The Kingdom of Swaziland (also known as the Kingdom of Swaziland , swati Umbuso weSwatini) is a country in southern Africa. It shares a 430-km border with South Africa to the south, southeast, west and north and 105 km with Mozambique to the east. The total length of the border is 535 km. The total area of the country is 17,363 km² (land area – 17,200 km²). The country lies on the Veld Plateau, which descends in escarpments from west to east. The highest point is Emlembe (1862 m), the lowest point is the Usutsu River (21 m). Swaziland has several flat plains. The main rivers are Usutsu, Komati, and Umbeluzi. Main natural resources: coal, timber, hydropower, forests, and small deposits of gold and diamonds. About 11% of the territory is arable, meadows and pastures – 62%.
Description of the national flag: three horizontal stripes of blue (above), red (triple width) and blue colors; the red band has an orange border; in the center of the red band horizontally are a large black and white shield, two spears and a staff, decorated with tassels of feathers.
At the center of the coat of arms is a shield supported by a lion, symbolizing the king, and an elephant, symbolizing the queen mother. Above the shield is the headdress, which the king wears during the Incwala feast. At the bottom is a ribbon with the national motto  .
The country’s three-stage topography corresponds to three main climatic zones. A moderately warm mountain type climate alternates with a subtropical climate below and finally a tropical climate in the Lower Velde. Precipitation is higher in summer in the temperate zone. The average July temperature is 12C, February – 23C. Precipitation ranges from 500-700 mm per year in the east to 1,200-1,400 mm in the west.
Swaziland has typical savannah vegetation in the west and thickets of xerophytic scrubland in the east. The flora is rich: there are about 2,400 known species, from lichens and ferns to magnolias and ficus. Aloes alone – 25 species, 12 species of orchids, 10 – lilies.
The largest mammals are “blue” buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, hippos. Crocodiles are found in the rivers.
Economy, transport communications
The main sector of economy is agriculture (about quarter of GNP) where most part of working population is engaged. The main agricultural crops are sugarcane, corn, cotton, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples. Except production of agricultural production the mining industry (coal and asbestos) and production of cellulose are developed. In 1994 the GNP was $3.3 billion (GNP per capita – $3490). Currency unit is lilangeni (1 lilangeni (E) equals 100 cents). Main trading partners: South Africa, Japan, Belgium, Great Britain and Canada.
Total length of railroads is 297 km and roads are 2853 km (510 km are paved roads).
The Swaziland Army
The Umbutfo (Army) and the Royal Swaziland Police are branches of the armed forces;
The ancestors of the Swazi people came to southern Africa in the Middle Ages, from the central part of the continent. At first they settled on the coast of the Indian Ocean, but in the eighteenth century the Swazi were pushed by other tribes to the north, to the territory of present-day Swaziland. In the early nineteenth century, the Swazi waged bloody wars against the Zulu and other neighboring tribes who raided Swazi lands.
In 1836, Swazi chief Sobhuza (now called king) won a decisive victory over the Zulu, instituted a centralized system of his power, subjugated other chiefs, and effectively established the Swazi state.
The next Swazi king, Mswati I, in the late 1830s annexed new lands in the north of the country and created a state whose territory was more than twice the size of modern Swaziland.
Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, the Boers came to Swaziland. They bought up large tracts of land from Swazi chiefs for private ownership. Then, in 1894, the territory of Swaziland was declared part of the Boer republic of Transvaal.
After the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) Britain declared Swaziland a protectorate, retaining the authority of the local kings and chiefs.
In 1964, Swaziland held its first local parliamentary elections. The National Movement Imbokodwo, a party founded by then King Sobhuza II, won the majority of seats.
On September 6, 1968, Britain granted full independence to the Kingdom of Swaziland.
In the 1973 parliamentary elections, the leftist National Liberation Congress Ngwane party won about 20% of the votes, and as a result the king abolished the constitution, dissolved parliament and outlawed all political parties, trade unions and other social organizations.
