Map - Swaziland
World > Africa > Swaziland
Swaziland, officially the Kingdom of Swaziland ( or , Swazi: Umbuso weSwatini), and sometimes called kaNgwane or Eswatini, is a sovereign state in Southern Africa, bordered to the north, south, southeast and west by South Africa, and to the northeast by Mozambique. The state, as well as its people, are named after the 19th-century king Mswati II.
Swaziland is one of the smallest countries in Africa. It is no more than north to south and east to west. Regardless, the country has a very diverse topography of varying climate with a cool and mountainous highveld and a hot and dry lowveld. The population is primarily ethnic Swazis whose language is siSwati. They established their kingdom in the mid 18th century under the leadership of Ngwane III; the present boundaries were drawn up in 1881. After the Anglo-Boer War, Swaziland was a British protectorate from 1903 until 1967, gaining independence on 6 September 1968.
The country is a monarchy, currently ruled by King and Ngwenyama Mswati III. The king is head of state and appoints the prime minister and a number of representatives of both chambers of parliament. Elections are held every five years to determine the majority of the house of assembly. The current constitution was adopted in 2005. Swaziland is a member of the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, and the Commonwealth of Nations.
Swaziland is a lower-middle-income country with a GDP per capita of $5,807. European Union, and her currency, the Lilangeni, is pegged to the South African Rand. The agriculture and manufacturing sectors of the country's economy are responsible for the majority of employment.
The Swazi population faces major health issues. HIV/AIDS, and to a lesser extent, TB are the main health challenges. As of year 2013 Swaziland has an estimated life expectancy of 50 years. The population of Swaziland is fairly young with a median age of 20.5 years and people 14 years old and below making up 37.4% of the total population. The present population growth rate is 1.195%.
Swaziland is well known for its culture. Umhlanga, held in the month of August/September and incwala the dance of the kingship held in December/January are the most important national events.
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