Africa :: Namibia

Introduction ::Namibia

    South Africa occupied the German colony of 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 in 1990. Hifikepunye POHAMBA was elected president in November 2004 in a landslide victory replacing Sam NUJOMA who led the country during its first 14 years of self rule. POHAMBA was reelected in November 2009.

Geography ::Namibia

People and Society ::Namibia

    noun: Namibian(s)
    adjective: Namibian
    black 87.5%, white 6%, mixed 6.5%
    note: about 50% of the population belong to the Ovambo tribe and 9% to the Kavangos tribe; other ethnic groups include Herero 7%, Damara 7%, Nama 5%, Caprivian 4%, Bushmen 3%, Baster 2%, Tswana 0.5%
    English (official) 7%, Afrikaans (common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population), German 32%, indigenous languages (includes Oshivambo, Herero, Nama) 1%
    Christian 80% to 90% (at least 50% Lutheran), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%
    2,182,852 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    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 (July 2013 est.)
    0-14 years: 32.6% (male 358,876/female 352,068)
    15-24 years: 23.1% (male 254,809/female 249,256)
    25-54 years: 35.3% (male 399,283/female 370,202)
    55-64 years: 4.8% (male 47,261/female 57,565)
    65 years and over: 4.3% (male 40,756/female 52,776) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 65.5 %
    youth dependency ratio: 59.6 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.9 %
    potential support ratio: 17 (2013)
    total: 22.4 years
    male: 22.4 years
    female: 22.4 years (2013 est.)
    0.75% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    20.72 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    13.33 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    urban population: 38.4% of total population (2011)
    rate of urbanization: 3.14% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    WINDHOEK (capital) 342,000 (2009)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.83 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    21.4 (2007 est.)
    200 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    total: 45.62 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 48
    male: 48.68 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 42.46 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 52.03 years
    country comparison to the world: 215
    male: 52.36 years
    female: 51.69 years (2013 est.)
    2.33 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    55.1% (2006/07)
    6.8% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    0.37 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
    2.67 beds/1,000 population (2009)
    urban: 99% of population
    rural: 90% of population
    total: 93% of population
    urban: 1% of population
    rural: 10% of population
    total: 7% of population (2010 est.)
    urban: 57% of population
    rural: 17% of population
    total: 32% of population
    urban: 43% of population
    rural: 83% of population
    total: 68% of population (2010 est.)
    13.1% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    180,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    6,700 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    degree of risk: high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne disease: malaria
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2013)
    9.5% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    17.5% (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    8.3% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 88.8%
    male: 89%
    female: 88.5% (2010 est.)
    total: 11 years
    male: 11 years
    female: 11 years (2006)
    total: 58.9%
    country comparison to the world: 2
    male: 54.6%
    female: 63.8% (2008)

Government ::Namibia

    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 (Sued-West Afrika), South-West Africa
    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
    13 regions; Caprivi, Erongo, Hardap, Karas, Khomas, Kunene, Ohangwena, Okavango, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa
    21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)
    Independence Day, 21 March (1990)
    ratified 9 February 1990, effective 12 March 1990
    mixed legal system of uncodified civil law based on Roman-Dutch law and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Hifikepunye POHAMBA (since 21 March 2005); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Hifikepunye POHAMBA (since 21 March 2005); Prime Minister Hage GEINGOB (since 4 December 2012)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); if no single candidate receives a majority of the vote in the first round of voting, a run-off election is scheduled between the two candidates with the greatest vote count; election last held on 27-28 November 2009 (next to be held in 2014)
    election results: Hifikepunye POHAMBA reelected president; percent of vote - Hifikepunye POHAMBA 76.4%, Hidipo HAMUTENYA 11.0%, Katuutire KAURA 3.0%, Kuaima RIRUAKO 2.9%, Justus GAROEB 2.4%, Ignatius SHIXWAMENI 1.3%, Hendrick MUDGE 1.2%, other 1.8%
    bicameral legislature consists of the National Council, primarily an advisory body (26 seats; two members chosen from each regional council to serve six-year terms), and the National Assembly (72 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms, an additonal six nonvoting members are appointed by the president)
    elections: National Council - elections for regional councils to determine members of the National Council held on 26-27 November 2010 (next to be held in 2016); National Assembly - last held on 26-27 November 2009 (next to be held in November 2014)
    election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SWAPO 24, UDF 1, DTA 1; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - SWAPO 75.3%, RDP 11.3%, DTA 3.1%, NUDO 3.0%, UDF 2.4%, APP 1.4%, RP 0.8%, COD 0.7%, SWANU 0.6%, other 1.3%; seats by party - SWAPO 54, RDP 8, DTA 2, NUDO 2, UDF 2, APP 1, COD 1, RP 1, SWANU 1
    highest court(s): 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 can be extended by the president until age 70
    subordinate courts: High Court; Labor Court; regional and district magistrates' courts; community courts
    All People's Party or APP [Ignatius SHIXWAMENI]
    Congress of Democrats or COD [Benjamin ULENGA]
    Democratic Turnhalle Alliance of Namibia or DTA [Katuutire KAURA]
    Monitor Action Group or MAG [Jurie VILJOEN]
    National Democratic Movement for Change or NamDMC
    National Unity Democratic Organization or NUDO [Kuaima RIRUAKO]
    Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Hidipo HAMUTENYA]
    Republican Party or RP [Hendrick MUDGE]
    South West Africa National Union or SWANU [Usutuaije MAAMBERUA]
    South West Africa People's Organization or SWAPO [Hifikepunye POHAMBA]
    United Democratic Front or UDF [Justus GAROEB]
    National Society for Human Rights or NSHR (NAMRIGHTS as of 2010)
    various labor unions
    chief of mission: Ambassador Martin ANDJABA
    chancery: 1605 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 986-0540
    FAX: [1] (202) 986-0443
    chief of mission: Ambassador Wanda L. NESBITT
    embassy: 14 Lossen Street, Windhoek
    mailing address: Private Bag 12029 Ausspannplatz, Windhoek
    telephone: [264] (61) 295-8500
    FAX: [264] (61) 295-8603
    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 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 yellow sun denotes power and existence; green symbolizes vegetation and agricultural resources
    name: "Namibia, Land of the Brave"

