|Umbuso weSwatini (siSwati)
Kingdom of Eswatini (English)
|Kingdom of Eswatini|
Motto : Siyinqaba
(siSwati: We are the fortress )
|Official language||siSwati and English|
|Seat of government||Lobamba|
|Form of government||Absolute Monarchy|
|Head of state||
|Head of government||
|population||1,093,238 (2017 census)|
|Population density||63 inhabitants per km²|
|Population development||+ 0.7% (2007/2017 census) per year|
gross domestic product
|Human Development Index||0.608 ( 138th ) (2019)|
plural: Emalangeni (E)
|independence||September 6, 1968
(from the UK )
Nkulunkulu Mnikati wetibusiso temaSwati
|Time zone||UTC + 2|
|ISO 3166||SZ , SWZ, 748|
Eswatini (full form: Kingdom of Eswatini , English Kingdom of Eswatini , siSwati Umbuso weSwatini ), until 2018 officially Swaziland (English Swaziland ), historically unofficial also kaNgwane , is a landlocked country in southern Africa . It borders South Africa and Mozambique . The national holiday is September 6th, the anniversary of independence in 1968. The form of government is in fact an absolute monarchy . Swaziland is considered a moderately developed country, in the 2019 human development index it is 138th out of 189 places. The two largest cities in the country are the economic center of Manzini and the administrative capital Mbabane . The seat of government is Lobamba .
Swaziland's independence was guaranteed by agreements of 1881 and 1884 between the governments of the United Kingdom and the South African Republic . A provisional government was formed in 1890 with the participation of British, Transvaal and Swaziland representatives. Between 1902 and 1907 a special commissioner ruled the country. Since the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910, there has been a High Commissioner for Basutoland, Bechuanaland Protectorate, Southern Rhodesia and Swaziland . Since then, the country has been administered with other British colonial territories under the umbrella term High Commission Territories and the name Swaziland has been used. From 1930 to 1963 the British administration of the area was under the responsibility of the High Commissioner for Basutoland, the Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland (BBS) .
After gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1968, the country was officially known as the Kingdom of Swaziland ("Kingdom of Swaziland") until 2018 .
On his 50th birthday on April 19, 2018 and on the occasion of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the independence of Greater Bitania, King Mswati III. in a speech that the English name of the state should in future be Kingdom of Eswatini and thus a relic from the colonial era should be removed. Mswati III. and other officials used this name before. In addition, such a confusion of names of countries and Swaziland should Switzerland (English Switzerland ) can be prevented. King Mswati III officially ordered the change of the English state name from "Swaziland" to "Eswatini" by decree. The United Nations, the German Foreign Office, the Austrian Foreign Ministry and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs have already taken up the name change. On September 6, 2018, the country celebrated its 50th anniversary of independence from the United Kingdom . Criticism came from the opposition side that the name itself was common, but the name change should not have simply been decided by the king, but should have been determined by a constitutional amendment. The government, however, stated that the king had "only reintroduced the official state name".
With an area of 17,363 square kilometers, the kingdom is the second smallest state on the African continent after Gambia . The neighboring countries of the landlocked state are Mozambique in the east and the South African provinces of Mpumalanga in the north and west and KwaZulu-Natal in the south. The total length of the state border is 535 kilometers, of which 105 kilometers are shared with Mozambique and 430 kilometers with South Africa. The Lusutfu , also known as the Great Usutu River and Maputo in the following, is the longest river in the country. Swaziland is divided into the four regions Hhohho (in the north and northwest), Manzini in the west and in the middle, Shiselweni in the south and Lubombo in the east.
Swaziland is divided into four topographical zones from west to east . In the west of the country lies the Highveld (highlands), which has an average height of 1,300 meters and merges into the South African Drakensberg to the west. The highest point within Swaziland is the 1,862 meter high Emlembe near the western border. About a sixth of the highveld is covered by forests. The capital Mbabane lies in this region. The Middleveld (Mittelland) is about 700 meters high on average and consists of fertile hill country. The largest city in the country, Manzini, is also located here . To the east joins the Lowveld (lowland), which consists mainly of scrubland and whose lowest point is 21 meters above sea level on Lusutfu. The Lowveld is mainly used for growing sugar cane . Along the eastern border of Swaziland lies the southern part of the Lubombo Mountains (also Lebombo Mountains), which are up to 776 meters high there.
