Countries of the World:
Resources about Lesotho including maps, facts about the land,
people, history, government, political conditions, and economy.
Economy of Lesotho
GDP (2009): $1.3 billion.
Annual growth rate (2009 estimate): 1.1%.
Per capita GDP (2008 est.): $1,600.
Average inflation rate (2008): 10.8%.
Natural resources: Water, agricultural and grazing land,
some diamonds and other minerals. Lesotho is an exporter of
Agriculture (2008 est.): 4.7% of GDP. Products--corn, wheat,
sorghum, barley, peas, beans, asparagus, wool, mohair,
livestock. Arable land--11%.
Industry (2008 est.): 46.7% of GDP. Types--apparel, food,
beverages, handicrafts, construction, tourism.
Trade (2008): Exports--$1.06 billion; clothing, furniture,
footwear and wool. Partners--South Africa, United States,
Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, EU. Imports--$1.339 billion;
corn, clothing, building materials, vehicles, machinery,
medicines, petroleum products. Partners--South Africa, Asia,
Fiscal year: April 1 - March 31.
Economic aid received (2008): $306 million. Primary donors--
U.S., World Bank, IMF, EU, UN, U.K., and Ireland.
Geography of Lesotho
Area: 30,355 sq. km. (11,718 sq. mi.), about the size of
Cities: Capital--Maseru (173,700). Other cities--Leribe
(35,000), Mafeteng (32,900), Teyateyaneng (22,800), Mohale's
Terrain: High veld, plateau, and mountains.
Climate: Temperate; summers hot, winters cool to cold;
humidity generally low and evenings cool year round. Rainy
season in summer, winters dry. Southern hemisphere seasons are
Government of Lesotho
Type: Constitutional monarchy.
Constitution: April 2, 1993.
Independence: October 4, 1966.
Branches: Executive--monarch is head of state; prime
minister is head of government and cabinet. Legislative--
Bicameral parliament consists of elected Assembly and non-
elected Senate. Judicial--High Court, Court of Appeals,
Magistrate's Court, traditional and customary courts.
Administrative subdivisions: 10 districts.
Political parties: Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), All
Basotho Congress (ABC), Basotho National Party (BNP),
Lesotho Peoples Congress (LPC), National Independent Party
(NIP), Basutoland African Congress (BAC), Basutoland
Congress Party (BCP), Lesotho Workers Party (LWP), Popular
Front for Democracy (PFD), Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP),
Christian Democratic Party (CDP), Kopanang Basotho Party
(KBP), National Progressive Party (NPP), New Lesotho's
Freedom Party (NLFP), Sefate Democratic Union (SDU), Social
Democratic Party (SDP), United Party (UP).
Suffrage: 18 years of age.
Central government budget (FY 2003-2004 est.): Revenues--
$560 million. Expenditures--$599 million.
Map of Lesotho
This Map of Lesotho shows the borders of the country, as well
as rivers, and cities including Maseru the capital of Lesotho.
(Maps from the U.S. State Department)
Official Name of Lesotho
The Official Name of Lesotho is the Kingdom of Lesotho. (Facts
from the U.S. State Department)
People of Lesotho
Nationality: Noun--Mosotho (sing.); Basotho (pl.). Adjective--
Population (2009 est.): 1.88 million.
Annual population growth rate (2009 est.): 0.116%. (Note: the
population growth rate is depressed by an HIV/AIDS prevalence
rate estimated to be at approximately 23.2%.)
Ethnic groups: Basotho 99.7%; Europeans, Asians, and other
(including Xhosa) 0.3%.
Religions: 90% Christian, including Roman Catholic (majority),
Lesotho Evangelical, Anglican, other denominations; other
religions include Islam, Hindu, indigenous.
Languages: Official--Sesotho and English. Other--Xhosa, Zulu.
Education: Years compulsory--None. Literacy (2003 est.)--
84.8%. Lesotho has free primary education (grades 1-7).
Health: Infant mortality rate (2009 est.)--77.4/1,000. Life
expectancy (2009 est.)--40.38 years.
Work force (2001 est.): 704,000.
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