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Overview of Swaziland

The Kingdom of Swaziland 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 population is primarily ethnic Swazis who recognise both SiSwati and English as their dual national languages. A British protectorate following the end of the Second Boer War, it gained independence in 1968. Swaziland is a member of the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Swaziland's economy is dominated by services industry, agriculture and subsistence farming. Growth has been hampered by the effects of HIV and AIDS, the prevalence of which is the highest in the world at 38.8%.In 2005 HIV/AIDS was responsible for killing 1,455 people per 100,000 of the population sadly this percentage keeps growing. Swaziland, unfortunately, also holds 2 other world records – the lowest life expectancy 31.82 years for men and 32.62 years for women and the highest rate of death worldwide at 31.2 deaths per 1000 of the population. This means that a vast proportion of the countries children are orphans before reaching puberty. This, in turn , places an even greater burden on already impoverished communities where 60% of the country's population live on less than 50 pence per day per family.

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