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Swaziland Geography - History


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SWAZILAND

Swaziland is located in Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa.

The terrain of Swaziland is mostly mountains and hills; some moderately sloping plains.


Climate: Swaziland varies from tropical to near temperate.
COUNTRY MAP


Swazi

Identification. "Swazi" refers to the nation, tribe, or ethnic group, or an individual, "siSwati" to the language. SiSwati speakers are found in Swaziland, South Africa, and Mozambique.

Location. The Swazi reside in Swaziland, a small, landlocked country of 17,363 square kilometers, which is perched on the edge of the southern African escarpment. It is bounded on three sides by South Africa and on the fourth by Mozambique, both countries in which many ethnic Swazis reside. Four distinctive topographic steps largely determine the characteristics of Swaziland's natural environment: the high veld, averaging 1,219 meters in elevation, with forests and grassy hills the middle veld, averaging 610 meters in elevation, with hills and palatable grasses suited for livestock and rich soils good for agriculture the low veld, averaging 274 meters in elevation, with tall grasses suited for grazing but usually not for dry-land agriculture and the Lubombo mountain range, a narrow plateau averaging about 610 meters in elevation, with a warm, subhumid climate and basaltic soils suited for arable agriculture. Several rivers — the Mbeluzi, Ngwavuma, Great Usutu, Komati, and Lomati — cut through the high veld, middle veld, and Lubombo Mountains.

Demography. Swazi identity is based on allegiance to a dual monarchy, headed by a hereditary king, titled by his people ingwenyama (lion), and a queen mother, indlovukati (Lady Elephant). Ethnic Swazis living in the Republic of South Africa and in Mozambique are not under their effective political control, however. Within Swaziland, the population (the great majority of which is Swazi) was estimated at 860,000 in 1992, with an annual growth rate of about 3.4 percent. Most Swazis live in rural homesteads, but, in the middle veld, where nearly one-half of the Swazi population resides, rural homesteads are interspersed with densely populated settlements around employment centers. The two major cities are Mbabane and Manzini.

Linguistic Affiliation. SiSwati is a tonal Bantu language of the Nguni Group, closely related to Zulu and, more distantly, to Xhosa. It is spoken in Swaziland and in the Eastern Transvaal Province of the Republic of South Africa. Little has been published in siSwati.


Key Facts & Information

INTRODUCTION

  • The small Kingdom of Eswatini is surrounded by Mozambique to the northeast and South Africa to the north, west, and south.
  • The capital and largest city in Eswatini is the Mbabane.
  • However, due to the history of Eswatini as a British colony, Britain has influenced its political development and led to the establishment of two main capitals, with the city of Lobamba being the other one.

BRIEF HISTORY

  • The people of the present Swazi nation migrated south from Mozambique.
  • Later, they traveled north to the current land of Eswatini when pushed out of the south by the stronger Zulu tribes.
  • In the 1840s, the Swazis gained strength and unity under the leadership of Mswati II. Mswati II asked the British in South Africa to help defend the kingdom against the Zulu raids.
  • Mswati II was Swaziland’s greatest fighting king. He also greatly increased the area of the country to twice its current size.
  • After the British victory in the Anglo-Boer War in 1903, Swaziland became a British protectorate.
  • Swaziland became independent on September 6, 1968.
  • Until 2018, the country was known by the name Swaziland, then it was officially changed to Eswatini.

GEOGRAPHY

  • The small, landlocked kingdom of Eswatini is surrounded by the Republic of South Africa to the north, west, and south, and by Mozambique to the east.
  • Eswatini has a land area of 17,364 km2 (6,704 sq mi), making it one of the smallest countries in Africa.
  • Eswatini is mountainous in the west, but it slopes down from highlands in the west to lowlands in the east.
  • Emlembe is the highest point in Eswatini, with a height of 1,862 meters (6,109 feet) above sea level. The Great Usutu River is the lowest point, at only 21 meters above sea level.
  • Eswatini’s climate varies from tropical to near temperate. It is generally warm, and rainfall is heaviest in the west. in Eswatini is mainly seen through changing precipitation, variability, persistent drought, and heightened storm intensity. Sequentially, this drives to desertification, increased food insecurity, and reduced river flow.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • The population of Eswatini was estimated to be 1,377,695 people as of January 1, 2020.
  • The ethnic population of Eswatini is predominantly Swazi, mixed with a small amount of Zulu and White Africans, which are mostly people of British and Afrikaner descent.
  • The country also had Portuguese immigrants and African refugees from Mozambique.
  • 83% of the people in Eswatini adhere to Christianity, making it the most common religion in the nation. It is sometimes mixed with traditional beliefs and practices.
  • Some people believe the king has a spiritual role. Eswatini also has a small Muslim minority.
  • Eswatini’s official languages are SiSwati and English. SiSwati is taught in schools and is also one of the official languages of South Africa.
  • People living in Eswatini are called Swazi(s). Swazi people have long been subsistence farmers and herders. They now incorporate these activities with work in the growing urban economy, as well as in government. Some Swazis have jobs in the mines of South Africa.