In April 2011, opposition rallies of many thousands were held throughout the country demanding the abdication of Mswati III. The opposition accused the monarch of plundering the state treasury to provide a luxurious life for himself and his 13 wives. On April 12, police used riot gear to break up a rally in Swaziland’s capital, arresting 13 rally organizers.
The head of state is the King, Mswati III since 1986. The King has legislative and executive power. He has the right to appoint a prime minister and several representatives to each house of parliament (Libandla).
The supreme legislative body is the bicameral parliament consisting of the National Assembly (65 seats) and the Senate (30 seats). The term of Parliament is 5 years.
Elections to the National Assembly are two-step (in the second round 55 deputies are elected by the electors and 10 are appointed by the king). 10 senators are appointed by the National Assembly, 20 are appointed by the king.
Parliament has no real legislative power and is in fact an advisory body to the king. Candidates are nominated by local councils. Elections are always held in two rounds, with the three candidates receiving the most votes in the first round going to the second. At least 30% of the seats in the House of Assembly must be held by women.
The first elections to the local legislative assembly (Swaziland was a British colony at the time) were held in 1964.
In 1968, the independence of the country was declared.
In 1977, the parliamentary system was abolished, and political parties were banned.
In 1979 indirect parliamentary elections were restored.
In 1993 partially direct parliamentary elections were allowed.
The activity of political parties is still (2004) prohibited.
President of the Senate (2004) – Moses Mathendele Dlamini.
The President of the National Assembly (2004) is Charles Sgayoyo Magongo.
Administrative and territorial division
Swaziland is divided into 4 districts:
|№||District (Russian name).||District (English name)||District (Swati name)||Administrative center||Population (2010) people.||Area, km²||Density, persons/km²|
|1||Hohho||Hhohho District||siGodzi wa Hhohho||Mbabane||267 397||3 569||74,92|
|2||Lubombo||Lubombo District||siGodzi wa Lubombo||Siteki||194 217||5 945||32,67|
|3||Manzini||Manzini District||siGodzi wa Manzini||Manzini||298 378||4 070||73,31|
|4||Shiselweni||Shiselweni District||siGodzi wa Shiselweni||Nhlangano||201 346||3 779||53,28|
|Total||961 338||17 363||55,28|
Swaziland provides a great variety of natural landscapes, from the mountainous areas along the border with Mozambique to the savannahs in the east and the rainforests in the northwest. Several rivers flow through the country, including Swaziland’s largest river, the Lusuflu River.
The official capital of the country is Mbabane (67,200 inhabitants in 2004), the historic capital and seat of the Queen Mother and Parliament is Lobamba. The largest city and economic “capital” is Manzini (73,000 in 2004).
GDP per capita as of 2011, nominal $3,400 (150th in the world, 8th in Black Africa). Below the poverty level – 69% of the population (in 2006). Unemployment rate – 40% (in 2006).
75% of the labor force is employed in agriculture (8% of GDP). They grow sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus fruits, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts, and raise livestock (cows, goats, sheep).
The industrial sector of the economy (45% of GDP) includes cane sugar production, coal mining, timber production, fruit juice concentrate production, and textile production.
The budget deficit is 16% of GDP. The negative trade balance has increased from 153 mln. The trade deficit increased from $153 million (2008) to $194 million (2009). Inflation rate – 7.8%. The unemployment rate is 40.6%.The country’s foreign currency reserves are estimated at $920 million (January 2010).The volume of foreign debt is 367 million USD. FOREIGN DEBT – $367 MILLION (JANUARY 2010). 
Exports – $1.8 billion (2008) – juice concentrates, sugar, timber, cotton, citrus fruits, canned fruit.
The main foreign trade partners are South Africa (60% of exports and more than 90% of the country’s imports).
Imports – $1.9 billion (in 2008) – industrial goods, vehicles, foodstuffs and petroleum products.
