Facts about Lesotho

World Facts Index

LesothoBasutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from the UK in 1966. The Basuto National Party ruled for the first two decades. King MOSHOESHOE was exiled in 1990, but returned to Lesotho in 1992 and was reinstated in 1995. Constitutional government was restored in 1993 after seven years of military rule. In 1998, violent protests and a military mutiny following a contentious election prompted a brief but bloody intervention by South African and Botswanan military forces under the aegis of the Southern African Development Community. Subsequent constitutional reforms restored relative political stability. Peaceful parliamentary elections were held in 2002, but the National Assembly elections of February 2007 were hotly contested and aggrieved parties continue to periodically demonstrate their distrust of the results.

Geography of Lesotho

Location:
Southern Africa, an enclave of South Africa
Coordinates:
29 30 S, 28 30 E
Area:
total: 30,355 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 30,355 sq km
Area comparative:
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries:
total: 909 km
border countries: South Africa 909 km
Coastline:
0 km (landlocked)
Climate:
temperate; cool to cold, dry winters; hot, wet summers
Terrain:
mostly highland with plateaus, hills, and mountains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: junction of the Orange and Makhaleng Rivers 1,400 m
highest point: Thabana Ntlenyana 3,482 m
Natural resources:
water, agricultural and grazing land, some diamonds and other minerals
Natural hazards:
periodic droughts
Environment current issues:
population pressure forcing settlement in marginal areas results in overgrazing, severe soil erosion, and soil exhaustion; desertification; Highlands Water Project controls, stores, and redirects water to South Africa
Geography - note:
landlocked, completely surrounded by South Africa; mountainous, more than 80% of the country is 1,800 meters above sea level

Population of Lesotho

Population:
2,128,180  (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 36.8% (male 374,102/female 369,527)
15-64 years: 58.3% (male 572,957/female 606,846)
65 years and over: 4.9% (male 39,461/female 59,438)
Median age:
20.3 years
Growth rate:
-0.46%
Infant mortality:
87.24 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 34.4 years
male: 35.55 years
female: 33.21 years
Fertility rate:
3.28 children born/woman
Nationality:
noun: Mosotho (singular), Basotho (plural)
adjective: Basotho
Ethnic groups:
Sotho 99.7%, Europeans, Asians, and other 0.3%,
Religions:
Christian 80%, indigenous beliefs 20%
Languages:
Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 84.8%
male: 74.5%
female: 94.5% (2003 est.)

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Lesotho
former: Basutoland
Government type:
parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Capital:
Maseru
Administrative divisions:
10 districts; Berea, Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Mafeteng, Maseru, Mohale's Hoek, Mokhotlong, Qacha's Nek, Quthing, Thaba-Tseka
Independence:
4 October 1966 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 4 October (1966)
Constitution:
2 April 1993
Legal system:
based on English common law and Roman-Dutch law; judicial review of legislative acts in High Court and Court of Appeal; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: King LETSIE III (since 7 February 1996); note - King LETSIE III formerly occupied the throne from November 1990 to February 1995 while his father was in exile
head of government: Prime Minister Pakalitha MOSISILI (since 23 May 1998)
cabinet: Cabinet
elections: according to the constitution, the leader of the majority party in the Assembly automatically becomes prime minister; the monarch is hereditary, but, under the terms of the constitution that came into effect after the March 1993 election, the monarch is a "living symbol of national unity" with no executive or legislative powers; under traditional law the college of chiefs has the power to depose the monarch, determine who is next in the line of succession, or who shall serve as regent in the event that the successor is not of mature age.
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (33 members - 22 principal chiefs and 11 other members appointed by the ruling party) and the Assembly (120 seats, 80 by direct popular vote and 40 by proportional vote; members elected by popular vote for five-year terms); note - number of seats in the Assembly rose from 80 to 120 in the May 2002 election
Judicial branch:
High Court (chief justice appointed by the monarch); Court of Appeal; Magistrate's Court; customary or traditional court

Economy

Small, landlocked, and mountainous, Lesotho relies on remittances from miners employed in South Africa and customs duties from the Southern Africa Customs Union for the majority of government revenue. However, the government has recently strengthened its tax system to reduce dependency on customs duties. Completion of a major hydropower facility in January 1998 permitted the sale of water to South Africa and generated royalties for Lesotho. Lesotho produces about 90% of its own electrical power needs. As the number of mineworkers has declined steadily over the past several years, a small manufacturing base has developed based on farm products that support the milling, canning, leather, and jute industries, as well as a rapidly expanding apparel-assembly sector. The latter has grown significantly mainly due to Lesotho qualifying for the trade benefits contained in the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. The economy is still primarily based on subsistence agriculture, especially livestock, although drought has decreased agricultural activity. The extreme inequality in the distribution of income remains a major drawback. Lesotho has signed an Interim Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility with the IMF. In July 2007, Lesotho signed a Millennium Challenge Account Compact with the US worth $362.5 million.

GDP:
$3.063 billion (2007 est.)
GDP growth rate:
0.8%
GDP per capita:
$2,500
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 16.3%
industry: 44.3%
services: 39.4%
Inflation rate:
4.7% 
Labor force:
838,000
Labor force - by occupation:
86% of resident population engaged in subsistence agriculture; roughly 35% of the active male wage earners work in South Africa
Unemployment:
45% 
Industries:
food, beverages, textiles, apparel assembly, handicrafts; construction; tourism
Agriculture:
corn, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley; livestock
Exports:
manufactures 75% (clothing, footwear, road vehicles), wool and mohair, food and live animals (2000)
Export partners:
Hong Kong 43%, China 23.4%, India 5.5%, South Korea 5.1%, Germany 4.4% 
Imports:
food; building materials, vehicles, machinery, medicines, petroleum products
Import partners:
US 97%, Canada 2.1%, UK 0.3% 
Currency:
loti (LSL); South African rand (ZAR)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

Copyright 2004 - 2008 www.benweigongshe.cn

国产超碰无码最新上传_亚洲国产在线2020最新_久久影院