HEALTH

  • Eswatini is greatly affected by HIV and AIDS. It was shown by the 2012 CIA World Factbook that Swaziland had the highest HIV infection rate in the world. The Swazi people’s life expectancy is 50 years.

TOURIST SPOTS

  • Eswatini covers about 4% of the Protected Areas of the national territory. It includes 3 national parks and other types of protected areas.
  • Hlane Royal National Park is the largest protected area and park of Eswatini. The park is home to the Transvaal lion, South African cheetah, white rhinoceros, giraffe, and elephant. Wildebeest and zebras, including impala herds, are attracted to the water holes during the dry winter months of June to September.
  • Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is the oldest protected territory of Eswatini. The sanctuary was once a farming and tin mining area that has been rehabilitated and is now Eswatini’s most frequently visited reserve.
  • Malolotja National Park boasts some of the world’s oldest mountains on the northwestern border of Eswatini. It is home to almost 300 bird species, including a rare bald ibis colony close to the nearly 95-meter (312-foot) high Malolotja Falls.
  • Swazi Cultural Village is Eswatini’s living museum of the ancient traditions and represents the classic style of life of the Swazi people during the 1850s before the arrival of British settlers.
  • Mbabane, the cool-climate capital of Eswatini, is home to the Swazi Market, a must-see for souvenir-starved tourists.

Eswatini (Swaziland) Worksheets

This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Eswatini (Swaziland) across 20n-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Eswatini (Swaziland) worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Eswatini, officially named the Kingdom of Eswatini, which is one of the few countries in Africa with a ruling king. It was formerly called Swaziland from 1967 until 2018. In April 2018, the king announced that he was changing the official name of the country to the Kingdom of Eswatini. It is named after Mswati II, a king in the 19th century.

Complete List Of Included Worksheets

  • Eswatini (Swaziland) Facts
  • Timeline of History
  • Truths vs Lies
  • Eswatini Info
  • Mswati II
  • In Newsprint
  • Eswatini Destinations
  • Famous Foods
  • The Flag and the Current Name
  • Culture Block
  • Swazi Coat of Arms

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Use With Any Curriculum

These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.


Cultural Festivals

ESwatini is renowned for some of the biggest and most spectacular cultural festivals on the African continent. Dance is considered an essential part of Swazi culture and is performed in many events. The Umhlanga, which is also known as the reed dance festival, is probably the most popular. The festival attracts thousands of unmarried girls and women from all over the country eager to pay homage to the king and the royal family. The festival consists of days full of dancing and rituals. According to some estimates, over 100,000 women and girls participate in the festivities. During the festival, women and girls perform dances while bare-breasted and in short dresses at the king’s royal residence. Photography during the event is, at times, restricted to accredited press. The MTN Bushfire festival is also famous and is globally recognized. It celebrates music, arts, creative expression, and social responsibility.


Rainfall

Rainfall varies considerably across Swaziland depending on where you're going and the time of year you intend to visit, something you should bear in mind when planning your trip. Swaziland’s wettest season occurs between October and March, when around 80 percent of the year’s rainfall occurs. "Lonely Planet" recommends avoiding the country during this period. Rainfall is greatest in the highveld, where between 35 and 59 inches typically fall each year. The middleveld's annual totals range from 23 to 32 inches, with recorded annual peaks of 63 inches and lows of just 13 inches. These large ranges indicate the fluctuating nature of Swaziland’s climate.


The chief environmental problem is soil erosion and degradation, particularly because of overgrazing. Population growth and the increased demand for fuel has threatened the country's forests, and the resulting deforestation has contributed to the loss of valuable soil. Swaziland has at least four protected areas for wildlife — two wildlife sanctuaries and two nature reserves — totaling 40,045 ha (98,953 acres), all in the northern half of the country. As of 2003, 3.5% of the nation's total land area was protected.

Another significant environmental problem in Swaziland is air pollution from transportation vehicles and emissions from other countries in the area. Water pollution from industrial and agricultural sources is also a problem, as well as contamination by untreated sewage, which contributes to the spread of life-threatening diseases.