The main supplier is South Africa (90%).
Part of the international organization of the ACP countries.
In July 2010, Swaziland’s population was estimated at 1.35 million but this estimate may not be accurate due to the high level of immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection – 26.1% of the adult population as estimated by the UN in 2007 (the highest level in the world).
The annual population growth rate is 1.2%.
Fertility – 27 per 1,000 (fertility rate – 3.2 births per woman, infant mortality – 67 per 1,000);
Mortality – 15 per 1,000;
Life expectancy – as of 2011 – 48 years .
The Swazi constitute the bulk of the population, with small numbers of Zulu, Europeans, and immigrants from Mozambique.
The official languages are English and Swazi.
The urban population is 25%.
Literacy rate is 82% (2003 estimate).
- 0-14 years old – 46% (males 245,626; females 247,825)
- 15-64 years old – 52% (men 270,308, women 291,884)
- 65 years old and over – 2% (men 11,357; women 16,289)
Religions – syncretists 40% (beliefs based on a combination of Christianity and aboriginal cults), Catholics 20%, Muslims 10%, others (Anglicans, Baha’is, Methodists, Mormons, Jews) 30%.
As of May 2010, Swaziland is the country with the highest percentage of people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).  One in four adults in the country is a carrier of the virus.
Umhlanga ceremony where tens of thousands of Swazi virgins dance in front of the king. Mbabane, 2006.
A tourist attraction is the traditional Dance of the Cane (Umhlanga), an annual mass celebration in Swaziland, culminating in the dance of several thousand half-naked Swazi girls wishing to become one of the wives of King Mswati III, the last absolute monarch in Africa [ source not shown 484 days ] .
Swaziland anthem in Swazi language:
Nkulunkulu Mnikati wetibusiso temaSwati; Siyatibonga tonkhe tinhlanhla, Sibonga iNgwenyama yetfu, Live netintsaba nemifula.
Busisa tiphatsimandla takaNgwane Nguwe wedvwa Somandla wetfu; Sinike kuhlakanipha lokungenabucili Simise usicinise, Simakadze.
- ↑ Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division (2009). “World Population Prospects, Table A.1” (PDF) (United Nations). Verified 2009-03-12.
- ↑ Swaziland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 1970-2011.
- ↑ National Arms of Swaziland – Heraldry of the World. Archived from the source on December 25, 2012.Verified on 25 December 2012.
- ↑ Ministry of Foreign Affairs | 10/17/2011 | Kingdom of Swaziland (reference)
- ↑ World Development Indicators.
- ↑ Swasiland: Die höchste HIV-Rate der Welt (German).
Coat of Arms – Flag – Hymn – State System – Constitution – Parliament – Administrative Division – Geography – Cities – Capital City – Population – Languages – History – Economy – Currency – Culture – Religion – Cinema – Literature – Music – Holidays – Sport – Education – Science – Transportation – Tourism – Postal Service (history and stamps) – Internet – Armed Forces – Foreign Policy Portal Swaziland
¹ Western Sahara, according to UN documents, is a non-decolonized territory. The Sahrawi ADR, proclaimed on its territory, is a member of the African Union. Much of the territory is occupied by Morocco.
Botswana – Lesotho – Swaziland – Namibia – South Africa
- States by alphabetical order
- Dualist Monarchies
- Unitarian States
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- English-speaking countries and territories
- South Africa
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See what “Swaziland” is in other dictionaries:
Swaziland – The Kingdom of Swaziland, a state in southern Africa. The name Swaziland is Swazi country from the ethnonym Swazi and English, land country . Geographical names of the world: Toponymic dictionary. M: AST. Pospelov E.M. 2001 … Geographic Encyclopedia
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SWASILAND – (Kingdom of Swaziland), a state in southern Africa. The area is 17,400 sq km. Population 814,000, mainly Swazi. Official languages are English and Swazi. Most believers are Christians, about 40% follow local traditional ….
