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2 definitions found
 for Lesotho
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  Lesotho
      n 1: a landlocked constitutional monarchy in southern Africa;
           achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1966 [syn:
           Lesotho, Kingdom of Lesotho, Basutoland]

From CIA World Factbook 2002 :

  Lesotho
  
     Introduction Lesotho
     --------------------
                              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.
    
     Geography Lesotho
     -----------------
                                Location: Southern Africa, an enclave of South
                                          Africa
                  Geographic coordinates: 29 30 S, 28 30 E
                          Map references: Africa
                                    Area: total: 30,355 sq km
                                          water: 0 sq km
                                          land: 30,355 sq km
                      Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland
                         Land boundaries: total: 909 km
                                          border countries: South Africa 909
                                          km
                               Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
                         Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
                                 Climate: temperate; cool to cold, dry
                                          winters; hot, wet summers
                                 Terrain: mostly highland with plateaus,
                                          hills, and mountains
                      Elevation extremes: lowest point: junction of the Orange
                                          and Makhaleng Rivers 1,400 m
                                          highest point: Thabana Ntlenyana
                                          3,482 m
                       Natural resources: water, agricultural and grazing
                                          land, some diamonds and other
                                          minerals
                                Land use: arable land: 10.71%
                                          permanent crops: 0%
                                          other: 89.29% (1998 est.)
                          Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1998 est.)
                         Natural hazards: periodic droughts
            Environment - current 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
              Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
                              agreements: 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
                        Geography - note: landlocked, completely surrounded by
                                          South Africa; mountainous, more than
                                          80% of the country is 1,800 meters
                                          above sea level
    
     People Lesotho
     --------------
                              Population: 2,207,954
                                          note: estimates for this country
                                          explicitly take into account the
                                          effects of excess mortality due to
                                          AIDS; this can result in lower life
                                          expectancy, higher infant mortality
                                          and death rates, lower population
                                          and growth rates, and changes in the
                                          distribution of population by age
                                          and sex than would otherwise be
                                          expected (July 2002 est.)
                           Age structure: 0-14 years: 39% (male 433,229;
                                          female 427,926)
                                          15-64 years: 56.3% (male 600,476;
                                          female 642,538)
                                          65 years and over: 4.7% (male
                                          43,691; female 60,094) (2002 est.)
                  Population growth rate: 1.33% (2002 est.)
                              Birth rate: 30.72 births/1,000 population (2002
                                          est.)
                              Death rate: 16.81 deaths/1,000 population (2002
                                          est.)
                      Net migration rate: -0.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population
                                          (2002 est.)
                               Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
                                          under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
                                          15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
                                          65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/
                                          female
                                          total population: 0.95 male(s)/
                                          female (2002 est.)
                   Infant mortality rate: 82.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
                                          est.)
                Life expectancy at birth: total population: 47 years
                                          female: 47.8 years (2002 est.)
                                          male: 46.3 years
                    Total fertility rate: 4.01 children born/woman (2002 est.)
        HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 23.57% (1999 est.)
       HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 240,000 (1999 est.)
                                    AIDS:
                       HIV/AIDS - deaths: 16,000 (1999 est.)
                             Nationality: noun: Mosotho (singular), Basotho
                                          (plural)
                                          adjective: Basotho
                           Ethnic groups: Sotho 99.7%, Europeans, Asians, and
                                          other 0.3%,
                               Religions: Christian 80%, indigenous beliefs
                                          20%
                               Languages: Sesotho (southern Sotho), English
                                          (official), Zulu, Xhosa
                                Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read
                                          and write
                                          total population: 83%
                                          male: 72%
                                          female: 93% (1999 est.)
    
     Government Lesotho
     ------------------
                            Country name: conventional long form: Kingdom of
                                          Lesotho
                                          conventional short form: Lesotho
                                          former: Basutoland
                         Government type: parliamentary constitutional
                                          monarchy
                                 Capital: Maseru
                Administrative divisions: 10 districts; Berea, Butha-Buthe,
                                          Leribe, Mafeteng, Maseru, Mohales
                                          Hoek, Mokhotlong, Qacha's Nek,
                                          Quthing, Thaba-Tseka
                            Independence: 4 October 1966 (from UK)
                        National holiday: Independence Day, 4 October (1966)
                            Constitution: 2 April 1993
                            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; universal
                        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
           Political parties and 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]
            Political pressure groups and NA
                                 leaders:
               International organization ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77,
                           participation: 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
     Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador
                                          Molelekeng Ernestina RAPOLAKI
                                          FAX: [1] (202) 234-6815
                                          telephone: [1] (202) 797-5533
                                          through 5536
                                          chancery: 2511 Massachusetts Avenue
                                          NW, Washington, DC 20008
       Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Robert
                                      US: G. LOFTIS
                                          embassy: 254 Kingsway, Maseru West
                                          (Consular Section)
                                          mailing address: P. O. Box 333,
                                          Maseru 100, Lesotho
                                          telephone: [266] 312666
                                          FAX: [266] 310116
                        Flag description: divided diagonally from the lower
                                          hoist side corner; the upper half is
                                          white, bearing the brown silhouette
                                          of a large shield with crossed spear
                                          and club; the lower half is a
                                          diagonal blue band with a green
                                          triangle in the corner
    
