Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Work Cited

Mamba, Thokozani. "Sihlangu Call-Up for Manqoba." The Times of Swaziland. 9 May 2007

Magongo, Mkhulisi. "Minister Urges Youth to Be Counted in the Next Elections." The Times of Swaziland. 10 May 2007

Real Image Internet. "Welcome to Swaziland." The Kingdom of Swaziland. 5 May 2007

"Swaziland." The World Factbook. 1 May 2007

Current Events

One of the major current events in Swaziland is the government encouraging youth to vote in the upcoming election. While the people cannot elect the king or the prime minister, they can vote for seat in parliament. Youth in each of the four districts are being encouraged to stand up and vote so that their voice can be heard and the future can be brighter for everyone. Another major event in a less serious arena is that a soccer player, Manqoba Tsabedze, has been requested to join the Sihlangu football club in the National Football Association of Swaziland. This is a big deal because he must replace another player on Swaziland’s national team because Sandile Mdlovu has to work in a Swazi Bank during the time of the major tournament.


Because of the geographic location of Swaziland, it is obvious that it is greatly beneficial to trade with South Africa. This is helpful to the economy because it reduces the cost of moving goods. Some of their chief agricultural exports include sugarcane, corn, and cotton. Goods that are made and exported include sugar, cotton yarn and soft drink concentrate. Swaziland exports almost 60% of its goods to South Africa with 9% going to the USA and Europe. An amazing statistic is that Swaziland imports almost 96% of all its imports from South Africa. While this may seem like a huge amount, it is beneficial because they can get anything they need very cheap. Swaziland is a mostly traditional economic society but there are opportunities to change professions for those that want to.


Swaziland’s history is in native tribes. Before the British came into the area to colonize, Swaziland was not united at all. Many tribes were in what is now Swaziland the most famous of which was the Zulu tribe. The Zulu language come from the same stem, Bantu, as SiSwati, the traditional language in Swaziland. The British influence in Swaziland grew until 1906 when it was name a High Commission Territory which means that it was officially part of the British Empire. Swaziland was British ruled until the early 60’s when they were granted the right to take part in governing themselves on a small scale. In 1968 King Sobhuza signed the constitution which made Swaziland an independent nation. The day he signed it became their Independence Day September 6th, 1968. Sobhuza had unofficial been king since 1921.


King Mswati in traditional clothes

King Mswati in formal wear

The Chief of State in the Kingdom of Swaziland is Kind Mswati III. He became kind when his long reigning father, Kind Sobhuza II died in 1982. Sobhuza had been the leader of Swaziland for over 30 years before passing power onto his son. However, it was hard to decide because Sobhuza had 210 children with 70 wives. Two of Sobhuza’s wives ruled the country while Mswati was in school,but in 1986, Mswati was ready to become king. Mswati became the youngest absolute monarch in the world when he ascended the throne at age 18 years and six days old. The kind appoints the prime minister and the representatives. The representatives come from each of the four districts of Shiselweni , Lubombo, Manzini, and Hhohho. Swaziland has a fairly new constitution that was signed by Kind Mswati III in 2005.


Swaziland has roughly 1,133,000 people which is slightly more than the state of Idaho. The reason that there cannot be a completely accurate census is because of the extremely high HIV/AIDS rate. People are dying so rapidly that the government cannot keep track of the population. The HIV/AIDS rate is a staggering 38.8% which makes it the most AIDS ridden country in the world. As far as ethnic groups, Swaziland is overwhelmingly native African with only 3% being European or other. The average life expectancy is only about 32 years old, 46 years shorter than the average American’s life. Swaziland has two official languages, English and SiSwati. SiSwati is a language that has its roots in Bantu and has been spoke for thousands of years, although English is used by the government for all official businesses.


Swaziland is located on the southern end of Africa. It is mostly surrounded by the country of South Africa, but it also shares a border with Mozambique. Swaziland is completely landlocked therefore their trade is limited. It is a small country at only 17,363 square kilometers of land. This makes it a little bit smaller than the state of New Jersey. Swaziland has mostly hills and mountains so it makes farming difficult because of lack of flat land.