of carrier-equipped open-wire lines and low-capacity radio relay microwave links
international: 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station

broadcast stations: AM 7, FM 6, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 10
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (Army), Royal Swaziland Police Force

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 212,239; males fit for military service 122,782 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $22 million, NA% of GDP (FY93/94)