     Economy Lesotho
     ---------------
                      Economy - 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: purchasing power parity - $5.3
                                          billion (2001 est.)
                  GDP - real growth rate: 2.6% (2001 est.)
                        GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,450
                                          (2001 est.)
             GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 18%
                                          industry: 38%
                                          services: 44% (2001)
           Population below poverty line: 49.2% (1999 est.)
       Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 0.9%
                        percentage share: highest 10%: 43.4% (1986-87)
     Distribution of family income - Gini 56 (1986-87)
                                   index:
        Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6.9% (2001 est.)
                             Labor force: 700,000 economically active
             Labor force - by occupation: 86% of resident population engaged
                                          in subsistence agriculture; roughly
                                          35% of the active male wage earners
                                          work in South Africa
                       Unemployment rate: 45% (2000 est.)
                                  Budget: revenues: $76 million
                                          expenditures: $80 million, including
                                          capital expenditures of $15 million
                                          (FY99/00 est.)
                              Industries: food, beverages, textiles, apparel
                                          assembly, handicrafts; construction;
                                          tourism
       Industrial production growth rate: 15.5% (1999 est.)
                Electricity - production: 0 kWh; note - electricity supplied
                                          by South Africa (2000)
               Electricity - consumption: 100 million kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - imports: 100 million kWh
                                          note: electricity supplied by South
                                          Africa (2000)
                  Agriculture - products: corn, wheat, pulses, sorghum,
                                          barley; livestock
                                 Exports: $250 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
                   Exports - commodities: manufactures 75% (clothing,
                                          footwear, road vehicles), wool and
                                          mohair, food and live animals
                      Exports - partners: South African Customs Union 53.9%,
                                          North America 45.6% (1999)
                                 Imports: $720 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
                   Imports - commodities: food; building materials, vehicles,
                                          machinery, medicines, petroleum
                                          products
                      Imports - partners: South African Customs Union 89.5%,
                                          Asia 7% (1999)
                         Debt - external: $715 million (2001 est.)
                Economic aid - recipient: $123.7 million (1995)
                                Currency: loti (LSL); South African rand (ZAR)
                           Currency code: LSL; ZAR
                          Exchange rates: 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
                             Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
    
     Communications Lesotho
     ----------------------
          Telephones - main lines in use: 22,200 (2000)
            Telephones - mobile cellular: 21,600 (2000)
                        Telephone system: 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)
                Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 1 (1998)
                                  Radios: NA (2002)
           Television broadcast stations: 1 (2000)
                             Televisions: NA
                   Internet country code: .ls
       Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
                          Internet users: 4,000 (2000)
    
     Transportation Lesotho
     ----------------------
                                 Railways: total: 2.6 km; note - owned by,
                                           operated by, and included in the
                                           statistics of South Africa
                                           narrow gauge: 2.6 km 1.067-m gauge
                                           (1995)
                                 Highways: total: 4,955 km
                                           paved: 887 km
                                           unpaved: 4,068 km (1996)
                                Waterways: none
                        Ports and harbors: none
                                 Airports: 28 (2001)
            Airports - with paved runways: total: 4
                                           over 3,047 m: 1
                                           914 to 1,523 m: 1
                                           under 914 m: 2 (2001)
          Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 24
                                           914 to 1,523 m: 4
                                           under 914 m: 20 (2001)
    
     Military Lesotho
     ----------------
                       Military branches: Lesotho Defense Force (LDF;
                                          including Army and Air Wing), Royal
                                          Lesotho Mounted Police
        Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 526,332 (2002 est.)
     Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 283,203 (2002 est.)
                                 service:
           Military expenditures - dollar $34 million (1999)
                                  figure:
       Military expenditures - percent of NA%
                                     GDP:
                         Military - note: The Lesotho Government in 1999 began
                                          an open debate on the future
                                          structure, size, and role of the
                                          armed forces, especially considering
                                          the Lesotho Defense Force's (LDF)
                                          history of intervening in political
                                          affairs.
    
     Transnational Issues Lesotho
     ----------------------------
                                                Disputes - international: none
    
                                         
  
  

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