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Swaziland, the Kingdom of Swaziland, a state in S. Africa. Territory of Swaziland. 17.4 sq. km. Pop. 610 t. P. (1983). Capital, Mbabane, (29.9 t. d., 1981). Before declaration of independence in 1968, C. was a British protectorate. She is a member of the Commonwealth… Encyclopedic Dictionary of Demographics
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SWASILAND – The Kingdom of Swaziland, a state in southern Africa. Member of the Commonwealth, led by Great Britain. It is surrounded by South African territory on all sides except the northeast, where it borders Mozambique. Area: 17,364 sq km. Population: 967,000 (1997) … Encyclopedia Colliery
Swaziland is a state in southern Africa. The country covers an area of 17,364 km². The population is 1,093,238 (2017), mostly Swazi. The official languages are English and Swazi. Believers are mostly Christians, with 1/3 of the population adhering to local traditional beliefs. Territorial division: 4 districts. The capital are Mbabane (seat of government) and Lobamba (seat of king and seat of legislature). Part of the Commonwealth. Swaziland is a constitutional monarchy. The head of state is the king. The legislative body is a bicameral parliament (the Senate and the House of Assembly).
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The surface is the Weld Plateau (up to 1,445 m high), which descends in ledges from west to east. The climate is transitional from subtropical to tropical, arid. Average monthly temperatures are 20-24°C in summer and 12-15°C in winter, while annual precipitation is from 500 to 1400 mm. Savannah. In the late. In the 1830s on the territory of Swaziland a large association of Swazi tribes was formed. In 1903-1968 Swaziland was under the protectorate of the British Empire. Swaziland was a British protectorate. The independent state since 1968.
Economically underdeveloped agrarian country. The main agricultural cultures are corn, sugar cane, citrus fruits, pineapples, cotton. Pastoral cattle breeding. Mining of asbestos, coal, iron ore. On place of laid down native forests artificial afforestation is created. Logging. Sugar, woodworking, fruit-canning factories. The main foreign trade partners are South Africa, Canada, USA, Great Britain. Unit of currency is lilangeni.
The surface of Swaziland is a plateau, which descends eastward towards the coastal plain of Mozambique in three steps: the High Veld (1000-1500 m above sea level), the Middle Veld (400-800 m), and the Low Veld (150-300 m). Located in the west, the High Veld is characterized by rugged terrain, with some peaks exceeding 1800 m, the highest point being Mount Emlembe (1862 m). The Middle Veld is characterized by a level surface and is favorable for agriculture. The low Veld is famous for its fat pastures and forests, and is bounded to the east by the Lebombo Mountains.
Swaziland has considerable reserves of minerals – diamonds, asbestos, gold, iron, hard coal, kaolin, tin, pyrophyllite, semi-precious stones (beryl, quartz, etc.), and talc.
A dense river network, the largest rivers are the Komati, Ngwavuma, Umbeluzi, and Usutu. The major rivers of Swaziland cut through these mountains and flow into the Indian Ocean.
The High Veld region is characterized by a subtropical climate with average temperatures ranging from 16° to 22° C and an average annual rainfall of 1200-1400 mm or more. The Middle Veld and the Lebombo Mountains are in the transition belt, and the Low Veld is in the tropical climate belt with average temperatures of 20-24° C and average annual precipitation of 500-700 mm.
Flora – grassland in the High Veld and forest savannah in the eastern part of the country (a variety of acacias, including Australian, American pines, baobabs, gumwood, xerophytic shrubs, eucalyptus, etc.).
Fauna – there are different species of antelope (including hippos), hippos, white rhinoceroses, zebras, crocodiles. Throughout the territory tsetse fly is widespread.
The beginnings of the visual arts in Swaziland date back long before Christ. The caves and grottoes of the Dragon Mountains still bear Bushmen rock paintings of people, animals or fantastic creatures done with mineral and earth paints as well as lime and soot diluted in water and animal fat.