The climatic zones correspond to the four landscape zones and are altogether subtropical . At over 1,000 millimeters, most of the rain falls in the highveld. Most of the precipitation falls in summer (October to March). Most of the time there are showers, longer lasting rains are rare. The temperatures are mostly warm or mild. The humidity is usually high; in Mbabane average summer temperatures reach 26 ° C. In winter they drop to around 13 ° C. In the Lowveld there is much less rainfall. The climate is the warmest here. The Lubombo Mountains also have a dry, subtropical climate with slightly cooler temperatures than in the Lowveld.
Swaziland is a landlocked country, so it has no access to the sea.
The country is hydrologically divided into four catchment areas. All of its precipitation drains through this to the east into the Maputo Bay . The north, with 2500 km² and 14% of the land area, flows over the Komati , which grazes the country. The headwaters and tributaries of the Umbeluzi with over 10% of the area arise in the middle and east . The entire south drains into the Maputo , whose catchment area makes up around 12,000 km², 69% of the country's area. In the far east there is a small part that drains over the Tembe .
Most of the country's lakes are reservoirs. The largest are the Mnjoli Reservoir , the Maguga Dam and the Pongolapoort Reservoir . The latter is mostly located in the area of South Africa and only reaches into the Swaziland area when the water level is high.
In 2018, 23.8% of the population lived in cities. The biggest cities are:
The fertility rate per woman averaged 3.02 children for the period 2015 to 2020. During the same period, there were an average of 26.7 births and 9.4 deaths for every 1,000 inhabitants. The average life expectancy at birth in 2017 was 52.1 years (women: 51.5 years, men: 52.7 years). The median age was 21.7 years. Population growth was 1.08 percent per year in 2017. Swaziland is one of the African countries with the lowest percentage of population growth. The reasons for this are lower fertility, high mortality from AIDS and emigration (especially to South Africa).
Languages and religions
Almost all Swazi speak siSwati , a Nguni language , as their mother tongue . Few residents speak isiZulu or Xitsonga as their first language . English is the language of education , communication and the second official language in Eswatini. For example, the websites of government, administrative , energy and water suppliers, companies, banks, the media, etc. are all in English. Expressed differently; In fact, no Eswatini websites can be found in siSwati.
Around 90 percent of Eswatini's residents are Christians. According to estimates, 40 percent of the population belong to the Zion Christian Church (ZCC), which is widespread in southern Africa, and 20 percent to the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholics are grouped together in the Diocese of Manzini .
Although school attendance is not compulsory and there is a fee to attend school, a high proportion of children attend primary schools that run up to 7th grade. Around 12 percent of 5-14 year olds work at the same time (as of 2001). The proportion of children who attend secondary school is around 47 percent. Illiterate people are clearly in the minority.
Swaziland has had its own university since 1973 , the University of Eswatini , which was renamed in 2018 . It is based in Kwaluseni ; some faculties are in Luyengo and Mbabane . There are also other institutions in the tertiary education sector , both public and private.
The education sector was dominated by mission stations until the second half of the 20th century. Leading churches in this context included the Nazarenes, including some associated groups, as well as the Methodists and Anglicans . At least until 1945 Swaziland was the part of the former High Commission Territories ( BLS states ) that offered education via the Primary Standards , at that time up to Standard VIII / age 16 years. St. Mark's School (Anglican) in Mbabane, founded in 1908, offered full secondary education. The Goedgegun school (state) only went up to the junior certificate and offered training in an agricultural department. These were educational offers for students from the population of European descent.
The widespread school education for members of the Swazi went to the above. Same period up to Standard IV, mostly only up to II or III, but in two cases up to the Junior Certificate . In 1945 there were a total of about 100 schools for this population (state or state-funded). There were also three Swazi national schools with primary education. Only one of these three Swazi National Fund- funded institutions was able to graduate at the junior certificate level . The latter, the Matapa School founded in 1932 , had professional training opportunities in the field of industrial and agricultural job profiles . It also served as a training facility for the chiefs' sons and was directly supervised by a government commission.
