The Kingdom of Lesotho is a landlocked country in southern Africa. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and east, and by eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) to the north. Lesotho covers an area of 30,355 square kilometers (11,720 sq mi) and has a population of around 2,358,000. Its capital and largest city is Maseru. The official language is Sesotho.
Lesotho is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). It is also a founding member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The country is a constitutional monarchy with Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of government. The King is both head of state and head of government, and is advised by a Council of Ministers. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of Parliament: the Senate and the National Assembly.
The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Lesotho's economy is based on agriculture, livestock, manufacturing and mining. The main crops are maize, wheat, sorghum, barley, oats and rye. The main livestock are cattle, sheep and goats. Manufacturing industries include textiles, footwear, mining, food processing and construction. The country's main export partners are the United States, South Africa, China and Japan.
Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy. The current monarch is King Letsie III, who ascended to the throne in 1996. The Prime Minister is Thomas Thabane, who has been in office since June 2012.
The Parliament of Lesotho has two chambers: the Senate and the National Assembly. The Senate has 33 members, while the National Assembly has 120 members. Members of both chambers are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms.
The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The Court of Appeal is the highest court, followed by the High Court and the Magistrates' Courts.
The Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) is the country's military force. It consists of the Army, the Air Wing and the Lesotho Mounted Police Service. The LDF is responsible for the defence of Lesotho's territorial integrity and for the maintenance of internal security.
The Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) is responsible for the assessment and collection of taxes. It is also responsible for the administration of customs and excise duty.
The Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) is the country's investment promotion agency. It is responsible for the promotion of investment in Lesotho and for the development of industries.
The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) is responsible for the development of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The LHDA is also responsible for the management of the project's environmental impact.
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