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Africa :: Namibia Print
Page last updated on October 02, 2019
  • Introduction :: Namibia
  • Background field listing
    Namibia gained independence in 1990. Prior to independence, apartheid South Africa occupied the former German colony known as South-West Africa during World War I and administered it as a mandate until after World War II, when it annexed the territory. In 1966, the Marxist South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of independence for the area that became Namibia, but it was not until 1988 that South Africa agreed to end its administration in accordance with a UN peace plan for the entire region. Namibia has been governed by SWAPO since the country won independence, though the party has dropped much of its Marxist ideology. President Hage GEINGOB was elected in 2014 in a landslide victory, replacing Hifikepunye POHAMBA who stepped down after serving two terms. SWAPO retained its parliamentary super majority in the 2014 elections and established a system of gender parity in parliamentary positions.
  • Geography :: Namibia
  • Location field listing
    Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    22 00 S, 17 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Africa
    Area field listing
    total: 824,292 sq km
    land: 823,290 sq km
    water: 1,002 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Area - comparative field listing
    almost seven times the size of Pennsylvania; slightly more than half the size of Alaska
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 4,220 km
    border countries (4): Angola 1427 km, Botswana 1544 km, South Africa 1005 km, Zambia 244 km
    Coastline field listing
    1,572 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    Climate field listing
    desert; hot, dry; rainfall sparse and erratic
    Terrain field listing
    mostly high plateau; Namib Desert along coast; Kalahari Desert in east
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 1,141 m
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Konigstein on Brandberg 2,573 m
    Natural resources field listing
    diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, silver, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, tungsten, zinc, salt, hydropower, fish, note, suspected deposits of oil, coal, and iron ore
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 47.2% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 1% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 46.2% (2011 est.)
    forest: 8.8% (2011 est.)
    other: 44% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    80 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    population density is very low, with the largest clustering found in the extreme north-central area along the border with Angola
    Natural hazards field listing
    prolonged periods of drought
    Environment - current issues field listing
    depletion and degradation of water and aquatic resources; desertification; land degradation; loss of biodiversity and biotic resources; wildlife poaching
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note field listing
    the Namib Desert, after which the country is named, is considered to be the oldest desert in the world; Namibia is the first country in the world to incorporate the protection of the environment into its constitution; some 14% of the land is protected, including virtually the entire Namib Desert coastal strip; Namib-Naukluft National Park (49,768 sq km), is the largest game park in Africa and one of the largest in the world
  • People and Society :: Namibia
  • Population field listing
    2,533,224 (July 2018 est.)

    note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

    country comparison to the world: 142
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Namibian(s)
    adjective: Namibian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Ovambo 50%, Kavangos 9%, Herero 7%, Damara 7%, European and African ancestry 6.5%, European 6%, Nama 5%, Caprivian 4%, San 3%, Baster 2%, Tswana .5%
    Languages field listing
    Oshiwambo languages 49.7%, Nama/Damara 11%, Kavango languages 10.4%, Afrikaans 9.4% (common language of most of the population), Herero languages 9.2%, Zambezi languages 4.9%, English (official) 2.3%, other African languages 1.5%, other European languages .7%, other 1% (2016 est.)

    note: Namibia has 13 recognized national languages, including 10 indigenous African languages and 3 Indo-European languages

    Religions field listing
    Christian 80% to 90% (at least 50% Lutheran), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%
    Demographic profile field listing

    Planning officials view Namibia’s reduced population growth rate as sustainable based on the country’s economic growth over the past decade. Prior to independence in 1990, Namibia’s relatively small population grew at about 3% annually, but declining fertility and the impact of HIV/AIDS slowed this growth to 1.4% by 2011, rebounding to close to 2% by 2016. Namibia’s fertility rate has fallen over the last two decades – from about 4.5 children per woman in 1996 to 3.4 in 2016 – due to increased contraceptive use, higher educational attainment among women, and greater female participation in the labor force. The average age at first birth has stayed fairly constant, but the age at first marriage continues to increase, indicating a rising incidence of premarital childbearing.

