Geographic and Governmental Profile 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, 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.
Location
Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa
Geographic coordinates
26 30 S, 31 30 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
17,364 sq km
rank:
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:
10.25%
permanent crops:
0.81%
other:
88.94% (2005)
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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
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)
Lobamba (royal and legislative capital)
Administrative divisions
4 districts; Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, Shiselweni
Independence
6 September 1968 (from the UK)
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 16 October 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 in 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
Supreme Court; High Court; judges for both courts are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission
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, 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 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
adopted 1968; the anthem uses elements of both ethnic Swazi and Western music styles
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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