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Lesotho Facts

Lesotho Facts | Kingdom of Lesotho Information | Lesotho Statistics | Basutoland

Lesotho Facts |  Kingdom of Lesotho Information | Lesotho Statistics Lesotho Facts |  Kingdom of Lesotho Information | Lesotho Statistics
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Lesotho Facts |  Kingdom of Lesotho Information | Lesotho Statistics Lesotho Facts |  Kingdom of Lesotho Information | Lesotho Statistics
Lesotho Map
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Background: Basutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from the UK in 1966. King MOSHOESHOE was exiled in 1990. Constitutional government was restored in 1993 after 23 years of military rule.
Common Name: Lesotho Local Official Name: Lesotho
Abbreviated Name: Kingdom of Lesotho Official Name: Lesotho
Official Script Name: Lesotho Local Common Name: Lesotho
Former Name: Basutoland Territory of: NA
Head of State: King LETSIE III
Government Type: parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Independence: 1966 October 4(from UK)
Constitution: 1993 April 2
National Holiday: Independence Day, 4 October
International Organization Participation: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Administrative Divisions: 10 districts; Berea, Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Mafeteng, Maseru, Mohales Hoek, Mokhotlong, Qacha's Nek, Quthing, Thaba-Tseka
Dependent Areas: NA
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 years
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: 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: none; 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 which 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 determine who is next in the line of succession, who shall serve as regent in the event that the successor is not of mature age, and may even depose the monarch 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 elections: last held NA May 2002 (next to be held NA May 2007) election results: percent of vote by party - LCD 54%, BNP 21%, LPC 7%, other 18%; seats by party - LCD 76, BNP 21, LPC 5, other 18 Judicial Branch: High Court (chief justice appointed by the monarch); Court of Appeal; Magistrate's Court; customary or traditional court
Party Leaders: Basotho Congress Party or BCP [Tseliso MAKHAKHE]; Basotho National Party or BNP [Maj. Gen. Justine Metsing LEKHANYA]; Lesotho Congress for Democracy or LCD [Phebe MOTEBANO, chairwoman; Pakalitha MOSISILI, leader] - the governing party; Lesotho People's Congress or LPC [Kelebone MAOPE]; United Democratic Party or UDP [Charles MOFELI]; Marematlou Freedom Party or MFP and Setlamo Alliance [Vincent MALEBO]; Progressive National Party or PNP [Chief Peete Nkoebe PEETE]; Sefate Democratic Party or SDP [Bofihla NKUEBE]
International Disputes: NA
Illicit Drugs: NA 
  Lesotho Facts |  Kingdom of Lesotho Information | Lesotho Statistics  
Location of Lesotho: Southern Africa, an enclave of South Africa
Continent: Africa Land Area Total: 30,355 sq km 
Region: Southern African Land Area Land: 30,355 sq km
Capitol City: Maseru Land Area Water: 0 sq km
Latitude: 029 30 S Border Boundary Land: 909 km
Longitude: 028 30 E Border Boundary Coastline: 0 km 
Arable Land: 11.00 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 0.00 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
Highest Elevation: 3,482 m Location: Thabana Ntlenyana
Lowest Elevation: 1,400 m Location: junction of the Orange and Makhaleng Rivers
Largest City in Lesotho: Maseru Maseru Largest City Population: 373,000
Threatened Species: 0
Environmental 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
Environmental Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection signed, but not ratified: Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping
Irrigated Land: 10
Bordering Countries: South Africa 909 km
Natural Resources: water, agricultural and grazing land, some diamonds and other minerals
Geographical Terrain: mostly highland with plateaus, hills, and mountains
Comparative Area of Lesotho: slightly smaller than Maryland
Lesotho's Geography: landlocked, completely surrounded by South Africa; mountainous, more than 80% of the country is 1,800 meters above sea level

