Namibia
Overview
 
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

 whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

. It shares land borders with Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

 and Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 to the north, Botswana
Botswana
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966...

 to the east and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence
Namibian War of Independence
See also South African Border War.The Namibian War of Independence, also known as the South African Border War, which lasted from 1966 to 1988, was a guerrilla war, which the nationalist South-West Africa People's Organization and others, fought against the apartheid government in South...

. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek
Windhoek
Windhoek is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia. It is located in central Namibia in the Khomas Highland plateau area, at around above sea level. The 2001 census determined Windhoek's population was 233,529...

. Namibia is a member state of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 (UN), the Southern African Development Community
Southern African Development Community
The Southern African Development Community is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states...

 (SADC), the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

 (AU), and the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

.

The dry lands of Namibia were inhabited since early times by Bushmen
Bushmen
The indigenous people of Southern Africa, whose territory spans most areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola, are variously referred to as Bushmen, San, Sho, Barwa, Kung, or Khwe...

, Damara, and Namaqua
Namaqua
Nama are an African ethnic group of South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. They traditionally speak the Nama language of the Khoe-Kwadi language family, although many Nama now speak Afrikaans. The Nama are the largest group of the Khoikhoi people, most of whom have largely disappeared as a group,...

, and since about the 14th century AD by immigrating Bantu who came with the Bantu expansion
Bantu expansion
The Bantu expansion or the Bantu Migration was a millennia-long series of migrations of speakers of the original proto-Bantu language group...

.
Encyclopedia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

 whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

. It shares land borders with Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

 and Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 to the north, Botswana
Botswana
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966...

 to the east and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence
Namibian War of Independence
See also South African Border War.The Namibian War of Independence, also known as the South African Border War, which lasted from 1966 to 1988, was a guerrilla war, which the nationalist South-West Africa People's Organization and others, fought against the apartheid government in South...

. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek
Windhoek
Windhoek is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia. It is located in central Namibia in the Khomas Highland plateau area, at around above sea level. The 2001 census determined Windhoek's population was 233,529...

. Namibia is a member state of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 (UN), the Southern African Development Community
Southern African Development Community
The Southern African Development Community is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states...

 (SADC), the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

 (AU), and the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

.

The dry lands of Namibia were inhabited since early times by Bushmen
Bushmen
The indigenous people of Southern Africa, whose territory spans most areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola, are variously referred to as Bushmen, San, Sho, Barwa, Kung, or Khwe...

, Damara, and Namaqua
Namaqua
Nama are an African ethnic group of South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. They traditionally speak the Nama language of the Khoe-Kwadi language family, although many Nama now speak Afrikaans. The Nama are the largest group of the Khoikhoi people, most of whom have largely disappeared as a group,...

, and since about the 14th century AD by immigrating Bantu who came with the Bantu expansion
Bantu expansion
The Bantu expansion or the Bantu Migration was a millennia-long series of migrations of speakers of the original proto-Bantu language group...

. It became a German Imperial
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 protectorate in 1884 and remained a German colony until the end of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. In 1920, the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 mandated the country to South Africa, which imposed its laws and, from 1948, its apartheid policy.

In 1966, uprisings and demands by African leaders led the UN to assume direct responsibility over the territory. It recognized the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) as the official representative of the Namibian people in 1973. Namibia, however, remained under South African administration during this time. Following internal violence, South Africa installed an interim administration in Namibia in 1985. Namibia obtained full independence from South Africa in 1990, with the exception of Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay , is a city in Namibia and the name of the bay on which it lies...

 and the Penguin Islands, which remained under South African control until 1994.

Namibia has a population of 2.1 million people and a stable multi-party
Multi-party system
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition, e.g.The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the United Kingdom formed in 2010. The effective number of parties in a multi-party system is normally...

 parliamentary democracy. Agriculture, herding
Herding
Herding is the act of bringing individual animals together into a group , maintaining the group and moving the group from place to place—or any combination of those. While the layperson uses the term "herding", most individuals involved in the process term it mustering, "working stock" or...

, tourism
Tourism in Namibia
Tourism in Namibia is a major industry, contributing N$7,2 billion to the country's gross domestic product. Annually, nearly one million travelers visit Namibia, with roughly one in three coming from South Africa, then Germany and finally the United Kingdom, Italy and France...

 and the mining industry
Mineral industry of Namibia
Mining is the biggest contributor to Namibia's economy in terms of revenue. It accounts for 25% of the country's income. Its contribution to the gross domestic product is also very important and makes it one of the largest economic sectors of the country.-Legal framework:Namibia’s mining industry...

 – including mining for gem diamonds, uranium
Uranium mining
Uranium mining is the process of extraction of uranium ore from the ground. The worldwide production of uranium in 2009 amounted to 50,572 tonnes, of which 27% was mined in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan, Canada, and Australia are the top three producers and together account for 63% of world uranium...

, gold
Gold mining
Gold mining is the removal of gold from the ground. There are several techniques and processes by which gold may be extracted from the earth.-History:...

, silver
Silver mining
Silver mining refers to the resource extraction of the precious metal element silver by mining.-History:Silver has been known since ancient times. It is mentioned in the Book of Genesis, and slag heaps found in Asia Minor and on the islands of the Aegean Sea indicate that silver was being separated...

, and base metal
Base metal
In chemistry, the term base metal is used informally to refer to a metal that oxidizes or corrodes relatively easily, and reacts variably with diluted hydrochloric acid to form hydrogen. Examples include iron, nickel, lead and zinc...

s – form the backbone of Namibia's economy
Economy of Namibia
The Namibian economy has a modern market sector, which produces most of the country's wealth, and a traditional subsistence sector. Although the majority of the population engages in subsistence agriculture and herding, Namibia has more than 200,000 skilled workers, as well as a small,...

. After Mongolia it is the second least densely populated country in the world. Approximately half the population live below the international poverty line, and the nation has suffered heavily from the effects of HIV/AIDS
HIV/AIDS in Namibia
HIV/AIDS in Namibia is a critical public health issue. The prevalence of HIV in Namibia is among the highest in the world. Since 1996, HIV has been the leading cause of death in the country. Close to 17 per cent of the country’s children under the age of 18 are orphaned by at least one parent –...

, with 15% of the adult population infected with HIV in 2007.

History

The name of the country is derived from the Namib Desert
Namib Desert
The Namib Desert is a desert in Namibia and southwest Angola that forms part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the largest game reserve in Africa. The name "Namib" is of Nama origin and means "vast place"...

, considered to be the oldest desert in the world. Before its independence in 1990, the area was known first as German South-West Africa
German South-West Africa
German South West Africa was a colony of Germany from 1884 until 1915, when it was taken over by South Africa and administered as South West Africa, finally becoming Namibia in 1990...

 (Deutsch-Südwestafrika), then as South-West Africa, reflecting the colonial occupation by the Germans and the South Africans (technically on behalf of the British crown reflecting South Africa's dominion status within the British Empire).

Pre-colonial period

The dry lands of Namibia were inhabited since early times by Bushmen
Bushmen
The indigenous people of Southern Africa, whose territory spans most areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola, are variously referred to as Bushmen, San, Sho, Barwa, Kung, or Khwe...

, Damara, Nama
Nama
Nama may mean:* Nama band, a Greek music group* Nama , a genus of plants in the family Hydrophyllaceae* Holy Name in Indian religions* Nama , a hero in ? folklore who built an ark to save his family from a flood...

, and since about the 14th century AD, by immigrating Bantu who came with the Bantu expansion
Bantu expansion
The Bantu expansion or the Bantu Migration was a millennia-long series of migrations of speakers of the original proto-Bantu language group...

 from central Africa. From the late 18th century onwards, Orlam clans from the Cape Colony
Cape Colony
The Cape Colony, part of modern South Africa, was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, with the founding of Cape Town. It was subsequently occupied by the British in 1795 when the Netherlands were occupied by revolutionary France, so that the French revolutionaries could not take...

 crossed the Orange River
Orange River
The Orange River , Gariep River, Groote River or Senqu River is the longest river in South Africa. It rises in the Drakensberg mountains in Lesotho, flowing westwards through South Africa to the Atlantic Ocean...

 and moved into the area that today is southern Namibia. Their encounters with the nomadic Nama tribes were largely peaceful. The missionaries accompanying the Orlams were well–received by them, the right to use waterholes and grazing was granted against an annual payment. On their way further northwards, however, the Orlams encountered clans of the Herero tribe at Windhoek, Gobabis
Gobabis
Gobabis is a town in eastern Namibia. It is the regional capital of the Omaheke Region, and the district capital of the Gobabis electoral constituency. Gobabis is situated down the B6 motorway from Windhoek to Botswana. The town is from the Buitepos border post with Botswana, and serves as an...

