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General information
Common nameSwaziland
Local nameUmbuso weSwatini
NameUmbuso weSwatini
Motto"Siyinqaba" (Swati)
"We are a fortress"

"We are a mystery/riddle" "We hide ourselves away"
AnthemNkulunkulu Mnikati wetibusiso temaSwati
Oh God, Bestower of the Blessings of the Swazi
CapitalLobamba (royal and legislative)
Mbabane (administrative; coordinates below)
Largest cityMbabane
Official languagesEnglish, Swati
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary democracy within Constitutional and Absolute monarchy
KingMswati III
NdlovukatiQueen Ntombi
Prime MinisterBarnabas Sibusiso Dlamini
Deputy Prime MinisterThemba N. Masuku
LegislatureParliament of Swaziland
Upper HouseSenate
Lower HouseHouse of Assembly
from the United Kingdom6 September 1968
Total Area6704 sq mi (17363.4 km2) (157th)
Water %0.9
Population Est.1185000 (154th)
Population census1018449 (2007)
Density (pop.)68.2/km2 (135th) (176.8/sq mi)
GDP PPP$5.858 billion (2009)
GDP (PPP) per capita$5,708
GDP (nominal)$2.983 billion (2009)
GDP (nominal) per capita$2,907
Other information
Gini60.9 (1994) (high)
HDI(+) 0.498 (2010) (medium) (121st)
CurrencyLilangeni (SZL)
Time zoneSAST (UTC+2)
Drives on theleft
Calling code268

     Home | Country | Swaziland

Swaziland, officially the Kingdom of Swaziland (Umbuso weSwatini), and sometimes called Ngwane or Swatini, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, bordered to the north, south and west by South Africa, and to the east by Mozambique. The nation, as well as its people, are named after the 19th century king Mswati II.

Swaziland is a small country, no more than 200 km (124.3 mi) north to south and 130 km (80.8 mi) east to west. The western half is mountainous, descending to a lowveld region to the east. The eastern border with Mozambique and South Africa is dominated by the escarpment of the Lebombo Mountains. The climate is temperate in the west, but may reach 40 C (129.6 F) in summer in the lowveld. Rainfall occurs mainly in the summer and may reach 2 m (6.6 ft) in the west.

The area that Swaziland now covers has been continuously inhabited since prehistory. Today, the population is primarily ethnic Swazis whose language is siSwati, though English is spoken as a second language. The Swazi people descend from the southern Bantu who migrated from Central Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Anglo Boer war saw the United Kingdom make Swaziland a protectorate under its direct control. Swaziland gained independence in 1968. Swaziland is a member of the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, and the Commonwealth of Nations. The head of state is the king, who appoints the prime minister and a small number of representatives for both chambers of parliament. Elections are held every five years to determine the majority of the representatives. A new constitution was adopted in 2005.

Some 75% of the population are employed in subsistence farming, and 60% of the population live on less than the equivalent of US$1.25 per day. Swaziland's main trading partner is South Africa, and its currency is pegged to the South African rand. Swaziland's economic growth and societal integrity is highly endangered by its disastrous HIV epidemic, to an extent where the United Nations Development Program has written that if it continues unabated, the "longer term existence of Swaziland as a country will be seriously threatened." The infection rate in the country is unprecedented and the highest in the world at 26.1% of adults and over 50% of adults in their 20s.

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