The rate of people infected with HIV is the highest in the world. In 2004, 39% of the population were infected with the pathogen causing the immunodeficiency disease, in 2005 it was already 42%, adjusted for old people and children around 63%. Between 2008 and 2013 the infection rate could be reduced slightly. In 2019, the proportion of people infected with HIV in the 15 to 49 age group was 27.4%. Over 3,000 people die from the disease every year. AIDS is one of the main reasons for the low life expectancy , at times the lowest in the world. In 2019 it was around 59.4 years, 64.0 years for women and 55.3 years for men.This, in addition to the low fertility rate and the migration to South Africa, is one of the reasons for the very low population growth by African standards .
Despite the advances the country has made, health care is still rudimentary. 88.3% of births are cared for by qualified medical staff (as of 2019). The infant mortality rate is 40.8 per 1,000 births, the maternal mortality rate is 389 per 100,000 births (as of 2019). 66% of married women have access to contraception (as of 2019)
Progress has been made in the fight against malnutrition and hunger. In 2014, 5.8% of young children were still undernourished. At the same time, 16.5% of adults are very overweight.
Around 1750, during the Nguni migration, numerous Swazi settled in what is now Swaziland.
The autonomy of the Swazi in southern Africa was guaranteed by the British in the early 19th century. The Boers came to the country towards the end of the 19th century . In 1894, the South African Republic , one of the Boer republics , largely gained control of Swaziland. After the Second Boer War (1899-1902) Great Britain took over the administration and declared Swaziland in 1907 a protectorate .
In Swaziland's first legislative assembly election in 1964, there were two lists for registration, one for Europeans and one for the rest of the population. But only those who paid direct taxes could vote, and the wives of men who paid taxes were also eligible to vote. However, if the marriages involved were multiple, only one of the wives could choose.
On September 6, 1968, Swaziland gained independence from the United Kingdom, which is commemorated by the country's national holiday. Originally, the chairman of the monarchist ruling party " Imbokodvo National Movement " wanted to name the state after independence Ngwana. All women were given the right to vote and stand for election to the House of Assembly , but the Swazi National Council , which advised the king on all matters related to Swazi laws and customs, was restricted to male Swazis. The only exception is the Queen Mother.
In 1973, King Sobhuza II temporarily abolished parliament and suspended the constitution , giving him absolute power. In 1979 a new parliament was established; some of the deputies have since been appointed by the king. In 1982 Sobhuza II died.
In 1996 and the following years there was repeated resistance to the absolute monarchy, for example in the form of strikes and demonstrations. Today Swaziland is the last absolute monarchy in Africa. Eswatini is deeply in debt and faces national bankruptcy because of the wastefulness of its ruler. Pensions and salaries of public employees will no longer increase despite inflation.
The state is divided into four regions ( regions ). They are run by the Regional Administrator appointed by the King. He is supported by the Regional Council , which is also not elected by the people. At the level below the regions there is the Tinkhundla and another layer including traditional structures of chiefs ( chiefs are mentioned).
|No.||region||Area (km²)||Population according to VZ 2007||Capital|
Swaziland is an absolute monarchy within the Commonwealth , in which the king ( Ngwenyana, German "lion") plays a dominant role in politics. The Queen Mother is the deputy head of state as Ndlovukazi ("female elephant"). The Ndlovukazi can also be appointed. Since 1986 this has been Ntombi , the mother of Mswatis III. The king appoints the prime minister to preside over a cabinet. The Royal Palace is located in Lobamba between the two largest cities in Swaziland, Manzini and Mbabane. König and Ndlovukazi are depicted on numerous coins and stamps .
The parliament is also located in Lobamba and consists of two chambers. The Senate has a maximum of 31 members, 20 of whom are appointed by the King and ten by the House of Assembly , the second chamber of parliament. It has up to 76 members, 55 of whom have been representatives of their constituencies, Tinkhundla , since 2013 . In the sub-units of the Tinkhundla, the Chiefdoms, candidates stand for election in a first round without being associated with a party. The candidate with the highest number of votes goes into a second round, where the candidate with the highest number of votes becomes Tinkhundla's constituency member. Ten more MPs are appointed by the king. The Attorney General also has a mandate in the House of Assembly . Every five years the Senate and House of Assembly are re-elected or appointed. After the elections in August / September 2013 , the next election took place in August / September 2018 .
Political parties were banned from 1973, and their status has been unclear since 2005. There are several opposition groups, for example the People's United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO, German for "United Democratic People's Movement"), which strives for a multi-party system, the Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC, for example "National Liberation Congress of Ngwane") and the Communist Party of Swaziland ("Communist Party of Swaziland"). A new constitution has been in force since 2005, which confirms the absolute rights of the king and still does not allow any parties in elections.