, and Okahandja
Okahandja
Okahandja is a town of 14,000 inhabitants in Otjozondjupa Region, central Namibia, and the district capital of the Okahandja electoral constituency. It is known as the Garden Town of Namibia. It is located 70km north of Windhoek on the B1 road...

 which were less accommodating. The Nama-Herero War broke out in 1880, hostilities ebbed only when Imperial Germany
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 deployed troops to the contested places and cementing the status quo
Status quo
Statu quo, a commonly used form of the original Latin "statu quo" – literally "the state in which" – is a Latin term meaning the current or existing state of affairs. To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are...

 between Nama, Orlams, and Herero.

The first Europeans to disembark and explore the region were the Portuguese navigators Diogo Cão
Diogo Cão
Diogo Cão was a Portuguese explorer and one of the most remarkable navigators of the Age of Discovery, who made two voyages sailing along the west coast of Africa to Namibia in the 1480s.-Early life and family:...

 in 1485 and Bartolomeu Dias
Bartolomeu Dias
Bartolomeu Dias , a nobleman of the Portuguese royal household, was a Portuguese explorer who sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa in 1488, the first European known to have done so.-Purposes of the Dias expedition:...

 in 1486; still the region was not claimed by the Portuguese crown. However, like most of Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

, Namibia was not extensively explored by Europeans until the 19th century, when traders and settlers arrived, principally from Germany and Sweden. In the late 19th century Dorsland trek
Dorsland Trek
Dorsland Trek is the collective name of a series of northwards explorations undertaken by South African settlers in the second half of the 19th century in search of political independence...

kers crossed the area on their way from the Transvaal
South African Republic
The South African Republic , often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent Boer-ruled country in Southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century. Not to be confused with the present-day Republic of South Africa, it occupied the area later known as the South African...

 to Angola. Some of them settled in Namibia instead of continuing their journey, even more returned to South-West African territory after the Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 tried to convert them to Catholicism and forbade their language at schools.

German rule

Namibia became a German colony in 1884 to forestall British encroachment and was known as German South-West Africa
German South-West Africa
German South West Africa was a colony of Germany from 1884 until 1915, when it was taken over by South Africa and administered as South West Africa, finally becoming Namibia in 1990...

 (Deutsch-Südwestafrika). However, the Palgrave mission by the British governor in Cape Town had determined that only the natural deep-water harbour of Walvis Bay (Walfisch in German, Walvis in Afrikaans, Whale in English) was worth occupying – and this was annexed to the Cape province of British South Africa. From 1904 to 1907, the Herero and the Namaqua
Namaqua
Nama are an African ethnic group of South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. They traditionally speak the Nama language of the Khoe-Kwadi language family, although many Nama now speak Afrikaans. The Nama are the largest group of the Khoikhoi people, most of whom have largely disappeared as a group,...

 took up arms against the Germans and in the subsequent Herero and Namaqua genocide
Herero and Namaqua Genocide
The Herero and Namaqua Genocide is considered to have been the first genocide of the 20th century. It took place between 1904 and 1907 in German South-West Africa , during the scramble for Africa...

, 10,000 Nama (half the population) and approximately 65,000 Hereros (about 80% of the population) were killed. The survivors, when finally released from detention, were subjected to a policy of dispossession, deportation, forced labor, racial segregation and discrimination in a system that in many ways anticipated apartheid. Most Africans were confined to so-called native territories, which later under South African rule post-1949 were turned into "homelands" (Bantustans). Indeed, some historians have speculated that the German genocide in Namibia was a model used by Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

s in the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

, but most scholars say that episode was not especially influential for the Nazis, who were children at the time. However, the father of Luftwaffe commander Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
Hermann Wilhelm Göring, was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He was a veteran of World War I as an ace fighter pilot, and a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as "The Blue Max"...

 was a one-time German colonial governor of Namibia and has a street named after him in Swakopmund. The memory of genocide remains relevant to ethnic identity in independent Namibia and to relations with Germany.

South African rule and the struggle for independence

South Africa occupied the colony
South West Africa
South-West Africa was the name that was used for the modern day Republic of Namibia during the earlier eras when the territory was controlled by the German Empire and later by South Africa....

 in 1915 after defeating the German force during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and administered it as a League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 mandate territory from 1919. Although the South African government desired to incorporate 'South-West Africa' into its territory, it never officially did so, although it was administered as the de facto 'fifth province', with the white minority having representation in the whites-only Parliament of South Africa, as well as electing their own local administration the SWA Legislative Assembly. The South African government also appointed the SWA administrator, who had extensive powers.

Following the League's supersession by the United Nations in 1946, South Africa refused to surrender its earlier mandate to be replaced by a United Nations Trusteeship agreement, requiring closer international monitoring of the territory's administration (along with a definite independence schedule). The Herero Chief's Council submitted a number of petitions to the UN calling for it to grant Namibia independence during the 1950s. During the 1960s, when European powers granted independence to their colonies and trust territories in Africa, pressure mounted on South Africa to do so in Namibia. In 1966 the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 dismissed a complaint brought by Ethiopia and Liberia against South Africa's continued presence in the territory, but the U.N. General Assembly subsequently revoked South Africa's mandate, while in 1971 the International Court of Justice issued an "advisory opinion" declaring South Africa's continued administration to be illegal.

In response to the 1966 ruling by the International Court of Justice, South-West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) military wing, People's Liberation Army of Namibia
People's Liberation Army of Namibia
The People's Liberation Army of Namibia was the active military wing of the South West Africa People's Organization during the Namibian War of Independence. It sought independence for the territory from South African rule. PLAN launched its first attack on the South African military at...

, a guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 group began their armed struggle for independence
Namibian War of Independence
See also South African Border War.The Namibian War of Independence, also known as the South African Border War, which lasted from 1966 to 1988, was a guerrilla war, which the nationalist South-West Africa People's Organization and others, fought against the apartheid government in South...

, but it was not until 1988 that South Africa agreed to end its occupation of Namibia, in accordance with a UN peace plan for the entire region. During the South African occupation of Namibia, white commercial farmers, most of whom came as settlers from South Africa and represented 0.2% of the national population, owned 74% of arable land. Outside the central-southern area of Namibia (known as the "Police Zone" since the German era and which contained the main towns, industries, mines and best arable land), the country was divided into "homelands", the version of South African bantustan
Bantustan
A bantustan was a territory set aside for black inhabitants of South Africa and South West Africa , as part of the policy of apartheid...

 applied to Namibia, although only a few were actually established due to non-cooperation by most indigenous Namibians.

After many unsuccessful attempts by the UN to persuade South Africa to agree to the implementation of UN Resolution 435, which had been adopted by the UN Security Council in 1978 as the internationally-agreed decolonisation plan for Namibia, transition to independence finally started in 1988 under the tripartite diplomatic agreement between South Africa, Angola and Cuba, with the USSR and the USA as observers, under which South Africa agreed to withdraw and demobilise its forces in Namibia and Cuba agreed to pull back its troops in southern Angola sent to support the MPLA in its war for control of Angola with UNITA. A combined UN civilian and peace-keeping force under Finnish diplomat Martti Ahtisaari
Martti Ahtisaari
Martti Oiva Kalevi Ahtisaari is a Finnish politician, the tenth President of Finland , Nobel Peace Prize laureate and United Nations diplomat and mediator, noted for his international peace work....

 supervised the military withdrawals, return of SWAPO exiles and the holding of Namibia's first-ever one-person one-vote election for a constituent assembly in October 1989. This was won by SWAPO although it did not gain the two-thirds majority it had hoped for; the South African-backed Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) became the official opposition.

Following the adoption of the Namibian Constitution, including entrenched protection for human rights, compensation for state expropriations of private property, an independent judiciary and an executive presidency (the constituent assembly became the national assembly), the country officially became independent on 21 March 1990. Sam Nujoma
Sam Nujoma
Samuel Daniel Shafiishuna Nujoma is a Namibian politician who was the first President of Namibia from 1990 to 2005. He led the South-West Africa People's Organisation in its long struggle against South African rule and took office as President when Namibia obtained independence on 21 March 1990...

 was sworn in as the first President of Namibia watched by Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

 (who had been released from prison shortly beforehand) and representatives from 147 countries, including 20 heads of state. Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay , is a city in Namibia and the name of the bay on which it lies...

 was ceded to Namibia in 1994 upon the end of Apartheid in South Africa.