    The majority of Namibians are rural dwellers (about 55%) and live in the better-watered north and northeast parts of the country. Migration, historically male-dominated, generally flows from northern communal areas – non-agricultural lands where blacks were sequestered under the apartheid system – to agricultural, mining, and manufacturing centers in the center and south. After independence from South Africa, restrictions on internal movement eased, and rural-urban migration increased, bolstering urban growth.

    Some Namibians – usually persons who are better-educated, more affluent, and from urban areas – continue to legally migrate to South Africa temporarily to visit family and friends and, much less frequently, to pursue tertiary education or better economic opportunities. Namibians concentrated along the country’s other borders make unauthorized visits to Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, or Botswana, to visit family and to trade agricultural goods. Few Namibians express interest in permanently settling in other countries; they prefer the safety of their homeland, have a strong national identity, and enjoy a well-supplied retail sector. Although Namibia is receptive to foreign investment and cross-border trade, intolerance toward non-citizens is widespread.

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 36.54% (male 467,392 /female 458,190)
    15-24 years: 20.34% (male 257,190 /female 257,984)
    25-54 years: 34.74% (male 421,849 /female 458,118)
    55-64 years: 4.46% (male 50,459 /female 62,478)
    65 years and over: 3.93% (male 42,381 /female 57,183) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 68.1 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 62.2 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.8 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 17.1 (2015 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 21.4 years
    male: 20.7 years
    female: 22.2 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    Population growth rate field listing
    1.91% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Birth rate field listing
    26.8 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    Death rate field listing
    7.7 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Net migration rate field listing
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Population distribution field listing
    population density is very low, with the largest clustering found in the extreme north-central area along the border with Angola
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 51% of total population (2019)
    rate of urbanization: 4.2% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    417,000 WINDHOEK (capital) (2019)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.81 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    21.5 years (2013 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    195 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 33.8 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 36 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 31.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 64.4 years
    male: 62.7 years
    female: 66.2 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    Total fertility rate field listing
    3.21 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    56.1% (2013)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 98.2% of population
    rural: 84.6% of population
    total: 91% of population
    unimproved: urban: 1.8% of population
    rural: 15.4% of population
    total: 9% of population (2015 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    8.9% (2015)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    2.7 beds/1,000 population (2009)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 54.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 16.8% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 34.4% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 45.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 83.2% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 65.6% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    11.8% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    200,000 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    2,700 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: high (2016)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
    vectorborne diseases: malaria (2016)
    water contact diseases: schistosomiasis (2016)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    17.2% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    13.2% (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Education expenditures field listing
    3.1% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
    total population: 81.9%
    male: 79.2%
    female: 84.5% (2015 est.)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 44.9%
    male: 37.7%
    female: 52.5% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
  • Government :: Namibia
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Republic of Namibia
    conventional short form: Namibia
    local long form: Republic of Namibia
    local short form: Namibia
    former: German South-West Africa (Deutsch-Suedwestafrika), South-West Africa
    etymology: named for the coastal Namib Desert; the name "namib" means "vast place" in the Nama/Damara language
    Government type field listing
    presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Windhoek
    geographic coordinates: 22 34 S, 17 05 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April
    etymology: may derive from the Afrikaans word "wind-hoek" meaning "windy corner"
    Administrative divisions field listing
    14 regions; Erongo, Hardap, //Karas, Kavango East, Kavango West, Khomas, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, Zambezi; note - the Karas Region was renamed //Karas in September 2013 to include the alveolar lateral click of the Khoekhoegowab language
    Independence field listing
    21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 21 March (1990)
    Constitution field listing
    history:

