Kingdom of Swaziland

Political Status: Independent monarchy within the Commonwealth since September 6, 1968.

Area: 6,703 sq. mi. (17,363 sq. km.).

Population: 929,718 (1997C); 1,164,000 (2008E).

Major Urban Centers (2005E): MBABANE (administrative capital, 78,000), Lobamba (royal and legislative capital, 11,000), Manzini (33,000).

Official Languages: English, siSwati.

Monetary Unit: Lilangeni (official rate December 1, 2009: 7.33 emalangeni = $1US). The lilangeni is at par with the South African rand, although under a Tripartite Monetary Area agreement concluded among Swaziland, Lesotho, and South Africa on July 1, 1986, the rand ceased to be legal tender in Swaziland.

Sovereign: King MSWATI III; installed on April 25, 1986, succeeding (as Head of State) Queen Regent Ntombi THWALA.

Prime Minister: Sibusiso Barnabas DLAMINI; appointed by the king on October 16, 2008, to succeed Absalom Themba DLAMINI; sworn in ...

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