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Countries of the World: Lesotho
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 excess labor. 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, EU. 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 Maryland. Cities: Capital--Maseru (173,700). Other cities--Leribe (35,000), Mafeteng (32,900), Teyateyaneng (22,800), Mohale's Hoek (18,400). 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 reversed.

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-- Basotho. 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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