    history: adopted 9 February 1990, entered into force 21 March 1990

    amendments: initiated by the Cabinet; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the National Assembly membership and of the National Council of Parliament and assent by the president of the republic; if the National Council fails to pass an amendment, the president can call for a referendum; passage by referendum requires two-thirds majority of votes cast; amendments that detract from or repeal constitutional articles on fundamental rights and freedoms cannot be amended, and the requisite majorities needed by Parliament to amend the constitution cannot be changed; amended 1998, 2010, 2014 (2017)
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Namibia
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Hage GEINGOB (since 21 March 2015); Vice President Nangola MBUMBA (since 8 February 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Hage GEINGOB (since 21 March 2015); Vice President Nangola MBUMBA (since 8 February 2018); Prime Minister Saara KUUGONGELWA-AMADHILA (since 21 March 2015)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among members of the National Assembly
    elections/appointments: president elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 28 November 2014 (next to be held in November 2019)
    election results: Hage GEINGOB elected president in the first round; percent of vote - Hage GEINGOB (SWAPO) 86.7%, McHenry VENAANI (DTA) 5.0%, Hidipo HAMUTENYA (RDP) 3.4%, Asser MBAI (NUDO)1.9%, Henk MUDGE (RP) 1.0%, other 2.0%
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
    National Council (42 seats); members indirectly elected 3 each by the 14 regional councils to serve 5-year terms); note - the Council primarily reviews legislation passed and referred by the National Assembly
    National Assembly (104 seats; 96 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by closed list, proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms and 8 nonvoting members appointed by the president)
    elections:
    National Council - elections for regional councils to determine members of the National Council held on 27 November 2015 (next to be held in November 2020)
    National Assembly - last held on 28 November 2014 (next to be held on 27 November 2019)
    election results:
    National Council - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SWAPO 40, NUDO 1, DPM 1; composition - men 32, women 10, percent of women 23.8%
    National Assembly - percent of vote by party - SWAPO 80.0%, DTA 4.8%, RDP 3.5%, APP 2.3%, UDF 2.1%, NUDO 2.0%, CPN 1.5%, other 3.8%; seats by party - SWAPO 77, DPM 5, RDP 3, APP 2, UDF 2, NUDO 2, WRP 2, SWANU 1, UPM 1, RP 1; composition - men 61, women 43, percent of women 41.3%; note - total Parliament percent of women 36.3%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and at least 3 judges in quorum sessions)
    judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president of Namibia upon the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission; judges serve until age 65, but terms can be extended by the president until age 70
    subordinate courts: High Court; Labor Court; regional and district magistrates' courts; community courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    All People's Party or APP [Ignatius SHIXWAMENI]
    National Unity Democratic Organization or NUDO [Estes MUINJANGUE]
    Popular Democratic Movement or PDM (formerly DTA) [McHenry VENAANI]
    Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Steve BEZUIDERHOUDT (Acting)]
    Republican Party or RP [Henk MUDGE]
    South West Africa National Union or SWANU [Tangeni IIYAMBO]
    South West Africa People's Organization or SWAPO [Hage GEINGOB]
    United Democratic Front or UDF [Apius AUCHAB]
    United People's Movement or UPM [Jan J. VAN WYK]
    Workers' Revolutionary Party or WRP (formerly CPN) [MPs Salmon FLEERMUYS and Benson KAAPALA]
    International organization participation field listing
    ACP, AfDB, AU, C, CD, CPLP (associate observer), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    Ambassador Monica NASHANDI (since 7 November 2018)
    chancery: 1605 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 986-0540
    FAX: [1] (202) 986-0443
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Lisa A. JOHNSON (since 3 February 2018)
    telephone: [264] (061) 295-8500
    embassy: 14 Lossen Street, Windhoek
    mailing address: Private Bag 12029 Ausspannplatz, Windhoek
    FAX: [264] (061) 295-8603
    Flag description field listing
    a wide red stripe edged by narrow white stripes divides the flag diagonally from lower hoist corner to upper fly corner; the upper hoist-side triangle is blue and charged with a golden-yellow, 12-rayed sunburst; the lower fly-side triangle is green; red signifies the heroism of the people and their determination to build a future of equal opportunity for all; white stands for peace, unity, tranquility, and harmony; blue represents the Namibian sky and the Atlantic Ocean, the country's precious water resources and rain; the golden-yellow sun denotes power and existence; green symbolizes vegetation and agricultural resources
    National symbol(s) field listing
    oryx (antelope); national colors: blue, red, green, white, yellow
    National anthem field listing
    name: Namibia, Land of the Brave
    lyrics/music: Axali DOESEB

    note: adopted 1991

  • Economy :: Namibia
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Namibia’s economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for about 12.5% of GDP, but provides more than 50% of foreign exchange earnings. Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Marine diamond mining is increasingly important as the terrestrial diamond supply has dwindled. The rising cost of mining diamonds, especially from the sea, combined with increased diamond production in Russia and China, has reduced profit margins. Namibian authorities have emphasized the need to add value to raw materials, do more in-country manufacturing, and exploit the services market, especially in the logistics and transportation sectors.