  Lesotho Facts |  Kingdom of Lesotho Information | Lesotho Statistics  
General Climate: temperate; cool to cold, dry winters; hot, wet summers
Natural Hazards: periodic droughts
  Lesotho Facts |  Kingdom of Lesotho Information | Lesotho Statistics  
Economic Overview: Small, landlocked, and mountainous, Lesotho's primary natural resource is water. Its economy is based on subsistence agriculture, livestock, remittances from miners employed in South Africa, and a rapidly growing apparel-assembly sector. The number of mineworkers has declined steadily over the past several years. A small manufacturing base depends largely on farm products that support the milling, canning, leather, and jute industries. Agricultural products are exported primarily to South Africa. Proceeds from membership in a common customs union with South Africa form the majority of government revenue. Although drought has decreased agricultural activity over the past few years, completion of a major hydropower facility in January 1998 now permits the sale of water to South Africa, generating royalties for Lesotho. The pace of privatization has increased in recent years. In December 1999, the government embarked on a nine-month IMF staff-monitored program aimed at structural adjustment and stabilization of macroeconomic fundamentals. The government is in the process of applying for a three-year successor program with the IMF under its Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility. Lesotho has a marked inequality in income distribution and serious unemployment/underemployment problems that will not yield to short-run solutions.
GDP: $5,300,000,000 USD Currency: loti; South African rand
GDP per Capita: $2,450 USD Currency Code: LSL;
GDP Growth Rate: 2.60 %
Currency Exchange Rate History: maloti per US dollar - 11.58786 (January 2002), 8.60918 (2001), 6.93983 (2000), 6.10948 (1999), 5.52828 (1998), 4.60796 (1997); note - the Lesotho loti is at par with the South African rand which is also legal tender; maloti is the plural form of loti
GDP of Agriculture: 18.00 % GDP of Industry: 38.00 %
GDP of Services: 44.00 %  
Inflation Rate: 6.90 % Population in Poverty: 49.20 %
Unemployment Rate: 45.00 % Tourism: 186,000.00 visitors each year
Consumption by lowest 10%: 0.90 % Budget Revenue in USD: $76,000,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 43.40 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $80,000,000 USD
Electricity Production: 0 kWh Electricity Exports: 0 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 100,000,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 100,000,000 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 0.00% Nuclear Electricity Production: 0.00%
Hydro Electricity Production: 0.00% Other Electricity Production: 0.00%
Oil Production: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 0 cu m
Oil Consumption: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 0 cu m
Oil Exports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 0 cu m
Oil Imports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 0 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 0 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 0 cu m
External Debt: $715,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $123,700,000 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $0 USD
Agricultural Products: corn, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley; livestock
Primary Industries: food, beverages, textiles, apparel assembly, handicrafts; construction; tourism
Industrial Growth Rate: 15.50 %
Import Amount in USD: $720,000,000 USD - food; building materials, vehicles, machinery, medicines, petroleum products
Import Partners: South African Customs Union 89.5%, Asia 7%
Export Amount in USD: $250,000,000 USD - manufactures 75% (clothing, footwear, road vehicles), wool and mohair, food and live animals
Export Partners: South African Customs Union 53.9%, North America 45.6%
GINI Index: 56.00%
Labor Force Number of People: 700,000
Labor Force by Occupations: 86% of resident population engaged in subsistence agriculture; roughly 35% of the active male wage earners work in South Africa
  Lesotho Facts |  Kingdom of Lesotho Information | Lesotho Statistics  
Radio Broadcast Stations: 4 Number of People with Radios: 0
Television Broadcast Stations: 1 Number of People with Televisions: 0
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 22,200 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 21,600
Internet Service Providers: 1 Internet Users: 4,000
Internet Country Code: .ls Newspapers: 0
Two Letter Country Code: LS Weights and Measures:
Phone Country Code: +266 Electricity Voltage: Volts
Telephone Systems: general assessment: rudimentary system domestic: consists of a few landlines, a small microwave radio relay system, and a minor radiotelephone communication system international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
  Lesotho Facts |  Kingdom of Lesotho Information | Lesotho Statistics  


Highways: 887 km Railways: 2 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 0 km Waterways: 0 km
Airports: 4 Heliports: 0
Motor Vehicles: 0 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 0 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 0.00 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
Merchant Marines: NA
Ports and Harbors: NA
  Lesotho Facts |  Kingdom of Lesotho Information | Lesotho Statistics  
Population: 2,207,954 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 30.72 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 69.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 16.81 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: 1.33% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 4.01 babies born per woman
Population Male 0-14: 433,229 Population Female 0-14: 427,926
Population Male 15-64: 600,476 Population Female 15-64: 642,538
Population Male 65+: 43,691 Population Female 65+: 60,094
Population 0-14: 39.00% Literacy Rate: 83.00%
Population 15-64: 56.30% Literacy rate of Males: 72.00%
Population 65+: 4.70% Literacy rate of Females: 93.00%
Population that is Male: 47.50 % Population that is Female: 52.50%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 47.00 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 82.57 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 46.30 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 47.80 years
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 23.57% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 240,000
Number of people who died of AIDS: 16,000
Disease Risk:
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: -0.63
Nationality: BASOTHO
Ethnic Groups: Sotho 99.7%, Europeans, Asians, and other 0.3%, 
Primary Language: Sesotho
Other Languages: Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa
Primary Religion: Christian
Other Religions: Christian 80%, indigenous beliefs 20%
  Lesotho Facts |  Kingdom of Lesotho Information | Lesotho Statistics  
Branches: Lesotho Defense Force (LDF; including Army and Air Wing), Royal Lesotho Mounted Police
Manpower Fit to Serve: NA years
Manpower Available: 526,332 People
Manpower Fit to Serve: 283,203 People
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 0 People per year
Expenditures: $34,000,000 USD per year
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 0.00
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
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