The most popular crafts include pottery, blacksmithing, metal working (bronze and copper), weaving baskets and mats from grass and straw, leather goods, and wood and horn carving. Products of folk craftsmen are on display at the Swaziland National Museum in Lobamba (founded in 1972).
Music. Playing music instruments, songs and dances are closely connected with the Swazi people everyday life. Traditional ceremonies are accompanied by singing and dancing (female dance with knives, “reed” – the dance of girls during the rite of initiation, etc.).
The first schools were opened at Christian missions in the early 19th century.
The education system is underdeveloped, education is not compulsory. Children attend elementary school (7 years) from the age of 6. Secondary education (5 years) begins at the age of 13 and is divided into two stages, three and two years. Primary education covers 98% of children of the relevant age (2002). The University of Swaziland (located in the suburbs of Manzini Kwaluseni, opened in 1964 as part of the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, and became an independent university in 1976), the Agricultural University and the Teacher Training Institute. In 2002, 18.4% of public funds were allocated to education. In 2003, 81.6% of the population (82.6% of males and 80.8% of females) were literate.
Swaziland is one of the African states with the highest rate of AIDS at 38.8% (2003). In 2003, there were 220,000 people with AIDS and HIV and 17,000 people died. AIDS has been officially declared a national disaster. To limit the spread of the disease in 2001, King Mswati III issued a decree forbidding sexual activity among underage girls.
The shortage of clean drinking water (about 40% of the population has regular access to it) leads to outbreaks of intestinal infectious diseases. In 2000, health care costs amounted to 4.2% of the GDP.
In the UN Human Development Report 2001 Swaziland was ranked 133rd.
Swaziland has a Christian (mostly Protestants) population of 60%, about 40% follow traditional African beliefs (animalism, fetishism, ancestor worship, the cult of nature, etc.), and has a small Muslim community. There is also a small number of adherents of Bahaism. The spread of Christianity began in the early 19th century.
The current constitution of 2005. The head of state is the king, who has the supreme legislative and executive powers. The heir to the throne in Swaziland is a prince chosen by the members of the royal family. When the King dies or the heir to the throne is a minor, the country is ruled by the Queen Mother.
Part of the legislative power is exercised by a bicameral Parliament consisting of a House of Assembly (65 members) and a Senate (30 members). The parliament functions as an advisory body to the king, as it does not pass but only debates bills submitted by the government. In addition, the king has the right to veto decisions of parliament. The 10 members of the House of Assembly are appointed by the king and 55 are elected by the populace in a complex two-step scheme. Candidates for the vote are nominated by the traditional local councils, which are composed of chiefs. The 20 members of the Senate are appointed by the king and 10 are elected by the House of Assembly. The term of office for both houses of parliament is 5 years.
In practice, state decisions are made by the king after discussion in the Libandla (the National Council, whose members are representatives of the court nobility, the king and the queen mother) and the Licoco (a narrow circle of the most trusted members of the royal family).
Executive power is exercised by the government and the Prime Minister appointed by the King from among the members of the House of Assembly.
The King of Swaziland is Mswati III. He was enthroned on 25 April 1986.
The national flag is a rectangular cloth consisting of three horizontal stripes: two blue stripes (above and below) and one red stripe between them. The red stripe is bordered on both sides by narrow strips of yellow. In the center of the red stripe is an image of a large black and white shield, which is covered by two parallel spears and a rod decorated with tassels.
Foreign policy is based on a policy of non-alignment. The main foreign policy partners are the Republic of South Africa and Mozambique. Relations with Mozambique are complicated by the influx of Mozambican refugees.
The question of establishing bilateral diplomatic relations between the USSR and Swaziland was first discussed in the late 1970s during an unofficial meeting. 1970s, during an unofficial visit to the country by a member of the Soviet Union embassy in Mozambique. King Sobhuza II, under pressure from the then South African government, declined the proposed contacts. Diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Swaziland were established on November 19, 1999.