According to a 2006 report issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the number of threatened species included 6 types of mammals, 6 species of birds, and 11 species of plants. Burchell's zebra has become extinct. Threatened marine species include the Baltic sturgeon, Danube salmon, and marsh snail. The cheetah and the cape vulture are listed among the vulnerable species.


Lubombo

Lubombo is a province located in the country of Swaziland. This province is situated in the eastern parts of the country and has a total population of approximately 210 000 residents. It borders all three of the remaining provinces &ndash Hhohho, Manzini and Shiselweni. This 5 947 km² area of land is mostly dominated by die beautiful Lubombo Mountains.

The town of Big Bend is named after the massive bend the Great Usutu River makes on its way to the Indian Ocean. This town offers a variety of nature reserves in which tourists can explore the magnificent surroundings. The towns of Simunye and Tshaneni are also found in this province. The agricultural industry plays an important role in these towns as there are many sugar plantations in the area.

The Lubombo Province offers a wonderful spectrum of visitor accommodation. There are bed and breakfasts, self-catering units, camping sites, guest houses and hotels available in the area. Please go to our accommodation directory for a complete list of places to stay in the area.

The business community of the Lubombo Province is thriving thanks to tourist interest. The many shops, local products, souvenirs, stalls and restaurants in the area are big assets to the area. Please see our business directory for a list of all the businesses you will find in the region. This province offers many fun-filled outdoor activities and attractions for the whole family. For more information on things to do, please visit our activities directory.


  • OFFICIAL NAME: The Swiss Confederation
  • POPULATION: 8,292,809
  • CAPITAL: Bern
  • AREA: 15,940 square miles (41,284 square kilometers)
  • OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: German, French, Italian, Romansch
  • MONEY: Swiss franc
  • MAJOR MOUNTAIN RANGES: Jura, Alps
  • MAJOR RIVERS: Rhône, Rhine

GEOGRAPHY

Switzerland is a small mountainous country located in central Europe. This landlocked country is about the size of New Jersey and is between France and Italy. It is also bordered by Austria, Germany, and Liechtenstein.

Most of the population lives in the plateau which is between the high Alps in the south and the Jura mountains in the north. The mountainous area in the south is sparsely populated.

Map created by National Geographic Maps

PEOPLE & CULTURE

Switzerland is one of the world’s wealthiest countries. The Swiss are well known for their watches and clocks.

There is not a single official language in Switzerland. People speak one of several languages, including Swiss German, French, and Italian.

NATURE

The Swiss Alps are high, snow-covered mountains most of which are over 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). The most famous peak is the Matterhorn which is 14,692 feet (4,478 meters) tall, but the highest peak is Dufourspitze at 15,203 feet (4,634 meters).

Scientists are concerned that glaciers in the Swiss Alps have lost a lot of ice coverage in the past 40 years. This may be related to global climate change. Rapid melting of the glaciers could cause flooding to the villages below.

Most animals in Switzerland live in the mountains. The ibex, a species of mountain goat, was hunted to near extinction in the early 1800s. The species has since been reintroduced and more than 15,000 ibex now live in the Swiss Alps. Hikers may also encounter chamois, another goatlike animal, and marmots. The forests of Switzerland are also home to deer, rabbits, foxes, badgers, squirrels, and many bird species.


Swaziland Government, History, Population & Geography

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Desertification, Law of the Sea

Geography—note: landlocked almost completely surrounded by South Africa

Population: 966,462 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 46% (male 223,649 female 224,782)
15-64 years: 51% (male 238,547 female 255,137)
65 years and over: 3% (male 9,625 female 14,722) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.96% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 41 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 21.4 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.65 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 103.37 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 38.53 years
male: 37.31 years
female: 39.79 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.96 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Swazi(s)
adjective: Swazi

Ethnic groups: African 97%, European 3%

Religions: Christian 60%, indigenous beliefs 40%

Languages: English (official, government business conducted in English), siSwati (official)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.7%
male: 78%
female: 75.6% (1995 est.)

Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Swaziland
conventional short form: Swaziland

Government type: monarchy independent member of Commonwealth

National capital: Mbabane (administrative) Lobamba (legislative)

Administrative divisions: 4 districts Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, Shiselweni

Independence: 6 September 1968 (from UK)

National holiday: Somhlolo (Independence) Day, 6 September (1968)

Constitution: none constitution of 6 September 1968 was suspended 12 April 1973 a new constitution was promulgated 13 October 1978, but has not been formally presented to the people

Legal system: based on South African Roman-Dutch law in statutory courts and Swazi traditional law and custom in traditional courts has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: NA note—no suffrage before September 1993 55 of the 65 seats in the House of Assembly were filled by popular vote in the elections of September and October 1993 of a population of less than 1 million, the electorate numbered 283,693

Executive branch:
chief of state: King MSWATI III (since 25 April 1986)
head of government: Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas DLAMINI (since 9 August 1996)
cabinet: Cabinet recommended by the prime minister and confirmed by the king
elections: none the king is a hereditary monarch prime minister appointed by the king

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Libandla, an advisory body, consists of the Senate (20 seats, 10 appointed by the House of Assembly and 10 appointed by the king members serve five-year terms) and the House of Assembly (65 seats, 10 appointed by the king and 55 elected by secret, popular vote members serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Assembly—last held 26 September and 11 October 1993 (next to be held NA 1998)
election results: House of Assembly—balloting is done on a nonparty basis candidates for election are nominated by the local council of each constituency and for each constituency the three candidates with the most votes in the first round of voting are narrowed to a single winner by a second round

Judicial branch: High Court, judges are appointed by the king Court of Appeal, judges are appointed by the king

Political parties and leaders:
note: political parties are banned by the constitution promulgated on 13 October 1978 illegal parties are prohibited from holding large public gatherings
illegal parties: Peoples' United Democratic Movement or PUDEMO [Mario MASUKU] Swaziland Youth Congress or SWAYOCO (included in PUDEMO) Swaziland Communist Party or SWACOPA [Mphandlana SHONGWE] Swaziland Liberation Front or FROLISA Convention for Full Democracy in Swaziland or COFUDESWA [Sabelo DLAMINI] Swaziland National Front or SWANAFRO Ngwane Socialist Revolutionary Party or NGWASOREP Swaziland Democratic Alliance (represents key opposition parties) [Jerry NXUMALO] Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions or SFTU [Jan SITHOLE]

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mary Madzandza KANYA
chancery: Suite 3M, 3400 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 362-6683
FAX: [1] (202) 244-8059

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Alan R. McKEE
embassy: Central Bank Building, Warner Street, Mbabane
mailing address: P. O. Box 199, Mbabane
telephone: [268] 46441 through 46445
FAX: [268] 45959

Flag description: three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (triple width), and blue the red band is edged in yellow centered in the red band is a large black and white shield covering two spears and a staff decorated with feather tassels, all placed horizontally

Economy—overview: In this small landlocked economy, subsistence agriculture occupies more than 60% of the population. Manufacturing features a number of agroprocessing factories. Mining has declined in importance in recent years high-grade iron ore deposits were depleted by 1978, and health concerns have cut world demand for asbestos. Exports of soft drink concentrate, sugar and wood pulp are the main earners of hard currency. Surrounded by South Africa, except for a short border with Mozambique, Swaziland is heavily dependent on South Africa from which it receives nearly 90% of its imports and to which it sends more than half of its exports. Remittances from Swazi workers in South African mines supplement domestically earned income by as much as 20%. The government is trying to improve the atmosphere for foreign investment. Overgrazing, soil depletion, and drought persist as problems for the future.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$3.9 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 3% (19976 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3,800 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 10%
industry: 42%
services: 48% (1997 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 9.5% (1997)

Labor force:
total: 135,000 (1996)
by occupation: private sector about 70%, public sector about 30%

Unemployment rate: 22% (1995 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $400 million
expenditures: $450 million, including capital expenditures of $115 million (FY96/97)

Industries: mining (coal and asbestos), wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates

Industrial production growth rate: 3.7% (FY95/96)

Electricity—capacity: 130,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 407 million kWh (1995)
note: imports 60% of its electricity from South Africa

Electricity—consumption per capita: 1,062 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: sugarcane, cotton, maize, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, corn, sorghum, peanuts cattle, goats, sheep

Exports:
total value: $893 million (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn (1995)
partners: South Africa 58%, EU 20%, Mozambique 6% (1994)

Imports:
total value: $1.1 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals (1995)
partners: South Africa 88%, Japan, UK, US (FY94/95)

Debt—external: $194 million (1995)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 lilangeni (E) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: emalangeni (E) per US$1ת.9417 (January 1998), 4.5998 (1997), 4.2706 (1996), 3.6266 (1995), 3.5490 (1994), 3.2636 (1993) note—the Swazi emalangeni are at par with the South African rand

Fiscal year: 1 April㬛 March

Telephones: 30,364 (1993 est.)

Telephone system:
domestic: system consists of carrier-equipped, open-wire lines and low-capacity, microwave radio relay
international: satellite earth stationק Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 7, FM 6, shortwave 0

Radios: 129,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 10

Televisions: 12,500 (1992 est.)

