The Kingdom of Swaziland is a small landlocked country located in southern Africa bordered by South Africa and Mozambique. Swaziland is a second smallest country in Africa after Gambia at just over 17 ,364 sq. km . It is divided into four distinct geographical regions running from north to south, each with its own climate and characteristics varying from 98 to 1,800 meters above sea level. The mountainous Highveld in the west has rivers, gorges and waterfalls while the Middleveld has fertile valleys. In the east is the Lowveld and the Lubombo Region which boarders Mozambique.
In the Highveld region the climate is warm with wet summers and temperatures up to 33 oC and dry winters, when night time temperatures can reach as low as minus 4.5 oC. Average rainfall is between 1.016 and 2.286 mm. The Middleveld has a warmer and dryer climate, ideal for crop growing . Temperatures vary between 37 oC in the summer and 2.5 degrees in dry winter months. Average rainfall is between 762 and 1.143mm. The Lowveld has a climate with temperatures reaching up to 42 degrees in summer and as low as minus 2.6 degrees in winter. Annual rainfall is between 508 and 590 mm. The Lubombo Region has a similar climate to that of the Middleveld.
King Mswati III
Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati III who was crowned in April 1986, following the death of his father King Sobhuza II ( 1921 - 1982), who was the world's longest reigning monarch.
Population & Language
The estimated population of Swaziland is around 1.10 million. English is the official language and all government information and notices are published in English. The vernacular siSwati, is widely spoken. 90 % of the population are Swazi with the remaining 10% being other Africans, Europeans and those of mixed descent. Around 60% of the population is Christian and the rest follow indigenous religions.
The Structure of government combines the western concept of government with the traditional tribal system and the people elect representatives to parliament. Executive power is vested in the king who appoints the Prime minister and rules in consultation with the cabinet and the bicameral parliament. The current prime minister is Mr. Themba Dlamini.
The administrative capital of Swaziland is Mbabane, where all the government ministries and departments are based. Manzini is Swaziland's industrial capital and it was granted city status in 1992.
Being a small landlocked country with limited domestic markets, Swaziland relies heavily on export based agricultural commodities and industries. As a result growth and development are influenced by climatic conditions, global trends and commodity prices as well as capital and aid flow.