Swaziland Country Profile

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About Swaziland.

Media Info

State control of the media is strong and government-run outlets dominate the broadcasting scene. Media from South Africa are available.

Freedom of expression in the press is seriously restricted. Reporters Without Borders says the sole private daily is largely given over to “news trivia, entertainment and sports”. “Criticising the king is inconceivable,” it adds.

Journalists are routinely threatened and attacked by the authorities, US-based Freedom House reported in 2012.

General Info

The kingdom of Swaziland is one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies.

The king rules by decree over his million subjects, most of whom live in the countryside and follow traditional ways of life.

The struggling economy benefited from preferential access which textile exporters had to the United States until this facility was withdrawn over human rights concerns in 2015.

The country exports sugar and many Swazis work in South Africa and send their earnings home.

According to UNICEF Swaziland has the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world. The HIV-Aids virus has killed countless Swazis who have left behind thousands of orphans. Some 210,000 people, out of a population of 1.2 million, are estimated to be living with HIV.

The Republic of Swaziland

Capital: Mbabane

Population: 1.2 million

Major Languages: Swazi, English (both official)

Life expectancy: 50 years (men), 49 years (women)

Currency: Lilangeni (1 ZAR = 0.99 SZL)

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