    Namibia is one of the world’s largest producers of uranium. The Chinese-owned Husab uranium mine began producing uranium ore in 2017, and is expected to reach full production in August 2018 and produce 15 million pounds of uranium a year. Namibia also produces large quantities of zinc and is a smaller producer of gold and copper. Namibia's economy remains vulnerable to world commodity price fluctuations and drought.

    Namibia normally imports about 50% of its cereal requirements; in drought years, food shortages are problematic in rural areas. A high per capita GDP, relative to the region, obscures one of the world's most unequal income distributions; the current government has prioritized exploring wealth redistribution schemes while trying to maintain a pro-business environment. GDP growth in 2017 slowed to about 1%, however, due to contractions in both the construction and mining sectors, as well as an ongoing drought. Growth is expected to recover modestly in 2018.

    A five-year Millennium Challenge Corporation compact ended in September 2014. As an upper middle income country, Namibia is ineligible for a second compact. The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African rand. Namibia receives 30%-40% of its revenues from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU); volatility in the size of Namibia's annual SACU allotment and global mineral prices complicates budget planning.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $26.6 billion (2017 est.)
    $26.81 billion (2016 est.)
    $26.62 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 139
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $13.24 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    -0.8% (2017 est.)
    0.7% (2016 est.)
    6.1% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $11,200 (2017 est.)
    $11,500 (2016 est.)
    $11,700 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 135
    Gross national saving field listing
    16.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
    9.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
    19.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 68.7% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 24.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 16% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 1.6% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 36.7% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -47.5% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 6.7% (2016 est.)
    industry: 26.3% (2016 est.)
    services: 67% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    millet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes; livestock; fish
    Industries field listing
    meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products, pasta, beverages; mining (diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper)
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    -0.4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    Labor force field listing
    956,800 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 31%
    industry: 14%
    services: 54% (2013 est.)

    note: about half of Namibia's people are unemployed while about two-thirds live in rural areas; roughly two-thirds of rural dwellers rely on subsistence agriculture

    Unemployment rate field listing
    34% (2016 est.)
    28.1% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    Population below poverty line field listing
    28.7% (2010 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 2.4%
    highest 10%: 42% (2010)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index field listing
    59.7 (2010)
    70.7 (2003)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 4.268 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 5 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    32.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -5.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    Public debt field listing
    41.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
    39.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Fiscal year field listing
    1 April - 31 March
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    6.1% (2017 est.)
    6.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Central bank discount rate field listing
    7% (12 April 2017)
    6.5% (31 December 2015)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Commercial bank prime lending rate field listing
    10.04% (31 December 2017 est.)
    9.84% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Stock of narrow money field listing
    $3.425 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $2.911 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Stock of broad money field listing
    $3.425 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $2.911 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Stock of domestic credit field listing
    $8.582 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $7.038 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Market value of publicly traded shares field listing
    $1.305 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $1.152 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $1.176 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Current account balance field listing
    -$438 million (2017 est.)
    -$1.555 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Exports field listing
    $3.995 billion (2017 est.)
    $4.003 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Exports - partners field listing
    South Africa 27.1%, Botswana 14.9%, Switzerland 12%, Zambia 5.7%, China 4.6%, Italy 4.4% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, white fish and mollusks
    Imports field listing
    $5.384 billion (2017 est.)
    $5.625 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Imports - commodities field listing
    foodstuffs; petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals
    Imports - partners field listing
    South Africa 61.4% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $2.432 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.834 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Debt - external field listing
    $7.969 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $6.904 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home field listing