After independence

Since independence Namibia has successfully completed the transition from white minority apartheid rule to parliamentary democracy. Multiparty democracy was introduced and has been maintained, with local, regional and national elections
Elections in Namibia
Elections in Namibia gives information on election and election results in Namibia.Namibia elects on national level a head of state - the president - and a legislature. The president is elected for a five year term by the people. Parliament has two chambers...

 held regularly. Several registered political parties are active and represented in the National Assembly, although Swapo Party has won every election since independence. The transition from the 15-year rule of President Sam Nujoma
Sam Nujoma
Samuel Daniel Shafiishuna Nujoma is a Namibian politician who was the first President of Namibia from 1990 to 2005. He led the South-West Africa People's Organisation in its long struggle against South African rule and took office as President when Namibia obtained independence on 21 March 1990...

 to his successor, Hifikepunye Pohamba
Hifikepunye Pohamba
Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba is the second and current President of Namibia. He won the 2004 and 2009 presidential elections overwhelmingly as the candidate of the South West Africa People's Organisation ruling party, taking office in March 2005. He has also been the President of SWAPO since...

 in 2005 went smoothly.

Namibian government has promoted a policy of national reconciliation and issued an amnesty for those who had fought on either side during the liberation war. The civil war in Angola had a limited impact on Namibians living in the north of the country. In 1998, Namibia Defence Force (NDF) troops were sent to the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

 as part of a Southern African Development Community
Southern African Development Community
The Southern African Development Community is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states...

 (SADC) contingent. In August 1999, a secessionist attempt in the northeastern Caprivi region was successfully quashed.

Politics and government

The politics of Namibia takes place in a framework of a presidential
Presidential system
A presidential system is a system of government where an executive branch exists and presides separately from the legislature, to which it is not responsible and which cannot, in normal circumstances, dismiss it....

 representative democratic
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

 republic, whereby the president of Namibia is elected to a five-year term and is both the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and the head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

, and of a multi-party system
Multi-party system
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition, e.g.The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the United Kingdom formed in 2010. The effective number of parties in a multi-party system is normally...

. Executive power
Executive Power
Executive Power is Vince Flynn's fifth novel, and the fourth to feature Mitch Rapp, an American agent that works for the CIA as an operative for a covert counter terrorism unit called the "Orion Team."-Plot summary:...

 is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the bicameral
Bicameralism
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....

 Parliament
Parliament of Namibia
Parliament is the law-making body of Namibia legislature. It consists of two chambers:#The National Assembly initiates and approves laws...

, the National Assembly
National Assembly of Namibia
The National Assembly of Namibia is the lower chamber of the country's bicameral Parliament. It has a total of 78 members. 72 members are directly elected through a system of party-list proportional representation and serve five-year terms. Six additional members are appointed by the President.The...

 and the National Council
National Council of Namibia
The National Council of Namibia is the upper chamber of the country's bicameral Parliament.The 26 National Council members are chosen by regional councils, which are directly elected for a term of six-years. Each of the 13 regional councils chooses two of its members to serve on the National Council...

. The judiciary
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 is independent of the executive and the legislature. The management of the rule of law and the observance of basic human rights in Namibia are constantly scrutinized.

Namibia held Presidential and the National Assembly elections on 27 and 28 November 2009. The Electoral Commission of Namibia published a "Handbook for Election Observers in Namibia" to enable observers (and party agents) to professionally observe the Presidential and National Assembly Elections 2009, the Regional Councils and Local Authorities Elections 2010 and subsequent By-Elections.

Foreign relations

Namibia follows a largely independent foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

, with lingering affiliations with states that aided the independence struggle, including Libya and Cuba. With a small army and a fragile economy, the Namibian Government's principal foreign policy concern is developing strengthened ties within the Southern African region. A dynamic member of the Southern African Development Community
Southern African Development Community
The Southern African Development Community is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states...

, Namibia is a vocal advocate for greater regional integration. Namibia became the 160th member of the UN on 23 April 1990. On its independence it became the fiftieth member of the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

.

Military

The constitution of Namibia defined the role of the military as "defending the territory and national interests." Namibia formed the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), comprising former enemies in a 23-year bush war: the People's Liberation Army of Namibia
People's Liberation Army of Namibia
The People's Liberation Army of Namibia was the active military wing of the South West Africa People's Organization during the Namibian War of Independence. It sought independence for the territory from South African rule. PLAN launched its first attack on the South African military at...

 (PLAN) and South West Africa
South West Africa
South-West Africa was the name that was used for the modern day Republic of Namibia during the earlier eras when the territory was controlled by the German Empire and later by South Africa....

n Territorial Force (SWATF
SWATF
The South West African Territorial Force was the forerunner of the Namibian Defence Force and was basically an extension or auxiliary of the South African Defence Force to combat the Namibian War of Independence. It was formed on 1 August 1980 from Southwest Africans serving as personnel in SADF...

). The British formulated the plan for integrating these forces and began training the NDF, which consists of a small headquarters and five battalions.

The United Nations Transitional Assistance Group (UNTAG)'s Kenyan infantry battalion remained in Namibia for three months after independence to help train the NDF and to stabilize the north. According to the Namibian Defence Ministry, enlistments of both men and women will number no more than 7,500. Defence and security account for approximately 3.7% of government spending.

Geography and climate

At 825418 km² (318,696 sq mi), Namibia is the world's thirty-fourth largest country (after Venezuela). It lies mostly between latitudes 17°
17th parallel south
The 17th parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 17 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

 and 29°S
29th parallel south
The 29th parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 29 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

 (a small area is north of 17°), and longitudes 11°
11th meridian east
The meridian 11° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 26°E
26th meridian east
The meridian 26° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

.

Administrative division

Namibia is divided into 13 regions and subdivided into 107 constituencies. The administrative division of Namibia is tabled by Delimitation Commissions and accepted or declined by the National Assembly
National Assembly of Namibia
The National Assembly of Namibia is the lower chamber of the country's bicameral Parliament. It has a total of 78 members. 72 members are directly elected through a system of party-list proportional representation and serve five-year terms. Six additional members are appointed by the President.The...

. Since state foundation three Delimitation Commissions have been formed, the last one in 2002 under the chairmanship of Peter Shivute
Peter Shivute
Peter Sam Shivute is a Namibian judge. He has been the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Namibia in Windhoek since 1 December 2004, and he is the first black Namibian to occupy that post.-Early life and education:...

. Regional councillors are directly elected through secret ballots (regional elections) by the inhabitants of their constituencies.

Geographical areas

The Namibian landscape consists generally of five geographical areas, each with characteristic abiotic conditions and vegetation with some variation within and overlap between them: the Central Plateau, the Namib Desert
Namib Desert
The Namib Desert is a desert in Namibia and southwest Angola that forms part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the largest game reserve in Africa. The name "Namib" is of Nama origin and means "vast place"...

, the Great Escarpment
Great Escarpment
The Great Escarpment is a mountainous escarpment in southern Africa. While it lies predominantly within the borders of Lesotho and South Africa, it also extends into Angola, Namibia, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe....

, the Bushveld
Bushveld
The Bushveld is a sub-tropical woodland ecoregion of Southern Africa that encompasses most of Limpopo Province and a small part of the North West Province of South Africa, the Central and North-East Districts of Botswana and the Matabeleland South and part of th Matabeleland North provinces of...

, and the Kalahari Desert
Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savannah in Southern Africa extending , covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa, as semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains. The Kalahari supports more animals and plants than a true desert...

.

Central Plateau

The Central Plateau runs from north to south, bordered by the Skeleton Coast
Skeleton Coast
The Skeleton Coast is the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia and south of Angola from the Kunene River south to the Swakop River, although the name is sometimes used to describe the entire Namib Desert coast...

 to the northwest, the Namib Desert and its coastal plains to the southwest, the Orange River
Orange River
The Orange River , Gariep River, Groote River or Senqu River is the longest river in South Africa. It rises in the Drakensberg mountains in Lesotho, flowing westwards through South Africa to the Atlantic Ocean...

 to the south, and the Kalahari Desert to the east. The Central Plateau is home to the highest point in Namibia at Königstein elevation 2606 metres (8,550 ft). Within the wide, flat Central Plateau is the majority of Namibia’s population and economic activity. Windhoek
Windhoek
Windhoek is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia. It is located in central Namibia in the Khomas Highland plateau area, at around above sea level. The 2001 census determined Windhoek's population was 233,529...

, the nation’s capital, is located here, as well as most of the arable land. Although arable land accounts for only 1% of Namibia, nearly half of the population is employed in agriculture.

The abiotic conditions here are similar to those found along the Escarpment; however the topographic complexity is reduced. Summer temperatures in the area can reach 40 °C (104 °F), and frosts are common in the winter.