The king is the head of the executive, legislative and judicial branches and enjoys immunity from the courts . The highest court is the Supreme Court ; there are also the High Court and the Industrial Court . There are other dishes in the larger towns. As in neighboring countries (see for example the law of South Africa ), the legal system corresponds to the Roman Dutch Law , combined with a traditional legal system at the local level.
Domestic and economic policy
While the majority of the rural population supports the monarchy, there is fierce opposition to the king's policies among the teaching staff and the trade unions. The inadequate labor law legislation is criticized.
Amnesty International sees the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly in Swaziland in 2009 as still suppressed. Security laws are used to violate human rights, according to the 2010 annual report. The police used excessive force against peaceful protesters. There were also reports of torture and the unjustified use of force resulting in death by police forces. Almost 70% of the Swaziland population lived in poverty in 2009, with more than a quarter in need of food aid. Women and girls continued to suffer disproportionately from sexual violence, poverty and the rampant HIV pandemic. According to UNICEF, Swaziland is the country with the highest AIDS rate in the world. The Children's Fund estimates the number of AIDS orphans at around 100,000. Women's rights are severely curtailed in many areas. For example, banks continue to reject loan applications from women if they cannot name a male guarantor. Social discrimination against both ethnic and sexual minorities ( LGBT ) remains widespread. Homosexuality among men is explicitly criminalized and punished as a criminal offense with up to two years in prison.
The 3,000 strong armed forces of Swaziland, the Umbutfo Eswatini Defense Force , serve, among other things, internal security and border protection.
In the 2019 democracy index of the British magazine The Economist, Swaziland ranks 132nd out of 167 countries, making it one of the authoritarian states. In the country report Freedom in the World 2017 by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House , the country's political system is rated as “not free” with 19 out of 100 possible points, an improvement of 3 points over the two previous years.
Swaziland has a well-developed road network. In 2019, it covered around 3,770 km, around a third of which is paved. There is left-hand traffic. Due to the geographical location, for example on unpaved roads in the high mountains , some of these roads are slow to drive. Floods are to be expected during the rainy season. In addition, there are often pedestrians and animals on the roadway.
The only international airport in the country has been King Mswati III International Airport since 2014 . in the east of the country. The former international airport Matsapha has only been used for medical missions, flight movements by the royal family and military since the new airport opened. The national airline Eswatini Airlink is mostly a subsidiary of the South African airline Airlink and bears the colors of the South African flag in its logo.
Swaziland is one of the poorest countries in the world. A large part of the population lives on less than one euro a day. Around 200,000 people (around a fifth of the total population) were dependent on food aid from international organizations in 2005 . 60 percent of the population operate subsistence farming , which means that they only produce for themselves and their families and not for sale on the market or for export. The main agricultural products include sugar cane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus fruits, millet and peanuts. Cattle, sheep and goats are also bred. The importance of mining has declined as the high-quality iron ore deposits have been depleted since 1978 . In addition, the demand for the harmful asbestos has decreased worldwide. The Bulembu-Barberton material ropeway , once the longest material ropeway in the world, carried asbestos from Bulembu across the border to Barberton station in South Africa - and coke in the opposite direction was therefore shut down around 2002. Today only diamonds , coal and kaolin are mined.
The economy is very dependent on South Africa. 90 percent of imports come from South Africa, and around half of all exports go to South Africa. This dependency also extends to energy generation, which has to be supplemented by electricity imports to an extent of 80 percent. The own company is the Eswatini Electricity Company . Swaziland is a member of the Customs Union of Southern Africa (SACU) (Swaziland, Lesotho , Namibia , Republic of South Africa and Botswana ), whose accounting units de facto also require a currency union . The average inflation rate in 2017 was 6.3%.
The Africa headquarters of Coca-Cola is located in Swaziland . The company had moved from there to the neighboring country in the 1980s because of South Africa's apartheid policy. According to estimates, the share in the gross domestic product is around 40 percent. In the “Conco Swaziland” factory in Matsapha , the cola concentrate is produced for almost all of Africa.
Incidentally Swaziland annually produces numerous motif stamps , largely aimed at the international collectors' market.
The unemployment rate is around 28% (as of 2014).
