• His Majesty King Mswati III

  • King of Swaziland

  • “We have set for ourselves a National Vision which seeks to encourage every citizen to work hard so that the country can attain a developed status by 2022. We believe this vision is attainable through the hard work of our people.”
Full name Kingdom of Swaziland
Capital Lobamba (royal and legislative), Mbabane (administrative)
Area 17,364 km2
Location Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa
Geographic coordinates 26 30 S, 31 30 E
Population 1,435,613
Languages
  • English (official, used for government business)
  • siSwati (official)
Religion
  • Zionist 40% (a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship)
  • Roman Catholic 20%
  • Muslim 10%
  • other 30% (includes Anglican, Baha'i, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish)
Demonym Swazi(s)
Currency Swazi lilangeni (SZL)
Country code +268
Internet code .sz
Industry Mining (coal), wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates
Agriculture Sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, cattle
Exports Soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn
Government website www.gov.sz
Geographic note Swaziland is home to one of the world’s oldest mines. Discovered in 1970, the Ngwenya Mine in the district of Hohho is considered to be 20,000 years old and is now one of the country’s top tourist attractions.
Source: CIA World Factbook & National Geographic
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Introduction

Big things come in small packages. From a rewarding wildlife-watching to adrenaline-boosting activities such as rafting and mountain biking, the intriguing Kingdom of Swaziland is diminutive but boasts a huge checklist for any visitor. There are also magnificent walking trails, stunning mountains and flatland sceneries, with a lively and colourful local culture, celebrations, ceremonies and high-quality handicrafts.

Unlike South Africa, Swaziland has managed to hold on to that slow-down-this-is-Africa feeling, and that’s why it’s gaining in popularity. Everything remains small and personable, and the atmosphere is remarkably relaxed. The Umhlanga festival, one of Africa's biggest cultural events is a must if you are planning a visit to Swaziland in the winter.

Source: Lonely Planet

Economy

Economic performance in Swaziland, as indicated by real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, went from 3.0% in 2013 to 2.5% in 2014. The decline in growth in the secondary sector, particularly the predominant manufacturing sub-sector, was somewhat counteracted by growth in the primary sector. Agriculture is estimated to have improved by 4.0%, reflecting enhanced productivity accruing from key interventions. Although growth in the tertiary sector slowed down, an increase in investment in government capital programmes tempered the outcome.

Growth prospects are predicated on the export sector, in particular the extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) signed in August 2014.

Successes

The Governance Pillar has focused on upstream interventions that seek to provide an enabling environment for “Access to Justice and Human Rights” as enshrined in the Constitution of Swaziland. Some of the successes include the development of a strategic plan for the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, National Anti-Corruption Policy, Commission on Human Rights and Public Strategic Plan, and the Legal Aid Bill and Policy. An Electronic Case Management System has also been established at the High Court of Swaziland. In the Public Sector Management, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) capacities have been strengthened in complex investigative skills and advocacy.

Swaziland’s HIV/AIDS programme has prioritised strengthening national capacities on effective coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the national response, and mainstreaming of gender and human rights into programme development.

The successes include the development of an Electronic Monitoring and Evaluation System for Public Service HIV/AIDS Coordinating Committee (PSHACC) and Swaziland Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (SWABCHA). Over 20 national volunteers have been placed in more than 10 Civil Society Organization (CSO) centres to support programme management, financial management, monitoring and evaluation. The project has enabled them to gain knowledge and relevant expertise to contribute to the HIV/AIDS National Response in Swaziland.

Source: UNDP