Namib Desert

The Namib Desert
Namib Desert
The Namib Desert is a desert in Namibia and southwest Angola that forms part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the largest game reserve in Africa. The name "Namib" is of Nama origin and means "vast place"...

 is a broad expanse of hyper-arid gravel plains and dunes that stretches along Namibia's entire coastline. It varies between 100 to many hundreds of kilometres in width. Areas within the Namib include the Skeleton Coast and the Kaokoveld
Kaokoveld
The Kaokoveld Desert is a coastal desert of northern Namibia and southern Angola.-Setting:The Kaokoveld Desert occupies a coastal strip covering , and is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Namibian savanna woodlands to the east, and the Namib Desert to the south. It includes the...

 in the north and the extensive Namib Sand Sea along the central coast. The sands that make up the sand sea result from processes of erosion that take place in the Orange River valley and areas further to the south. As sand-laden waters drop their suspended loads into the Atlantic, onshore currents deposit them along the shore. The prevailing south west winds then pick up and redeposit the sand in the form of massive dunes in the widespread sand sea, forming the largest sand dunes in the world. In areas where the supply of sand is reduced because of the inability of the sand to cross riverbeds, the winds also scour the land to form large gravel plains. In many areas of the Namib Desert there is little vegetation aside from lichens found in the gravel plains and in dry river beds where plants can access subterranean water.

Great Escarpment

The Great Escarpment swiftly rises to over 2000 metres (6,562 ft). Average temperatures and temperature ranges increase further inland from the cold Atlantic waters, while the lingering coastal fogs slowly diminish. Although the area is rocky with poorly developed soils, it is nonetheless significantly more productive than the Namib Desert. As summer winds are forced over the Escarpment, moisture is extracted as precipitation. The water, along with rapidly changing topography, is responsible for the creation of microhabitats which offer a wide range of organisms, many of them endemic. Vegetation along the escarpment varies in both form and density, with community structure ranging from dense woodlands to more shrubby areas with scattered trees. A number of Acacia
Acacia
Acacia is a genus of shrubs and trees belonging to the subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae, first described in Africa by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1773. Many non-Australian species tend to be thorny, whereas the majority of Australian acacias are not...

 species are found here, as well as grasses and other shrubby vegetation.

Bushveld

The Bushveld is found in north eastern Namibia along the Angolan border and in the Caprivi Strip
Caprivi Strip
Caprivi, sometimes called the Caprivi Strip , Caprivi Panhandle or the Okavango Strip and formally known as Itenge, is a narrow protrusion of Namibia eastwards about , between Botswana to the south, Angola and Zambia to the north, and Okavango Region to the west. Caprivi is bordered by the...

 which is the vestige of a narrow corridor demarcated for the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 to access the Zambezi River. The area receives a significantly greater amount of precipitation than the rest of the country, averaging around 400 mm (15.7 in) per year. Temperatures are also cooler and more moderate, with approximate seasonal variations of between 10 and 30 °C (50 and 86 °F). The area is generally flat and the soils sandy, limiting their ability to retain water. Located adjacent to the Bushveld in north-central Namibia is one of nature’s most spectacular features: the Etosha Pan. For most of the year it is a dry, saline wasteland, but during the wet season, it forms a shallow lake covering more than 6000 square kilometres (2,317 sq mi). The area is ecologically important and vital to the huge numbers of birds and animals from the surrounding savannah
Savannah
Savannah or savanna is a type of grassland.It can also mean:-People:* Savannah King, a Canadian freestyle swimmer* Savannah Outen, a singer who gained popularity on You Tube...

 that gather in the region as summer drought forces them to the scattered waterholes that ring the pan. The Bushveld area has been demarcated by the World Wildlife Fund as part of the Angolan Mopane woodlands
Angolan Mopane woodlands
Angolan Mopane woodlands are in northern Namibia and southwestern Angola. This ecosystem surrounds Etosha Pan, which is considered a separate ecoregion...

 ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

, which extends north across the Cunene River
Cunene River
The Cunene River or Kunene River is a river in Southern Africa. It flows from the Angola highlands south to the border with Namibia. It then flows west along the border until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the few perennial rivers in the region. It is about long, with a drainage...

 into neighbouring Angola.

Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert
Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savannah in Southern Africa extending , covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa, as semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains. The Kalahari supports more animals and plants than a true desert...

 is perhaps Namibia’s best known geographical feature. Shared with South Africa and Botswana, it has a variety of localized environments ranging from hyper-arid sandy desert, to areas that seem to defy the common definition of desert. One of these areas, known as the Succulent Karoo
Succulent Karoo
The Succulent Karoo is a desert ecoregion of South Africa and Namibia.-Setting:The Succulent Karoo stretches along the coastal strip of southwestern Namibia and South Africa's Northern Cape Province, where the cold Benguela Current offshore creates frequent fogs. The ecoregion extends inland into...

, is home to over 5,000 species of plants, nearly half of them endemic; fully one third of the world’s succulents are found in the Karoo.

The reason behind this high productivity and endemism may be the relatively stable nature of precipitation. The Karoo apparently does not experience drought on a regular basis, so even though the area is technically desert, regular winter rains provide enough moisture to support the region’s interesting plant community. Another feature of the Kalahari, indeed many parts of Namibia, are inselbergs, isolated mountains that create microclimates and habitat for organisms not adapted to life in the surrounding desert matrix.

Coastal Desert

Namibia’s Coastal Desert is one of the oldest deserts in the world. Its sand dunes, created by the strong onshore winds, are the highest in the world.

The Namib Desert
Namib Desert
The Namib Desert is a desert in Namibia and southwest Angola that forms part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the largest game reserve in Africa. The name "Namib" is of Nama origin and means "vast place"...

 and the Namib-Naukluft National Park are located here. The Namibian coastal deserts are one of the richest sources of diamonds on earth. The area is divided into the northern Skeleton Coast
Skeleton Coast
The Skeleton Coast is the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia and south of Angola from the Kunene River south to the Swakop River, although the name is sometimes used to describe the entire Namib Desert coast...

 and the southern Diamond Coast. Because of the location of the shoreline— at the point where the Atlantic's cold water reach Africa— there is often extremely dense fog.

Sandy beach comprises 54% of the shoreline, and mixed sand and rock form another 28%. Only 16% of the total length is rocky shoreline. The coastal plains are "dune fields", gravel plains covered with lichen
Lichen
Lichens are composite organisms consisting of a symbiotic organism composed of a fungus with a photosynthetic partner , usually either a green alga or cyanobacterium...

 and some scattered salt pan
Salt pan (geology)
Natural salt pans are flat expanses of ground covered with salt and other minerals, usually shining white under the sun. They are found in deserts, and should not be confused with salt evaporation ponds.A salt pan is formed where water pools...

s. Near the coast there are areas where the dunes are vegetated with hammocks. Namibia has rich coastal and marine resources that remain largely unexplored.

Weather and climate

Namibia has more than 300 days of sunshine per year. It is situated at the southern edge of the tropics; the Tropic of Capricorn
Tropic of Capricorn
The Tropic of Capricorn, or Southern tropic, marks the most southerly latitude on the Earth at which the Sun can be directly overhead. This event occurs at the December solstice, when the southern hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun to its maximum extent.Tropic of Capricorn is one of the five...

 cuts the country about in half. The winter (June – August) is generally dry, both rainy seasons occur in summer, the small rainy season between September and November, the big one between February and April. Humidity is low, and average rainfall varies from almost zero in the coastal desert
Skeleton Coast
The Skeleton Coast is the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia and south of Angola from the Kunene River south to the Swakop River, although the name is sometimes used to describe the entire Namib Desert coast...

 to more than 600 mm in the Caprivi Strip
Caprivi Strip
Caprivi, sometimes called the Caprivi Strip , Caprivi Panhandle or the Okavango Strip and formally known as Itenge, is a narrow protrusion of Namibia eastwards about , between Botswana to the south, Angola and Zambia to the north, and Okavango Region to the west. Caprivi is bordered by the...

. Rainfall is however highly variable, and droughts are common. The bad rainy season with rainfall far below the annual average occurred in summer 2006/07.

Weather and climate in the coastal area are dominated by the cold, north-flowing Benguela current
Benguela Current
The Benguela Current is the broad, northward flowing ocean current that forms the eastern portion of the South Atlantic Ocean gyre. The current extends from roughly Cape Point in the south, to the position of the Angola-Benguela Front in the north, at around 16°S. The current is driven by the...

 of the Atlantic Ocean which accounts for very low precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 (50 mm per year or less), frequent dense fog, and overall lower temperatures than in the rest of the country. In Winter, occasionally a condition known as Bergwind
Bergwind
Bergwind is the South African name for a foehn wind, a hot dry wind blowing from the mountainous interior to the coast. It varies from mild to gusts up to 100km/h that cause structural damage...

or Oosweer (Afrikaans
Afrikaans
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

: East weather) occurs, a hot dry wind blowing from the inland to the coast. As the area behind the coast is a desert, these winds can develop into sand storms with sand deposits in the Atlantic Ocean visible on satellite images.

The Central Plateau and Kalahari areas have wide diurnal
Diurnal temperature variation
Diurnal temperature variation is a meteorological term that relates to the variation in temperature that occurs from the highs of the day to the cool of nights.-Temperature lag:Temperature lag is an important factor in diurnal temperature variation...

 temperature ranges of up to 30C.