All GDP values are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ). The gross domestic product (GDP) for 2017 is estimated at 4.5 billion US dollars. In purchasing power parity, the GDP is 11.3 billion US dollars or 9,900 US dollars per inhabitant. Real growth was 0.2%. The country thus has a very small economy that is only of minor importance globally and regionally. In an intra-African comparison, however, the country has an above-average GDP per capita. But prosperity is very unevenly distributed.
(purchasing power parity)
|0.90 billion||1.50 billion||2.95 billion||3.84 billion||4.83 billion||6.52 billion||7.06 billion||7.54 billion||7.90 billion||8.32 billion||8.72 billion||9.07 billion||9.56 billion||10.18 billion||10.74 billion||10.97 billion||11.08 billion||11.51 billion||12.07 billion||12.41 billion|
GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
(as a percentage of GDP)
The state budget in 2017 comprised an estimated expenditure of the equivalent of 1.639 billion US dollars ; this contrasted with revenues of the equivalent of 1.263 billion US dollars. This results in a budget deficit of 8.5% of GDP .
The national debt in 2009 was $ 561 million, or 31.3% of GDP.
The share of government spending is in% of GDP in the following areas:
- Health : 2015: 7.1%; 2016: 6.8%; 2017: 6.9%
- Education : 2010: 6.1%; 2011: 6.9; 2014: 7.1%
- Military : 2015: 1.8%; 2016: 2%; 2017: 1.9%; 2018: 1.9%, 2019: 1.8%
Several historically or ecologically valuable objects such as buildings and nature reserves are specially protected as national monuments.
Traditionally, polygamy is practiced, especially by high-ranking men. In addition to modern medicine, there are Sangoma (for example: "healers") who receive their training in the traditional way and sometimes learn to gain supposed knowledge from thrown bones.
A significant ceremony is iNcwala (roughly: "ceremony of the first fruit"). It may only be instructed by the king and essentially takes place in Lobamba . It begins on a day in December set by local astronomers and lasts eight weeks. The purpose of the ceremonies is to receive the blessings of the ancestors, to strengthen the role of the royal family and to mark the beginning of the harvest season. The festival begins at the new moon with the gathering of sea foam on the shores of the Indian Ocean in Mozambique . The king receives food prepared with this foam and spits it out to the east and west. This is how the “Little iNcwala” begins. When the full moon then follows, the "Great iNcwala" begins. After a long hike in the night, men collect branches of the Lusekwane bush and bring them to the place of the king, who has meanwhile withdrawn to take a break. The iNczuala dance is performed by warriors until the king shows himself to the public again. He eats the first pumpkin harvested - only then are the others present allowed to eat pumpkin.
The most famous traditional event is the eight-day umhlanga or reed dance ( reed dance ). It is celebrated in late August or early September, especially in honor of the Ndlovukati (literally "elephant", mother of the king) and to celebrate virginity. The ceremony begins with tens of thousands of single childless girls and young women going out to cut reeds and then bring them up to 30 km to the palace of the Ndlovukati in the royal village of Ludzidzini, where the windbreak around their royal residence is to be repaired . The actual celebration begins on the sixth day with the laying down of the reeds and the subsequent dances in traditional colorful robes. The next day she reaches the climax of the Umhlanga ceremony with group dances and chants led by the king's daughters and recognizable by the red feathers in the hair ornaments. On this day, the king is among the audience, who occasionally chooses another woman. On the last day, by order of the king, cattle are slaughtered for the girls. You get pieces of meat and you go home.
Eswatini ranks 141st out of 180 countries in the 2020 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders . It is particularly pointed out that Eswatini's absolute ruler does not tolerate any criticism of his person and that numerous laws restrict the freedom of the press. State media dominate and publish only pre-approved news, while independent newspapers have little access to government information.
Times of Swaziland and Eswatini Observer are the daily newspapers that appear in print in English . The independent magazine The Nation appears monthly, and since 2011 also in an online edition . The editor-in-chief was arrested twice for critical reports. The state-owned Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Service broadcasts the two programs SBIS 1 (in siSwati) and SBIS 2 (in English). The second broadcaster is the Christian-oriented Voice of the Church (VOC). The state Swaziland Television Authority (STVA) broadcasts a television program with programs in English and siSwati. Programs from South Africa are often received.
While only about 10,000 people had internet access in 2000, according to Internet World Stats, there were 665,245 people at the end of December 2019 , which is about 57.3% of Eswatini's population at the time.
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