St Marks Primary and High School Alumni

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Swaziland - History

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Locality

 

The Kingdom of Swaziland is a landlocked country in southern Africa, bordered on three sides by South Africa, and on one side by Mozambique. The country takes its name from King Maswati II who ruled from 1845 to 1865.

Comparatively Swaziland is about the size of Wales or Hawaii, and is slightly smaller than New Jersey.

 

Infrastructure, Developments & Industry

 

Swaziland's capital and administrative centre is Mbabane. The main industrial sector is at Matsapha with the Ezulwini Valley, and its hotels and casino, being the main tourist zone.

 

There are Government programs encouraging Swazi entrepreneurs to run small and medium-sized firms and tourism attracts more than 424,000 visitors annually (mostly from Europe and South Africa).

 

Manzini, once a small bustling market town, is now a principle city and is known colloquially as the Hub of Swaziland.

 

The King's residence is situated at Lobamba as well as the Houses of Parliament and the Somhlolo National Stadium. Lobamba is also Swaziland's ceremonial and spiritual heartland, back dropped by the magnificent Mdzimba mountain range where its past Kings and royalty are buried.

 

The farming and forestry communities are mainly located at Malkerns, Mhlambanyatsi, Piggs Peak, Mhlume, Tshaneni, Sidvokodvo, and Big Bend - with pineapples, sugar, cotton, citrus, and cattle being the main agriculture. The forests are man-made comprising of mainly pine, with some eucalyptus. In addition to large scale farming, Swaziland also has substantial small-holdings where cattle, goats and chickens are raised and maize and vegetables are grown for local consumption.

 

Swaziland possesses the following natural resources: asbestos, coal, clay, cassiterite, hydropower, forests, small gold and diamond deposits, quarry stone, and talc. Gold, Iron Ore, and Asbestos were once mined extensively at Piggs Peak, coal deposits were found at Mpaka, and the country has a thriving stone quarry near Matsapha.

 

670 km² of the country's land is irrigated. Swaziland is prone to floods and drought. Soil erosion has occurred as a result of overgrazing is a growing problem.

 

 
 
Raine Alexander - 27 June 2008
 

Sources:

Swaziland Country Study Guide published by International Business Publications

Ministry of Education,Swaziland Government

 

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