Economy

Namibia’s economy is tied closely to South Africa’s due to their shared history. The largest economic sectors are mining (10.4% of the gross domestic product in 2009), agriculture (5.0%), manufacturing (13.5%), and tourism.

Namibia has a highly developed banking sector with modern infrastructure, such as Online Banking, Cellphone Banking etc. The Bank of Namibia (BoN) is the central bank of Namibia responsible to perform all other functions ordinarily performed by a central bank. There are four BoN authorised commercial banks in Namibia: Bank Windhoek, First National Bank, Nedbank & Standard Bank.

Namibia has a high unemployment rate. "Strict unemployment" (people actively seeking a full time job) stood at 20.2% in 2000, 21.9% in 2004 and spiraled to 29.4 per cent in 2008. Under a broader definition (including people that have given up searching for employment) unemployment rose from 36.7% in 2004 to 51.2% in 2008. This estimate considers people in the informal economy as employed. The study that arrived at these results has been hailed "by far superior in scope and quality to any that has been available previously" by Labour and Social Welfare Minister Immanuel Ngatjizeko
Immanuel Ngatjizeko
Immanuel Ngatjizeko is a Namibian politician. A member of the South West Africa People's Organization, Ngatjizeko has been a member of the National Assembly of Namibia since 2000 and member of the Cabinet since May 2003...

.

Approximately half the population live below the international poverty line of U.S.$1.25 a day. There is a number of legislative measures in place to alleviate poverty and unemployment. In 2004 a labour act was passed to protect people from job discrimination stemming from pregnancy and HIV/AIDS status. In early 2010 the Government tender board
Tender board
A Tender board is a committee or institution involved in the Government procurement procedure. It formulates requirements for the intended purchase of goods or services, compiles these formulations in a tender document, and hands these documents out to interested suppliers, usually for a fee...

 announced that "henceforth 100 per cent of all unskilled and semi-skilled labour must be sourced, without exception, from within Namibia".

Transportation

Despite the remote nature of much of the country, Namibia has seaports, airports, highways, and railways
Rail transport in Namibia
Railways in Namibia describes the provision of rail service as a mode of transportation in Namibia. Rail service in Namibia is provided by TransNamib...

 (narrow-gauge). The country seeks to become a regional transportation hub; it has an important seaport and several landlocked neighbors. The Central Plateau already serves as a transportation corridor from the more densely populated north to South Africa, the source of four-fifths of Namibia’s imports.

Agriculture

About half of the population depends on agriculture (largely subsistence agriculture
Subsistence agriculture
Subsistence agriculture is self-sufficiency farming in which the farmers focus on growing enough food to feed their families. The typical subsistence farm has a range of crops and animals needed by the family to eat and clothe themselves during the year. Planting decisions are made with an eye...

) for its livelihood, but Namibia must still import some of its food. Although per capita GDP is five times the per capita GDP of Africa's poorest countries, the majority of Namibia's people live in rural areas and exist on a subsistence way of life. Namibia has one of the highest rates of income inequality in the world, due in part to the fact that there is an urban economy and a more rural cash-less economy. The inequality figures thus take into account people who do not actually rely on the formal economy for their survival.

About 4,000, mostly white, commercial farmers own almost half of Namibia's arable land. The governments of Germany and Britain will finance Namibia's land reform
Land reform
[Image:Jakarta farmers protest23.jpg|300px|thumb|right|Farmers protesting for Land Reform in Indonesia]Land reform involves the changing of laws, regulations or customs regarding land ownership. Land reform may consist of a government-initiated or government-backed property redistribution,...

 process, as Namibia plans to start expropriating land from white farmers to resettle landless black Namibians.

Agreement has been reached on the privatisation of several more enterprises in coming years, with hopes that this will stimulate much needed foreign investment. However, reinvestment of environmentally derived capital has hobbled Namibian per capita income. One of the fastest growing areas of economic development in Namibia is the growth of wildlife conservancies
Communal Wildlife Conservancies in Namibia
Namibia is one of few countries in the world to specifically address habitat conservation and protection of natural resources in their constitution. Article 95 states, “The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, international policies aimed at the...

. These conservancies are particularly important to the rural generally unemployed population.

Mining and electricity

Providing 25% of Namibia's revenue, mining is the single most important contributor to the economy. Namibia is the fourth largest exporter of non-fuel minerals in Africa and the world's fourth largest producer of uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

. There has been significant investment in uranium mining
Uranium mining
Uranium mining is the process of extraction of uranium ore from the ground. The worldwide production of uranium in 2009 amounted to 50,572 tonnes, of which 27% was mined in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan, Canada, and Australia are the top three producers and together account for 63% of world uranium...

 and Namibia is set to become the largest exporter of uranium by 2015. Rich alluvial
Alluvium
Alluvium is loose, unconsolidated soil or sediments, eroded, deposited, and reshaped by water in some form in a non-marine setting. Alluvium is typically made up of a variety of materials, including fine particles of silt and clay and larger particles of sand and gravel...

 diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. While Namibia is known predominantly for its gem diamond and uranium deposits, a number of other minerals are extracted industrially such as lead, tungsten
Tungsten
Tungsten , also known as wolfram , is a chemical element with the chemical symbol W and atomic number 74.A hard, rare metal under standard conditions when uncombined, tungsten is found naturally on Earth only in chemical compounds. It was identified as a new element in 1781, and first isolated as...

, gold, tin
Tin
Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a main group metal in group 14 of the periodic table. Tin shows chemical similarity to both neighboring group 14 elements, germanium and lead and has two possible oxidation states, +2 and the slightly more stable +4...

, fluorspar, manganese
Manganese
Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature , and in many minerals...

, marble
Marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

, copper and zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

. There are offshore gas deposits in the Atlantic Ocean that are planned to be extracted in the future. According to "The Diamond Investigation", a book about the global diamond market, from 1978, De Beers
De Beers
De Beers is a family of companies that dominate the diamond, diamond mining, diamond trading and industrial diamond manufacturing sectors. De Beers is active in every category of industrial diamond mining: open-pit, underground, large-scale alluvial, coastal and deep sea...

, the largest diamond company, bought most of the Namibian diamonds, and would continue to do so, because "whatever government eventually comes to power they will need this revenue to survive".

Domestic supply voltage is 220V AC. Electricity is generated mainly by thermal and hydroelectric power plants. Non-conventional methods of electricity generation also play some role. Encouraged by the rich uranium deposits the Namibian government plans to erect its first nuclear power station by 2018, also uranium enrichment is envisaged to happen locally.

Tourism

Tourism is a major contributor (14.5%) to Namibia's GDP, creating tens of thousands of jobs (18.2% of all employment) directly or indirectly and servicing over a million tourists per annum. The country is among the prime destinations in Africa and is known for ecotourism
Ecotourism
Ecotourism is a form of tourism visiting fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas, intended as a low impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial tourism...

 which features Namibia's extensive wildlife
Wildlife of Namibia
The wildlife of Namibia is composed of its flora and fauna.Namibia's endangered species include Wild Dog, Black Rhino, Oribi and Puku. The Puku antelope is limited to about 100 individuals along the Chobe River in Botswana and the Linyati marshes in Namibia. The Black and White Rhino have suffered...

.

There are many lodges and reserves to accommodate eco-tourists. Sport Hunting is also a large, and growing component of the Namibian economy, accounting for 14% of total tourism in the year 2000, or $19.6 million US dollars, with Namibia boasting numerous species sought after by international sport hunters. In addition, extreme sports such as sandboarding
Sandboarding
Sandboarding is a board sport similar to snowboarding.It is a recreational activity that takes place on sand dunes rather than snow-covered mountains....

 and 4x4ing have become popular, and many cities have companies that provide tours. The most visited places include the Caprivi Strip
Caprivi Strip
Caprivi, sometimes called the Caprivi Strip , Caprivi Panhandle or the Okavango Strip and formally known as Itenge, is a narrow protrusion of Namibia eastwards about , between Botswana to the south, Angola and Zambia to the north, and Okavango Region to the west. Caprivi is bordered by the...

, Fish River Canyon
Fish River Canyon
The Fish River Canyon is located in the south of Namibia. It is the second largest canyon in the world and the largest in Africa, as well as the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia. It features a gigantic ravine, in total about long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 metres...

, Sossusvlei
Sossusvlei
Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes, located in the southern part of the Namib Desert, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park of Namibia...

, the Skeleton Coast
Skeleton Coast
The Skeleton Coast is the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia and south of Angola from the Kunene River south to the Swakop River, although the name is sometimes used to describe the entire Namib Desert coast...

 Park, Sesriem
Sesriem
Sesriem is a small settlement located in the Namib Desert, in Namibia, close to the southern end of the Naukluft Mountains. It is especially known because the "Sesriem gate" is the main access point to the Namib-Naukluft National Park for visitors entering the park to visit the nearby tourist...

