Human Capital and Labour Report Lesotho-Swaziland

The Kingdom of Lesotho, one of the smallest countries in Africa, is a landlocked country that is situated in the south-eastern region of Southern Africa, surrounded entirely by South Africa. Lesotho’s largest city and its capital is Maseru.. Although the country seems to have stabilised somewhat after considerable political turmoil over the last few years, there have been some politically motivated attacks in 2016 that suggest that there is a continued crisis in Lesotho.

Lesotho has natural resources of water, diamonds and agricultural and grazing land. The agricultural sector employs the majority of the poor in Lesotho and forms the backbone of the rural economy. Yet since the early 1990s, agriculture has been stagnant as a result of unpredictable climatic conditions, such as erratic rains and persistent droughts.

Swaziland is a land-locked country in Southern Africa covering an area of 17,364 square kilometres. It is bordered by South Africa to the west, north and south, and Mozambique to the north-east. The capital city is Mbabane. Swaziland is ruled by a monarch, King Mswati III, who was crowned in 1986. Although Swaziland is called a monarchical democracy, it is widely regarded as an absolute monarchy.

Swaziland has some gold and diamond deposits in addition to iron, coal, hydropower and forests. Most of the population (70%) relies on agriculture for an income. Agriculture contributes to the economy through the export of sugar, cotton, citrus fruits, and maize. Industry contributes significantly to the country’s economy through the production and export of Coca-Cola concentrate, canned products, textiles, coal and apparel. Tourism also contributes significantly to the economy.

This country analysis focuses on broad human capital indicators including:

  • Country profile, including a brief overview of the country; corruption and governance indicators; and the business culture.
  • Economic indicators, including an overview of the economy; largest companies; foreign aid and foreign investment.
  • Socio-demographic indicators, including population parameters, standard of living and poverty measures.
  • Healthcare and wellness: The focus here is on the impact of Tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS and malaria on the workforce and workplace; the availability of specialist healthcare and also primary and secondary healthcare.
  • Education trends, including the education level of the population and workforce; as well as education standards and output.
  • Labour force, including the economically active population; job creation; employment sectors; skills shortages; the training and skills development framework; employment of expatriates; brain drain; industrial relations; professional human resource management and more.

Throughout the research, implications, challenges and recommendations are offered to employers, policy makers, donors, investors and the human resource management fraternity. This is all done within the context of the South African socio-economic realities.

Where appropriate, comparisons were made against Kenya, Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria was selected because it is the largest economy in Africa; Kenya for being the largest economy in East Africa and also for being perceived as an entry point for investors to enter into Africa. The data of these countries are used to provide context and perspective.


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