Nations of the World – Fun Facts About

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Welcome to the Kingdom of Swaziland!

Independence

Did you know- On September 6, 1968, the country – one of the most ethnically homogeneous republics on the Planet– proclaimed its national independence as the Kingdom of Swaziland within the Commonwealth. It thus became the forty-second independent country in Africa. Since that time, it has become one of the few monarchies in the Third World. For almost 70 years, prior to 1968, the United Kingdom had ruled the country as a British High Commission Territory. In fact, Swaziland was one of Britain’s last colonies on the African mainland.

Geography

Did you know- The modern country of Swaziland lies in southern Africa and is completely surrounded by formerly white-ruled South Africa and Mozambique (ex Portuguese colony).It covers about 6,704 square miles ( 17,363 km). The African monarchy–about the size of New Jersey–is the world’s 158th largest nation in area. What is more, it is one of the smallest countries by area among the former British colonies in Africa, along with Lesotho, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Gambia. This tiny kingdom enjoys a favorable climate. Most of the nation is covered with mountains (up to 4,500 feet), rainforests, and valleys.

Summer Olympics

Did you know- In 1968, the kingdom was one of the new nations of the world, but it did not become an Olympic country until 1972.

Foreign Relations

Did you know- The Kingdom of Swaziland, once an anti-Communist nation, maintains close diplomatic and economic ties with South Africa, and Japan, as well as South Korea and the United States of America. Since then, it is known for its strong ties with London. In the meantime, since its independence (1968), Swaziland is one of the few African states in the world that has not had diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China.

Water Resources

Did you know- Despite the country’s size -one of the smallest nations on Earth- the Kingdom of Swaziland is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s well-watered areas. Like Suriname, Solomon Islands, and Norway, it is home to a number of rivers. Major rivers include: the Ingwavuna river in the south, the Makondo river in the southwest, the Usutu and Ngwempisi rivers in the west, and Lomti and Black Umbeluzi rivers in the north.

People

Did you know- Over one million people living in the nation,the great majority Swazi-speaking blacks. Moreover, there are a number of citizens of Swaziland employed in South Africa and other countries.

Major International Organizations

Did you know- The nation became a member of the United Nations on September 24, 1968. At the same time, it became the twenty-eighth member of the British Commonwealth.

Power & Women

Did you know- By the early 1980s, this landlocked country made the world headlines when it had two Queens. Following the death of King Sobhuza II, the Queen regent Dzeliwe Shongwe ruled the tiny kingdom, between 1982 and 1983, and months later Ntombi Twala became the country’s second female Head of State since 1968. According to Swazi traditions, the new king is elected by the Queen Mother (Ndlovukazi or She-Elephant). In 1921, Sobhuza II, who was one of the world’s oldest reigning monarchs, had been hand-picked by the She-Elephant.

Language

Did you know- This monarchy is a country with two official languages, English and siSwati.

Wildlife

Did you know- Despite its tiny size, this land is famous for its vast variety of wild animals, such as elephants, lions, rhinoceros, and leopards. Otherwise, it also is well-known for its birdlife. In Lubombo, for example, there are over 350 species of exotic birds. In recent years, the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary has become one of the country’s most visited spots.

New Wonder

Did you know- The tiny kingdom is home to one of the world’s oldest mines. It was discovered in Ngwenya, district of Hohho, in 1970.This new wonder is one of Swaziland’s top tourist attractions.

Two Capitals

Did you know- Unlike a number of states in the world, this English-speaking nation has two capitals. Mbabane is the administrative capital, meanwhile Lobamba is the traditional capital. Mbabane -lies in Swaziland’s western highlands– is the largest city and was set up in the early 1900s. With a population of 100,000 people, Mbabane is home a number of traditional markets, excellent restaurants, stunning gardens, and amazing hotels. In the 2oth century, this Swazi place became one of the most peaceful cities in southern Africa. In the meantime, Lobamba has interesting places, such as the King Sobhuza II Memorial Park and the National Museum.

Economics

Did you know- This African monarchy is blessed with abundant water and some minerals, such as iron ore, asbestos, tin, kaolin, coal, gold, barite, and diamonds. On the other hand, from 1984 to 1994, the Kingdom of Swaziland boasted one of the world’s fastest-growing economies (6.5%), ahead of several Asian countries.

World-famous Visitors

Did you know- Pope John Paul II came to the country in 1988.

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Source by Alejandro Guevara Onofre

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