, Etosha Pan and the coastal towns of Swakopmund
Swakopmund
Swakopmund is a city on the coast of northwestern Namibia, west of Windhoek, Namibia's capital. It is the capital of the Erongo administrative district. As a seaside resort, the weather is cooler here in December to January so the territorial administration moves to Swakopmund for these months...

, Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay , is a city in Namibia and the name of the bay on which it lies...

 and Lüderitz
Lüderitz
Lüderitz is a harbour town in south-west Namibia, lying on one of the least hospitable coasts in Africa. It is a port developed around Robert Harbour and Shark Island.- Overview :...

.

Taxation & Cost of Living in Namibia

Cost of living in Namibia is relatively high because most of the goods including cereals need to be imported. Business monopoly in some sectors causes higher profit bookings and further raising of prices. Its capital city, Windhoek is currently ranked as the 150th most expensive place in the world for expatriates to live.

Personal income tax is applicable to total taxable income of an Individual and all individuals are taxed at progressive marginal rates over a series of income brackets. While the Value added tax (VAT) is applicable to most of the commodities and services.

Demographics


Namibia has the second-lowest population density of any sovereign country, after Mongolia. The majority of the Namibian population is black African
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 – mostly of the Ovambo ethnicity, which forms about half of the population – residing mainly in the north of the country, although many are now resident in towns throughout Namibia. Other ethnic groups are the Herero and Himba
Himba
The Himba are an ethnic group of about 20,000 to 50,000 people living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene region . Recently they have built two villages in Kamanjab which have become tourist destinations...

 people, who speak a similar language, and the Damara
Damara
Damara may refer to:* Damara , breed of sheep* Damara , Namibian people* Damaraland, a region in Namibia* Damara , landlords of ancient Kashmir* Damara, Central African Republic, town...

, who speak the same "click" language as the Nama
Nama
Nama may mean:* Nama band, a Greek music group* Nama , a genus of plants in the family Hydrophyllaceae* Holy Name in Indian religions* Nama , a hero in ? folklore who built an ark to save his family from a flood...

.

In addition to the Bantu majority, there are large groups of Khoisan
Khoisan
Khoisan is a unifying name for two ethnic groups of Southern Africa, who share physical and putative linguistic characteristics distinct from the Bantu majority of the region. Culturally, the Khoisan are divided into the foraging San and the pastoral Khoi...

 (such as Nama
Nama language
The Khoekhoe language, or Khoekhoegowab, also known by the ethnic term Nàmá and previously the now-discouraged term Hottentot, is the most widespread of the Khoisan languages. It belongs to the Khoe language family, and is spoken in Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa by three ethnic groups, the...

 and Bushmen
Bushmen
The indigenous people of Southern Africa, whose territory spans most areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola, are variously referred to as Bushmen, San, Sho, Barwa, Kung, or Khwe...

), who are descendants of the original inhabitants of Southern Africa. The country also contains some descendants of refugees from Angola
Angolans in Namibia
-Migration history:As Angola and Namibia are neighbours, there has historically been a great deal of cross-border movements between the two countries. There were formerly large numbers of immigrants from southeast Angola at Mangarangandja and Sarasungu, east of Rundu along the Okavango River;...

. There are also two smaller groups of people with mixed racial origins, called "Coloureds
Coloured People in Namibia
A Coloured identity in Namibia is difficult to define, since it implies that that they can have one unified identity across a mix of races and societal classes. Roughly speaking, they are people with both European and African ancestry. Coloureds have immigrated to Namibia, been born in Namibia or...

" and "Basters", who together make up 6.5% (with the Coloureds outnumbering the Basters two to one). There is a large Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 minority in Namibia.

Whites
White African
White Africans are people of European descent living in Africa, who identify themselves as White....

 of Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

, Dutch
Dutch people
The Dutch people are an ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Suriname, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United...

, German, British and French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 ancestry make up about 7% of the population; they form the second-largest population of European ancestry, both in terms of percentage and actual numbers, in Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

 after South Africa. Most Namibian whites and nearly all those of mixed race speak Afrikaans
Afrikaans
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

 and share similar origins, culture, and religion as the white and coloured populations of South Africa. A smaller proportion of whites (around 30,000) trace their family origins directly back to German
German Namibians
German Namibians are a community of people descended from ethnic German colonists who settled in present-day Namibia. In 1883, the German trader Adolf Lüderitz bought what would become the southern coast of Namibia and founded the city of Lüderitz...

 colonial settlers and maintain German cultural and educational institutions. Nearly all Portuguese settlers came to the country from the former Portuguese colony of Angola. The 1960 census reported 526,004 persons in the South West Africa, including 73,464 whites (14 percent).

Religion

The Christian community makes up 80%-90% of the population of Namibia, with at least 50% of these Lutheran
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

. 10%-20% of the population hold indigenous
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 beliefs.

Missionary work during the 1800s drew many Namibians to Christianity. While most Namibian Christians are Lutheran, there also are Roman Catholic, Methodist
Methodism
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

, Anglican
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

, African Methodist Episcopal
African Methodist Episcopal Church
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African American Methodist denomination based in the United States. It was founded by the Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the...

, Dutch Reformed
Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church was a Reformed Christian denomination in the Netherlands. It existed from the 1570s to 2004, the year it merged with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to form the Protestant Church in the...

 Christians and Mormon
Mormonism
Mormonism is the religion practiced by Mormons, and is the predominant religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement. This movement was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. beginning in the 1820s as a form of Christian primitivism. During the 1830s and 1840s, Mormonism gradually distinguished itself...

 (Latter-Day Saints) represented, as well as some Jewish people.

Language

The official language is English. Until 1990, German and Afrikaans
Afrikaans
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

 were also official languages. Long before Namibia's independence from South Africa, SWAPO had decided that the country should become officially monolingual, consciously choosing this approach in contrast to that of its neighbour, which was regarded as "a deliberate policy of ethnolinguistic fragmentation." Consequently, English became the sole official language of Namibia. Some other languages have received semi-official recognition by being allowed as medium of instruction in primary schools.

The northen majority of Namibians speak Oshiwambo
Oshiwambo language
Ovambo, also known as Wambo or Ambo, or native Oshiwambo , is a dialect cluster in Angola and northern Namibia, of which the written standards are Kwanyama and Ndonga....

 as their first language, whereas the most widely understood and spoken language is Afrikaans. Among the younger generation, the most widely understood language is English and Afrikaans. Both Afrikaans and English are used primarily as a second language reserved for public communication, but small first-language groups exist throughout the country.

While the official language is English, most of the white population speaks either German or Afrikaans. Even today, 90 years after the end of the German colonial era, the German language plays a leading role as a commercial language. Afrikaans is spoken by 60% of the white community, German is spoken by 32%, English is spoken by 7% and Portuguese by 1%. Geographical proximity to Portuguese-speaking Angola explains the relatively high number of lusophone
Lusophone
A Lusophone is someone who speaks the Portuguese language, either as a native, as an additional language, or as a learner. As an adjective, it means "Portuguese-speaking"...

s.

Health

The AIDS epidemic is a large problem in Namibia. Though its rate of infection is substantially lower than that of its eastern neighbor, Botswana, approximately 15% of the adult population infected with HIV. In 2001, there were an estimated 210,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, and the estimated death toll in 2003 was 16,000. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is considered as a killer disease and as it has reduced the number of working class people, the number of orphans has increased. It falls to the government to provide education, food, shelter and clothing for these orphans.

The malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

 problem seems to be compounded by the AIDS epidemic. Research has shown that in Namibia the risk of contracting malaria is 14.5% greater if a person is also infected with HIV. The risk of death from malaria is also raised by approximately 50% with a concurrent HIV infection. Given infection rates this large, as well as a looming malaria problem, it may be very difficult for the government to deal with both the medical and economic impacts of this epidemic. The country had only 598 physicians in 2002.

Education

Namibia has compulsory free education for 10 years between the ages of 6 and 16. Grades 1–7 are primary level, grades 8–12 secondary. In 1998, there were 400,325 Namibian students in primary school and 115,237 students in secondary schools. The pupil-teacher ratio in 1999 was estimated at 32:1, with about 8% of the GDP being spent on education.

Most schools in Namibia are state-run, but a few private schools are also part of the country's education system. Among these are St. Pauls College, Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool
Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool
Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool, commonly referred to as WAP, is a private school in Windhoek, Namibia. It is the only school which educates its pupils in the Afrikaans medium. Registered since 1995 at the Namibian Ministry of Basic Education, Sport and Culture, it welcomes pupils to grades 1...

, Deutsche Höhere Privatschule
Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek
The Deutsche Höhere Privatschule, or DHPS as it is commonly known, is a private school in Namibia. Situated in the capital Windhoek, it is the oldest private high school in the country. It is also one of the biggest German international schools in Africa....

