Swaziland Military, Economy and Transportation

Swaziland Military, Economy and Transportation


Economy overview: In this small landlocked country, more than 60% of the population is engaged in agriculture. The industry is represented by several plants for the processing of agricultural products. The role of the mining sector in the economy has declined in recent years: diamond mines have closed due to the depletion of reserves suitable for mining, rich iron ore deposits have been depleted by 1978, and world demand for asbestos has fallen due to its harm to health. The export of soft drink concentrates, sugar and timber is the main source of hard currency. Being almost completely surrounded by the territory of South Africa (with the exception of a small part of the border with Mozambique), Swaziland is very dependent on South Africa, which accounts for 80% of all imports and two-thirds of all exports. Remittances from Swazis employed in South Africa constitute a significant share of the population’s income. The government is trying to make the country attractive to foreign investors. Overgrazing by livestock, soil degradation and constant droughts remain the main problems. The outlook for 2001 is brighter with a government project to build a new business center, hotels, an amusement park, an airport and speed up road construction.┬áSee topb2bwebsites.com to know more about Eswatini in 2004.
GDP: PPP – $4.4 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 2.4% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $4,000 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 10%; industry: 46%; services: 44% (1998 est.).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: for the poorest 10% of households: n/a; by top 10% of households: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 6.4% (2000 est.).
Labor force: no data.
Employment structure: private sector 70%, public sector 30%.
Unemployment rate: 22% (1995 est.).
Budget: Revenues: $400 million Expenditures: $450 million including capital expenditures of $115 million (FY96-97).
Spheres of economy: mining industry (mining of coal and asbestos), production of cellulose, production of sugar and concentrates for soft drinks.
Industrial production growth: 3.7% (FY1995=96).
Electricity generation: 375 million kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 53.33%; hydropower: 46.67%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 198 million kWh (1999).
Electricity export: 852 million kWh (1999).
Electricity imports: 701 million kWh, note: imported from South Africa (1999).
Agricultural products: sugar cane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus fruits, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep.
Export: $881 million (free on board, 2000)
Exports: soft drink concentrates, sugar, cellulose, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus fruits and canned fruits.
Export partners: South Africa 65%, EU 12%, Mozambique 11%, US 5% (1998).
Imports: $928 million (free on board, 2000)
Imports: automobiles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals.
Import partners: South Africa 84%, EU 5%, Japan 2%, Singapore 2% (1998).
External debt: $281 million (200 est.). Economic aid recipient: $55 million (1995)
Economic aid donor:
Currency: lilangeni.
Currency code: SZL.
Exchange rate: SZL/USD – 7.7803 (January 2001), 6.9056 (2000), 6.1087 (1999), 5.4807 (1998), 4.6032 (1997), 4.2706 (1996); note – li-pangeni is equal to the Rand of South Africa.
Fiscal year: April 1-March 31.


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 33,500 (2000).
Mobile cell phones: 30,000 (2000).
Telephone system: outdated; internal: the system consists of land lines on poles and low-capacity microwave radio relay; international: satellite earth stations – 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).
Broadcast stations: AM – 7, FM – 6 (2000).
Radio receivers: 155,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 10 (2000).
TVs: 21,000 (1997).
Internet country code: sz
Internet service providers: 3 (2000).
Number of users: 4,000 (2000).


Transport Railways: total length: 297 km; note – including 71 km of unused tracks; narrow gauge: 297 km (1.067 m gauge).
Roads: total length: 3,000 km; coated: 850; uncoated: 2,150 (1997).
Waterways: no.
Ports and harbours: none.
Airports: 18 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 1; from 2438 to 3047 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 17; from 914 to 1523 m:7; less than 914 m: 10 (2000 est.).

Armed forces

Branches of the Armed Forces: Swaziland Defense Force Umbutfo (Army), Royal Swaziland Police.
Conscription age:
Total military manpower: men 15 to 49 years old. 248,084 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: males aged 15 to 49: 143,618 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year:
Military spending in dollar terms: $19.198 million (FY00-01).
Military spending as part of GDP: 4.75% (FY00-01)

International Issues

International Issues International Disputes: Swaziland has offered South Africa to start negotiations on the return of South Africa’s small neighboring territories inhabited by Swazis or once part of the Swazi Kingdom.

Swaziland Military