Where is Lesotho?

Located in Southern Africa, Lesotho has a 1,106.00 km border with South Africa. South Africa has placed military units to assist police operations along the border of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.

Maseru is the capital city of Lesotho. The city is located on the banks of the Caledon River. Maseru served as police camps before it was selected as the capital of Lesotho. It was first designated as the capital of Lesotho in 1869 after British declared Lesotho its protectorate. After Lesotho attained her independence, Maseru retained its status. As per the 2006 census in Lesotho, the population of Maseru was 253, 000. The city is the most populous in the country. The population of Maseru accounts for approximately 10% of the total population of Lesotho.

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Lesotho is an African country covering 30,355.00 km2. This makes it the 58th smallest country in the world and slightly smaller than Maryland. Its geographic coordinates are 29 30 S, 28 30 E and Maseru is the capital city.

The name Lesotho translates to "Land of the Sesotho Speakers".

Its ISO code is LS.

Geography

Lesotho has a mean elevation of 2,161 m above sea level.

It has a temperate climate with cold, dry winters and hot, wet summers. Its terrain mostly consists of highlands with plateaus, hills, and mountains.

Population

Lesotho has a population of 1,953,070 making it the 149th largest in the world.

Sesotho and English are both official languages; Zulu and Xhosa are both spoken as well. The majority ethnic group is Sotho. The majority of the populaton is Christian, with indigenous beliefs representing a significant minority.

The national language of Lesotho is Sesotho. Sesotho is a southern Bantu language belonging to the Niger-Congo larger family of languages. It uses Latin Script in writing. The Sesotho alphabet has 39 letters. Among the 39, nine are vowels and 30 are consonants. Approximately 90% of all the inhabitants of Lesotho speak Sesotho as their first language. Being a Bantu language, Sesotho is agglutinative and uses a lot of affixes to form complete words. Apart from Sesotho, English is also an official language of Lesotho. However, English, which was introduced in the country during the colonial error, is mainly used in official settings, government offices, media, and politics. Sesotho is used in day-to-day communications in the country. Other minority languages in the country include Zulu, Xhosa, Phuthi, and Afrikaans. Afrikaans is the main immigrant language in Lesotho. The minority languages are mostly learned as second or third languages. However, speaker of the minority languages are also conversant with Sesotho language and can comfortably communicate in it.

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The dialing code for the country is 266.

Government

Lesotho is an independent country. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1966. Its constitution was last ratified in 1993.

Lesotho has a constitutional monarch. The politics of the country takes place under parliamentary representative democracy and a multiparty system. The monarch is more of a symbol of national unity as the constitution only recognizes him but does not outline any function. The prime minister is the head of government. The construction of the new parliament building was funded by the Chinese government and was completed in 2012. It is located at Mpilo Mountain, Maseru. The official residence of the Prime Minister, known as the State House, is also located in Maseru. The king’s palace and the parliament building are also located in the capital Maseru. Elections in Lesotho are held after every five years. 120 members of the national assembly are elected to the National Assembly. 80 members are elected directly to represent the constituencies while 40 are elected proportionally. The Senate is composed of 33 nominated members. The leader of the party with majority seats in the National Assembly automatically becomes the prime minister.

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Economy

Factoring in Purchasing Power Parity, Lesotho's GDP is $6,019,000,000.00 (USD) with $3,100.00 (USD) per capita. This makes it the 167th largest economy and its citizens the 183rd richest in the world. The currency of Lesotho is the Loti (LSL).

Its major imports include food, building materials, vehicles, machinery, medicines, and petroleum products.

Flag

The flag of Lesotho is a horizontal tricolor of blue, white, and green from top to bottom respectively. It has a black Basotho hat at the center of the white field. The three colors are in the ratio of 3:4:3 while the flag is in the proportion of 2:3. The current flag of Lesotho was officially adopted on October 4, 2006, on the 40th independence anniversary. The design was chosen from the four designs which all had a brown Basotho hat. The brown hat was changed to black. The bill to change the flag was passed by the parliament on September 18, 2006. The blue color signifies the sky or rain while the white and green colors represent peace and prosperity respectively. Prior to the adoption of the current flag, the flags flown in Lesotho included the Union Jack (used by British Protectorate of Basutoland), the vertical green-red-blue flag with a Sotho straw hat, and a military flag.

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This page was last modified on January 17th, 2018