Swaziland – geography
Swaziland. The population consists almost exclusively of ethnic Swazis; the few exceptions are immigrants from South Africa and Mozambique. Average life expectancy is low and declining due to increased mortality associated with HIV/AIDS; It is estimated that around 38% of the population between the ages of 15 and 49 is affected. The majority of the population originally combined cattle and arable farming, but the Swazis controlled only 40% of the land at independence in 1968, the rest was owned by European settlers and foreign agro-industries, especially in the sugar industry. Large areas of the western highlands were laid out for eucalyptus and conifer plantations, which now cover 6% of the area. Among other things. this has made land access to the country’s most important political issues. A large proportion of the population is farmers east of the highlands; they cultivate land that is formally owned by the Swazination. The rainfall here is more uncertain than in the highlands: annually from 900 mm decreasing to the east to 500 mm when moving out on the lowland savannah. At intervals the rainfall fails completely; Among other things, in 1992 there was severe drought. Corn, beans and peas are mainly grown with cotton as a sales crop. In contrast to the more affluent urban dwellers and especially to the large royal family, the majority of the rural population lives in deep poverty and many men are forced to seek work in South Africa. Cattle have a traditional significance as a sign of wealth, and the population of almost 1 million, though fewer after drought years, is greater than carrying capacity, which has resulted in grazing and erosion.
- Countryaah: Do you know how many people there are in Swaziland? Check this site to see population pyramid and resident density about this country.
The large agro-industries are the country’s most important economic activity. Sugar, together with wood and pulp, are the most important export goods; Add to this sales from farms with citrus fruits, pineapples and vegetables. These large-scale farms, with associated processing, play an important role in employment, exports and revenue to the state through taxes.
Mining was formerly of great importance, but it has diminished since the 1960’s. First, the important reserves of iron ore were depleted, and then asbestos production was hit by falling demand in the world market as the health problems with the material became known. In contrast, mining of coal and diamonds has been of increasing importance. Non-utilized resources include: the hydropower from the rivers to the east. For culture and traditions of Swaziland, please check allunitconverters.
The industry has been growing since independence. In addition to the aforementioned processing of agricultural products and timber, there is in particular the textile and clothing industry. The industry grew, among other things, because international sanctions on South Africa resulted in transnational companies such as Coca-Cola moving their business from South Africa to Swaziland. The tourism sector is also growing; it is especially hotel and casino complexes that appeal to neighboring countries. By contrast, nature means less, as the land does not offer the major national parks.
The country’s economic problems were exacerbated in the spring of 2002 by drought, which meant that up to 20% of the population was threatened by famine. Even in normal years, Swaziland imports approximately 60% of its food.