, Windhoek International School
Windhoek International School
Windhoek International School is an independent, co-educational, international school located in Windhoek, Namibia. The school provides education from Kindergarten through to Year 13. It offers the IB Primary Years Programme and IB Diploma Programme as well as the International General Certificate...

 and Windhoek Gymnasium.
Curriculum development, educational research, and professional development of teachers is centrally organised by the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) in Okahandja.

There are four teacher training colleges, three colleges of agriculture, a police training college, a Polytechnic
Polytechnic of Namibia
The Polytechnic of Namibia, locally also known as Poly or Polytechnic, is an institute of tertiary education in Windhoek, Namibia. It has been established by Act 33 / 1994 of the Namibian Parliament.-History:...

 at university level, and a National University
University of Namibia
The University of Namibia is the national university of Namibia, located in the Pioneers Park district of Windhoek. Established by an act of National Assembly on 31 August 1992, UNAM includes Colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Economics & Management Science Education, Humanities and...

.

Communal Wildlife Conservancies


Namibia is one of few countries in the world to specifically address conservation
Wildlife conservation
Wildlife conservation is the preservation, protection, or restoration of wildlife and their environment, especially in relation to endangered and vulnerable species. All living non-domesticated animals, even if bred, hatched or born in captivity, are considered wild animals. Wildlife represents all...

 and protection of natural resources
Natural Resources
Natural Resources is a soul album released by Motown girl group Martha Reeves and the Vandellas in 1970 on the Gordy label. The album is significant for the Vietnam War ballad "I Should Be Proud" and the slow jam, "Love Guess Who"...

 in its constitution. Article 95 states, “The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting international policies aimed at the following: maintenance of ecosystems
Ecology
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

, essential ecological processes, and biological diversity of Namibia, and utilization of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future.”
In 1993, the newly formed government of Namibia received funding from the United States Agency for International Development
United States Agency for International Development
The United States Agency for International Development is the United States federal government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. President John F. Kennedy created USAID in 1961 by executive order to implement development assistance programs in the areas...

 (USAID) through its Living in a Finite Environment (LIFE) Project. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism with the financial support from organizations such as USAID, Endangered Wildlife Trust
Endangered Wildlife Trust
The Endangered Wildlife Trust is a South African environmental organisation for the conservation of threatened species and ecosystems in southern Africa....

, WWF
World Wide Fund for Nature
The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States...

, and Canadian Ambassador’s Fund, together form a Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) support structure. The main goal of this project is promote sustainable natural resource management by giving local communities rights to wildlife management and tourism.

Sport

The most popular sport in Namibia is football. The Namibia national football team
Namibia national football team
The Namibia national football team, nicknamed the Brave Warriors, is the national team of Namibia and is controlled by the Namibia Football Association...

 qualified for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations but has yet to qualify for any World Cups
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

. However, the most successful national team is the Namibian rugby team
Namibia national rugby union team
The Namibian rugby union team, nicknamed the Welwitschias or Biltongboere, represents Namibia at rugby union. Although they are a tier-three nation in the International Rugby Board tier system, the team have participated in all three Rugby World Cup competitions since their first appearance in 1999...

, having competed in four separate World Cups. Namibia were participants in the 1999
1999 Rugby World Cup
The 1999 Rugby World Cup was the fourth Rugby World Cup, and the first to be held in rugby union's professional era. The principal host nation was Wales, although the majority of matches were played outside the country, shared between England, France, Scotland and Ireland...

, 2003
2003 Rugby World Cup
The 2003 Rugby World Cup was the fifth Rugby World Cup and was won by England. Originally planned to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, all games were shifted to Australia following a contractual dispute over ground signage rights between the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and Rugby World...

, 2007
2007 Rugby World Cup
The 2007 Rugby World Cup was the sixth Rugby World Cup, a quadrennial international rugby union competition inaugurated in 1987. Twenty nations competed for the Webb Ellis Cup in the tournament, which was hosted by France from 7 September to 20 October. France won the hosting rights in 2003,...

 and 2011
2011 Rugby World Cup
The 2011 Rugby World Cup was the seventh Rugby World Cup, a quadrennial international rugby union competition inaugurated in 1987. The International Rugby Board selected New Zealand as the host country in preference to Japan and South Africa at a meeting in Dublin on 17 November 2005...

 Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup is an international rugby union competition organised by the International Rugby Board and held every four years since 1987....

s. Cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 is also popular, with the national side having played in the 2003 Cricket World Cup
2003 Cricket World Cup
-Group stage tables and results:The top three teams from each pool qualify for the next stage, carrying forward the points already scored against fellow qualifiers, plus a quarter of the points scored against the teams that failed to qualify.-Pool A:...

.

Inline Hockey
Inline hockey
Inline hockey, often referred to as roller hockey in the United States, is a sport similar to ice hockey but played with inline skates. Like its parent sport, skaters on two teams use hockey sticks to direct a disk-shaped puck into the opponent's goal; however, various details of the game, such as...

 was first played in 1995 and has also become more and more popular in the last years. The Women's Inline Hockey
Inline hockey
Inline hockey, often referred to as roller hockey in the United States, is a sport similar to ice hockey but played with inline skates. Like its parent sport, skaters on two teams use hockey sticks to direct a disk-shaped puck into the opponent's goal; however, various details of the game, such as...

 National Team participated in the 2008 FIRS
FIRS
The FIRS Index is a share index of the 13 privatisation-investment funds listed on the Banja Luka Stock Exchange , established on 29 July 2004...

 World Championships. Namibia is the home for one of the toughest footraces in the world, the Namibian ultra marathon
Namibian ultra marathon
The Namibian 24h Ultra Marathon is a 24 hour ultramarathon that takes the participants through one of the oldest deserts on earth, the Namib Desert...

.
The most famous athlete from Namibia is certainly Frankie Fredericks
Frankie Fredericks
Frank Fredericks is a former athlete from Namibia. Running in the 100 metres and 200 metres, he won four silver medals at the Olympic Games , making him Namibia's first and so far only Olympic medalist...

, sprinter (100 and 200 m). He won four Olympic silver medals (1992, 1996) and also has medals from several World Athletics Championships. He is also known for humanitarian activities in Namibia and further.

Media

Although Namibia's population is comparably small, the country has a diverse choice of media: Two TV stations, 19 radio stations (without counting community stations), 5 daily newspapers, several weeklies and special publications compete for the attention of the audience. Additionally, a mentionable amount of foreign media, especially South African, is available. Online media are mostly based on print publication contents. Namibia has a state-owned Press Agency, called NAMPA
Namibia Press Agency
The Namibia Press Agency is the national news agency of the Republic of Namibia. It was founded in 1987 as "Namibia Press Association" by the SWAPO, and resuscitated after independence under its current name in 1991. Its operation is regulated by the Namibia Press Agency Act of 1992...

..

History

The first newspaper in Namibia was the Windhoeker Anzeiger, founded 1898. Radio was introduced in 1969, TV in 1981. During German rule, the newspapers mainly reflected the living reality and the view of the white German-speaking minority. The black majority was ignored or depicted as a threat. During South-African rule, the white bias continued, with mentionable influence of the Pretoria government on the "South West African" media system. Independent newspapers were seen as a menance to the existing order, critical journalists threatend.

Print

The daily newspapers include the private publications The Namibian
The Namibian
The Namibian is a the largest daily newspaper in Namibia. It publishes in English and Oshiwambo.-History:It was established by Gwen Lister in 1985 as a weekly newspaper reliant on support of donors, which aimed to promote Namibian independence from South Africa. Its first edition appeared on 30...

, Die Republikein
Die Republikein
Die Republikein is an Afrikaans-language newspaper published daily in Namibia and the second largest newspaper in terms of print circulation . Current Editor in Chief is Chris Jacobie.-History:...

, Allgemeine Zeitung
Allgemeine Zeitung (Namibia)
The Allgemeine Zeitung is the oldest newspaper in Namibia, founded in 1916.All editorial content in the newspaper is written in German, a recognized language in Namibia....

 and Namibian Sun
Namibian Sun
The Namibian Sun is a weekly tabloid newspaper in Namibia. It was launched on 21 September 2007 with an initial print run of 36,000. The paper publishes exclusively in English and targets an audience between 18 and 40....

 as well as the state-owned New Era
New Era (Namibia)
The New Era is a daily national newspaper owned by the government of Namibia. The newspaper is one of four daily national newspapers in the country. It publishes in English and five indigenous languages. New Era was established in 1991 as a weekly newspaper and later was published only bi-weekly....

. Except for the largest newspaper, The Namibian, which is owned by a trust, the other mentioned private newspapers are part of the Democratic Media Holdings.

Other mentionable newspapers are the tabloid Informanté owned by TrustCo, the weekly Windhoek Observer
Windhoek Observer
The Windhoek Observer is an English Saturday weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by The Windhoek Observer Ltd. Founded in 1978 by Hannes Smith and Gwen Lister it is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly....