    NA

    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad field listing

    NA

    Exchange rates field listing
    Namibian dollars (NAD) per US dollar -
    13.67 (2017 est.)
    14.7096 (2016 est.)
    14.7096 (2015 est.)
    12.7589 (2014 est.)
    10.8526 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Namibia
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 1 million (2017)
    electrification - total population: 51.8% (2016)
    electrification - urban areas: 77.1% (2016)
    electrification - rural areas: 28.7% (2016)
    Electricity - production field listing
    1.403 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    3.891 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    Electricity - exports field listing
    88 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Electricity - imports field listing
    3.073 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    535,500 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    28% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    64% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    8% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    27,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    80 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    26,270 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    62.29 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    3.958 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
  • Communications :: Namibia
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 193,125
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 2,647,853
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 107 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Telephone system field listing
    general assessment: good system; core fiber-optic network links most centers with digital connections; 3G and LTE services; Internet and broadband sector fairly competitive; infrastructure investment through 2021 (2018)
    domestic: fixed-line still a government monopoly with plans to open to competion soon; multiple mobile-cellular providers; fixed-line subscribership of 8 per 100 and mobile-cellular 107 per 100 persons (2018)
    international: country code - 264; fiber-optic cable to South Africa, microwave radio relay link to Botswana, direct links to other neighboring countries; connected to the South African Far East submarine cable through South Africa; connected to the West Africa Cable System, an ultra-high capacity fiber-optic submarine cable linking southern and western African countries to Europe; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat
    Broadcast media field listing
    1 private and 1 state-run TV station; satellite and cable TV service available; state-run radio service broadcasts in multiple languages; about a dozen private radio stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters available
    Internet country code field listing
    .na
    Internet users field listing
    total: 756,118
    percent of population: 31% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 63,894
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
  • Transportation :: Namibia
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 2 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 12 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 553,322 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 30,302,405 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    V5 (2016)
    Airports field listing
    112 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 19 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 4 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 12 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 93 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 25 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 52 (2013)
    under 914 m: 16 (2013)
    Railways field listing
    total: 2,628 km (2014)
    narrow gauge: 2,628 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    Roadways field listing
    total: 48,875 km (2018)
    paved: 7,893 km (2018)
    unpaved: 40,982 km (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 10
    by type: general cargo 1, other 9 (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Luderitz, Walvis Bay
  • Military and Security :: Namibia
  • Military expenditures field listing
    3.35% of GDP (2018)
    3.56% of GDP (2017)
    3.89% of GDP (2016)
    4.48% of GDP (2015)
    4.2% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Military branches field listing
    Namibian Defense Force (NDF): Army, Navy, Air Force (2019)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2019)
  • Transnational Issues :: Namibia
  • Disputes - international field listing

    concerns from international experts and local populations over the Okavango Delta ecology in Botswana and human displacement scuttled Namibian plans to construct a hydroelectric dam on Popa Falls along the Angola-Namibia border; the governments of South Africa and Namibia have not signed or ratified the text of the 1994 Surveyor's General agreement placing the boundary in the middle of the Orange River; Namibia has supported, and in 2004 Zimbabwe dropped objections to, plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the Zambezi River, thereby de facto recognizing a short, but not clearly delimited, Botswana-Zambia boundary in the river

    Trafficking in persons field listing
    current situation: Namibia is a country of origin and destination for children and, to a lesser extent, women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; victims, lured by promises of legitimate jobs, are forced to work in urban centers and on commercial farms; traffickers exploit Namibian children, as well as children from Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, for forced labor in agriculture, cattle herding, domestic service, fishing, and street vending; children are also forced into prostitution, often catering to tourists from southern Africa and Europe; San and Zemba children are particularly vulnerable; foreign adults and Namibian adults and children are reportedly subjected to forced labor in Chinese-owned retail, construction, and fishing operations
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Namibia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; Namibia was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; in 2015, the Child Care and Protection Bill passed, criminalizing child trafficking; the government’s first sex trafficking prosecution remained pending; no new prosecutions were initiated and no trafficking offenders have ever been convicted; accusations of forced labor at Chinese construction and mining companies continue to go uninvestigated; authorities failed to fully implement victim identification and referral processes, which led to the deportation of possible victims (2015)