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Swaziland, sometimes called Ngwane or Swatini, 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 of Swaziland.
Swaziland is a small country, no more than 200 km north to south and 130 km east to west. The western half is mountainous, descending to a lowveld region to the east. The eastern border with Mozambique and South Africa is dominated by the escarpment of the Lebombo Mountains. The climate is temperate in the west, but may reach 40 degrees celsius in summer in the lowveld. Rainfall occurs mainly in the summer and may reach 2 m in the west.
The area that Swaziland now covers has been continuously inhabited since prehistory. Today, the population is primarily ethnic Swazi peoples whose language is siSwati, though English is spoken as a second language. The Swazi people descend from the southern Bantu peoples who migrated from Central Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Anglo Boer war saw the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland make Swaziland a protectorate under its direct control. Swaziland gained independence in 1968.
Swaziland's economy is dominated by the service industry, manufacturing and agriculture. Some 75% of the population are employed in subsistence farming, and 60% of the population live on less than the equivalent of US$1.25 per day. Swaziland's economic growth and societal integrity is highly endangered by its disastrous HIV epidemic, to an extent where the United Nations Development Program has written that if it continues unabated, the"longer term existence of Swaziland as a country will be seriously threatened." The infection rate in the country is unprecedented and the highest in the world at 26.1% of adults and over 50% of adults in their 20s.