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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 was not defined and their status remains unclear. Swaziland has surpassed Botswana as the country with the world's highest known HIV/AIDS prevalence rate.


Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa

Natural Resources

asbestos, coal, clay, cassiterite, hydropower, forests, small gold and diamond deposits, quarry stone, and talc

Population - distribution

because of its mountainous terrain, the population distribution is uneven throughout the country, concentrating primarily in valleys and plains

English (official, used for government business), siSwati (official)
MBABANE (capital) 66,000 (2014)
Conventional long form
Kingdom of Swaziland
Conventional short form
Local long form
Umbuso weSwatini
Local short form
absolute monarchy
Geographic coordinates
26 19 S, 31 08 E
Time difference
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt
A small, landlocked kingdom, Swaziland is bordered in the north, west and south by the Republic of South Africa and by Mozambique in the east. Swaziland depends on South Africa for 60% of its exports and for more than 90% of its imports. Swaziland's currency is pegged to the South African rand, effectively relinquishing Swaziland's monetary policy to South Africa. The government is dependent on customs duties from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) for 49% of revenue; income tax accounts for 27% and a valued added tax for 19% of revenues. Swaziland is a lower middle income country, but its income distribution is highly skewed, with an estimated 20% of the population controlling 80% of the nation’s wealth. As of 2017, more than one-quarter of the adult population was infected by HIV/AIDS; Swaziland has the world’s highest HIV prevalence rate.
External debt stocks
US$ 390,790,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ 414,839,172
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 2,014,478,389
Exports of goods and services
US$ 1,996,969,108
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 31,681,320
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 238,322,527
sugarcane, corn, cotton, citrus, pineapples, cattle, goats
soft drink concentrates, coal, forestry, sugar processing, textiles, and apparel
soft drink concentrates, sugar, timber, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus, and canned fruit
motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Country Risk Rating
Business Climate Rating

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