Railways:
total: 297 km note—includes 71 km which are not in use
narrow gauge: 297 km 1.067-m gauge

Highways:
total: 2,885 km
paved: 814 km
unpaved: 2,071 km (1994 est.)

Ports and harbors: none

Airports: 18 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 10 (1997 est.)

Military branches: Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (Army), Royal Swaziland Police Force

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 215,708 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 125,580 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $22 million (FY93/94)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: NA%

Disputes—international: Swaziland has asked South Africa to open negotiations on reincorporating some nearby South African territories that are populated by ethnic Swazis or that were long ago part of the Swazi Kingdom


Swaziland ranks among the more prosperous countries in Africa. Most of the high-level economic activity is in the hands of non-Africans, but ethnic Swazis are becoming more active. Small entrepreneurs are moving into middle management positions. 70% of Swazis live in rural areas and are being ravaged by drought and a resulting food crisis that threatens hundreds of thousands with hunger. The past few years have seen wavering economic growth, which has been exacerbated by the economy's inability to create new jobs at the same rate that new job seekers enter the market. This is due largely in part to the country's population growth rate that strains the natural heritage and the country's ability to provide adequate social services, such as health care and education. Overgrazing, soil depletion, drought, and floods are persistent problems. In 2004 Swaziland acknowledged for the first time that it suffered an AIDS crisis, with 42.6% of the population infected with HIV (see AIDS_in_Africa). Prime Minister Themba Dlamini declared a humanitarian crisis due to the combined effect of drought and land degradation, increased poverty, and HIV/AIDS. The United Nations special envoy on AIDS, Stephen Lewis, said: &ldquoSwaziland stands alone with the world's highest rate of HIV infection after nearby Botswana made headway against the deadly pandemic&rdquo

Nearly 60% of Swazi territory is held by the Crown in the trust of the Swazi nation. The balance is privately owned, much of it by foreigners. The questions of land use and ownership remains a very sensitive one. For Swazis living on rural homesteads, the principal occupation is either subsistence farming or livestock herding. Culturally, cattle are important symbols of wealth and status, but they are being used increasingly for milk, meat and profit.

Swaziland enjoys well-developed road links with South Africa. It also has railroads running east to west and north to south. The older east-west link, called the Goba line, makes it possible to export bulk goods from Swaziland through the Port of Maputo in Mozambique. Until recently, most of Swaziland's imports were shipped through this port. Conflict in Mozambique in the 1980s diverted many Swazi exports to ports in South Africa. A north-south rail link, completed in 1986, provides a connection between the Eastern Transvaal (now Mpumalanga) rail network and the South African ports of Richards Bay and Durban.

The sugar industry, based solely on irrigated cane, is Swaziland's leading export earner and private-sector employer. Soft drink concentrate (a U.S. investment) is the country's largest export earner, followed by wood pulp and lumber from cultivated pine forests. Pineapple, citrus fruit, and cotton are other important agricultural exports.

Swaziland mines coal and diamonds for export. There also is a quarry industry for domestic consumption. Mining contributes about 1.8% of Swaziland's GDP each year but has been declining in importance in recent years.

Recently, a number of industrial firms have located at the industrial estate at Matsapha near Manzini. In addition to processed agricultural and forestry products, the fast-growing industrial sector at Matsapha also produces garments, textiles, and a variety of light manufactured products. The Swaziland Industrial Development Company (SIDC) and the Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority (SIPA) have assisted in bringing many of these industries to the country. Government programs encourage Swazi entrepreneurs to run small and medium-sized firms. Tourism also is important, attracting more than 424,000 visitors annually (mostly from Europe and South Africa).

From the mid-1980s foreign investment in the manufacturing sector boosted economic growth rates significantly. Since mid-1985, the depreciated value of the currency has increased the competitiveness of Swazi exports and moderated the growth of imports, generating trade surpluses. During the 1990s, the country often ran small trade deficits. South Africa and the European Union are major customers for Swazi exports. The United States is a significant market for Swazi sugar, a market that would presumably extend to textiles should Swaziland become a beneficiary of the African Growth Opportunity Act.

Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, and the Republic of South Africa form the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), where import duties apply uniformly to member countries. Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa also are members of the Common Monetary Area (CMA) in which repatriation and unrestricted funds are permitted. Swaziland issues its own currency, the lilangeni (plural: emalangeni), which is at par with the South African rand.

Swaziland is in the process or formulating an Action Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour, which is expected to be adopted in the period 2006-2007.


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