, the weekly Namibia Economist
Namibia Economist
The Namibia Economist is a weekly newspaper in Namibia, covering mainly economic topics. It is published exclusively in English and appears every Friday with a print run of 7000 copies. In its current form it has been published since 1991....

, as well as the regional Namib Times. Current affairs magazines include Insight Namibia
Insight Namibia
insight Namibia is a monthly journal published in Namibia. It covers current political, economic and social affairs and is owned and edited by Tangeni Amupadhi. insight Namibia is perceived to be critical of government. Its political coverage has received several journalism awards....

 and the comparably new Prime Focus. Sister Namibia Magazine stands out as the longest running NGO magazine in Namibia, while Namibia Sport
Namibia Sport
Namibia Sport is a sport magazine in Namibia. It covers all sporting activities across the country. It was founded in February 2002 by Henry Fernandes and Helge Schutz. An estimated 20,000 readers view the magazine each month....

 is the only national sport magazine. Furthermore, the print market is complemented with party publications, student newspapers and PR publications.

Broadcasting

The broadcasting sector is dominated by the state-run Namibian Broadcasting Corporation
Namibian Broadcasting Corporation
The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation is the public broadcaster of Namibia.It was established in 1990, replacing the South West African Broadcasting Corporation.-History:...

 (nbc). The public broadcaster
Public broadcasting
Public broadcasting includes radio, television and other electronic media outlets whose primary mission is public service. Public broadcasters receive funding from diverse sources including license fees, individual contributions, public financing and commercial financing.Public broadcasting may be...

 offers a TV station as well as a "National Radio" in English and nine language services in locally spoken languages. The nine private radio stations in the country are mainly English language channels, except for Radio Omulunga (Oshiwambo) and Kosmos 94.1 (Afrikaans). When it comes to TV, the nbc only got its first competitor in 2003, the private One Africa TV
One Africa Television
One Africa Television is Namibia's first successful commercial free-to-air television station.Originally covering only Windhoek, Rehoboth and Okahandja, One Africa Television has grown significantly, operating 29 analogue transmitters in Namibia as of March 2009.One Africa Television provides a...

.

Freedom

Compared to neighbouring countries, Namibia has a large degree of media freedom. Over the last years, the country usually ranked in the upper quarter of the Reporters without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders is a France-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press. It was founded in 1985, by Robert Ménard, Rony Brauman and the journalist Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Jean-François Julliard has served as Secretary General since 2008...

 statistics, reaching position 21 in 2010.. Thus, the country is on par with Canada - as well as the best positioned African country.
The Press Freedom Index
Press Freedom Index
The Press Freedom Index is an annual ranking of countries compiled and published by Reporters Without Borders based upon the organization's assessment of their press freedom records. Small countries, such as Andorra, are excluded from this report...

 as well as the African Media Barometer show similarly positive results. However, as in other countries, there is still mentionable influence of representatives of state and economy on media in Namibia. Some of these problems were also reflected in a drop to position 44 on the Reporters without Borders list in 2009.

Organisations

Media and journalists in Namibia are represented by the Namibian chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa
Media Institute of Southern Africa
The Media Institute of Southern Africa is a non-governmental organisation with members in 11 of the Southern Africa Development Community countries. Officially launched in September 1992, MISA focuses primarily on the need to promote free, independent and pluralistic media....

 and the Editor's Forum of Namibia. An independent media ombudsman was appointed in 2009 to prevent a state-controlled media council.

See also

  • Commonwealth of Nations
    Commonwealth of Nations
    The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

  • Communications in Namibia
    Communications in Namibia
    Telephones - main lines in use: 140,000 , 127,900 , 110,200 , 100,848 Telephones - mobile cellular:...

  • Cost of Living in Namibia
    Cost of living in Namibia
    The cost of living in Namibia is very high. Namibia imports about 50% of its cereal requirements. Many other items used in daily life also need to be imported. High transportation costs make prices very high. Monopoly in some business sectors causes higher profit booking, which also results in...

  • German South-West Africa
    German South-West Africa
    German South West Africa was a colony of Germany from 1884 until 1915, when it was taken over by South Africa and administered as South West Africa, finally becoming Namibia in 1990...

  • Music of Namibia
    Music of Namibia
    The music of Namibia has a number of folk styles, as well as pop, rock, reggae, jazz, house and hip hop. The Sanlam-NBC Music Awards and the Namibian Music Awards are two separate institutions that give out annual awards at shows on December 2 and May 6 respectively...

  • Namibia Breweries Limited
    Namibia Breweries Limited
    Namibia Breweries Limited is a Namibian brewery founded in 1920 when Carl List and Hermann Ohlthaver acquired four small breweries with financial difficulties. The breweries were merged together under the name South West Breweries Limited . SWB changed its name to Namibia Breweries Limited when...

  • Scouts of Namibia
    Scouts of Namibia
    The Scouts of Namibia is the national Scouting organization of Namibia. It serves 2,845 Scouts .Scouting was founded in South West Africa in 1917 and until 1990, Scouting was serviced by the South-West Africa Division of the Boy Scouts of South Africa...

  • Taxation in Namibia
    Taxation in Namibia
    -Income Tax:Personal income tax is applicable to total taxable income of an Individual and all individuals are taxed at progressive marginal rates over a series of income brackets...

  • Transport in Namibia
    Transport in Namibia
    - Road :Namibia's road network is regarded as one of the best on the continent; road construction and maintenance adheres to international standards. It consists of 25,000 km of gravel roads and 9,000 km of earth-graded roads...

  • United Nations Commissioner for Namibia
    United Nations Commissioner for Namibia
    United Nations Commissioner for South-West Africa was a post created by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966 to assert the UN's direct responsibility for South-West Africa which was then under illegal occupation by apartheid South Africa....

  • Wildlife of Namibia
    Wildlife of Namibia
    The wildlife of Namibia is composed of its flora and fauna.Namibia's endangered species include Wild Dog, Black Rhino, Oribi and Puku. The Puku antelope is limited to about 100 individuals along the Chobe River in Botswana and the Linyati marshes in Namibia. The Black and White Rhino have suffered...



Sport

  • Namibian cricket team
  • Namibia Football Association
    Namibia Football Association
    The Namibia Football Association is the governing body of football in Namibia. It was founded in 1990, and affiliated to FIFA and to CAF in 1992. It organizes the national football league and the national team.-External links:* at the FIFA website...

  • Rugby union in Namibia
    Rugby union in Namibia
    Rugby union is a popular team sport played in Namibia, and its predecessor province of South West Africa. Because Namibia was formerly ruled by South Africa, rugby in Namibia was frequently influenced by events in that country, and its domestic competition.-Governing body:The Namibia Rugby Union...



Lists


General references

  • AIDSinAfrica.net Web Publication (2007), Retrieved 20 May 2007. From Aidsinafrica.net
  • Christy, S.A. (2007) Namibian Travel Photography
  • Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Programme Details (n.d.). Met.gov.na
  • Cowling, S. 2001. Succulent Karoo (AT 1322) World Wildlife Fund Website: Worldwildlife.org
  • Horn, N/Bösl, A (eds), Human rights and the rule of law in Namibia, Macmillan Namibia 2008.
  • Horn, N/Bösl, A (eds), The independence of the judiciary in Namibia, Macmillan Namibia 2008.
  • KAS Factbook Namibia, Facts and figures about the status and development of Namibia, Ed. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.
  • Korenromp, E.L., Williams, B.G., de Vlas, S.J., Gouws, E., Gilks, C.F., Ghys, P.D., Nahlen, B.L. (2005). Malaria Attributable to the HIV-1 Epidemic, Sub-Saharan Africa. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 11, 9, 1410–1419.
  • Lange, Glenn-marie. Wealth, Natural Capital, and Sustainable Development: Contrasting Examples from Botswana and Namibia. Environmental & Resource Economics; Nov 2004, Vol. 29 Issue 3, pp. 257–83, 27 p.
  • Fritz, Jean-Claude . La Namibie indépendante. Les coûts d'une décolonisation retardée, Paris, L'Harmattan, 1991.
  • Spriggs, A. 2001. Namib Desert (AT1315) World Wildlife Fund Website: Worldwildlife.org
  • Spriggs, A. 2001. Namibian Savannah Woodlands (AT1316) World Wildlife Fund Website: Worldwildlife.org
  • Spriggs, A. 2001. Namibian Savannah Woodlands (AT0709) World Wildlife Fund Website: Worldwildlife.org
  • Stefanova K. 2005. Protecting Namibia’s Natural Resources. EjournalUSA.
  • UNEP, UNDP, WRI, and World Bank. 2005. Nature in Local Hands: The Case for Namibia’s Conservancies. Wri.org
  • World Almanac. 2004. World Almanac Books. New York, NY


External links

  • Namibia from UCB Libraries GovPubs


Government

Education
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