Swaziland, officially the Kingdom of Swaziland, and sometimes called Ngwane or Swatini, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, bordered to the north, south and west by South Africa, and to the east by Mozambique. The nation, as well as its people, are named after the 19th century king Mswati II.
The trade weighted average tariff rate is prohibitively high at 10.2 percent, with layers of non-tariff barriers further constraining freedom to trade. Although foreign investment is officially welcome, deficiencies in the investment regime such as heavy bureaucracy and inconsistency inhibit growth in much-needed long-term investment. The financial sector remains underdeveloped, but non-bank financial institutions are active.
The judicial system is weak and vulnerable to corruption. The commercial court system is inefficient, and investors often pursue out-of-court settlements. Delays are common, and the executive branch significantly influences decisions. Protection of patents, trademarks, and copyrights is inadequate. Mistrust of government is considerable due to widespread public-sector corruption.
Swaziland is a small developing nation in Southern Africa. Several well-developed facilities for tourism are available. The capital is Mbabane.
Public protests, demonstrations, and strikes occur from time to time in Swaziland and are mostly in response to on-going labor relations/difficulties. When a strike is pending, armed soldiers may be called to augment the police force, and they have used force to disrupt such events. During the course of such events, police may not distinguish between “innocent bystanders” and protesters. U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies and street demonstrations.
AIDS has devastated the country. Orphans and vulnerable children account for an estimated 15 percent of the total population and in 2009 around 7,000 adults and children died from AIDS. The impact of Swaziland's epidemic has been so severe that life expectancy is just 48.7 years - one of the lowest in the world.
In Swaziland, a small landlocked country in Southern Africa, one in four adults are living with HIV. Since the first cases of AIDS were reported in the country in 1986, the virus has spread at an alarming rate and now Swaziland has the highest HIV prevalence in the world.
The unit of currency is the lilangeni; the plural is emalangeni (E). It is tied in value to the South African rand. Rands are accepted everywhere and there’s no need to change them. Emalangeni are difficult to change for other currencies outside Swaziland.
Summer sees torrential thunderstorms, especially in the western mountains, and temperatures on the lowveld are very hot, often over 40°C; in the high country the temperatures are lower and in winter it can get cool. Winter nights on the lowveld are sometimes very cold.
Swaziland is virtually homogenous, most of the population being of the same tribe. Economically, it relies on South Africa, which receives almost half of Swazi exports and supplies most of its imports.
The kingdom of Swaziland is one of the world's last remaining absolute monarchies.