    lyrics/music: Axali DOESEB
    note: adopted 1991

Economy ::Namibia

    The economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for 8% 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 becoming increasingly important as the terrestrial diamond supply has dwindled. Namibia is the world's fourth-largest producer of uranium. It also produces large quantities of zinc and is a small producer of gold and other minerals. The mining sector employs only about 3% of the population. Namibia normally imports about 50% of its cereal requirements; in drought years food shortages are a major problem in rural areas. A high per capita GDP, relative to the region, hides one of the world's most unequal income distributions, as shown by Namibia''s 59.7 GINI coefficient. 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 complicates budget planning. Namibia''s economy remains vulnerable to volatility in the price of uranium. The rising cost of mining diamonds, increasingly from the sea, has reduced profit margins. Namibian authorities recognize these issues and have emphasized the need to increase higher value raw materials, manufacturing, and services, especially in the logistics and transportation sectors.
    $17.03 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    $16.37 billion (2011 est.)
    $15.61 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $12.3 billion (2012 est.)
    4% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    4.8% (2011 est.)
    6.6% (2010 est.)
    $7,900 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    $7,700 (2011 est.)
    $7,400 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    22.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    20.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
    18.4% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 66.3%
    government consumption: 25.8%
    investment in fixed capital: 22.6%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 39.3%
    imports of goods and services: -54%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 7.4%
    industry: 31.3%
    services: 61.3% (2012 est.)
    millet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes; livestock; fish
    meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products, pasta and beverages; mining (diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper)
    7.1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    816,600 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    agriculture: 16.3%
    industry: 22.4%
    services: 61.3%
    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 (2008 est.)
    51.2% (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    36.7% (2004 est.)
    note: the UNDP's 2005 Human Development Report indicated that 34.9% of the population live on $1 per day and 55.8% live on $2 per day (2005 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.4%
    highest 10%: 42% (2010)
    59.7 (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    70.7 (2003)
    revenues: $4.524 billion
    expenditures: $4.885 billion (2012 est.)
    36.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    -2.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    25.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    26.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
    1 April - 31 March
    6.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    5% (2011 est.)
    12% (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    7% (31 December 2009 est.)
    8.7% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    8.73% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $3.181 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    $3.449 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $7.433 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    $8.021 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $6.26 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    $5.73 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $1.152 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    $1.176 billion (31 December 2010)
    $846.3 million (31 December 2009)
    $49.3 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    -$108.2 million (2011 est.)
    $4.335 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    $4.639 billion (2011 est.)
    diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, processed fish, karakul skins
    $5.586 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    $5.348 billion (2011 est.)
    foodstuffs; petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals
    $1.746 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    $1.778 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $4.302 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    $4.187 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    Namibian dollars (NAD) per US dollar -
    8.203 (2012 est.)
    7.2597 (2011 est.)
    7.3212 (2010 est.)
    8.42 (2009)
    7.75 (2008)

Energy ::Namibia

Communications ::Namibia

    140,000 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    2.24 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    general assessment: good system; core fiber-optic network links most centers and connections are now digital
    domestic: multiple mobile-cellular providers with a combined subscribership of more than 100 telephones per 100 persons
    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 (SAFE) submarine cable through South Africa; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (2010)
    1 private and 1 state-run TV station; satellite and cable TV service is available; state-run radio service broadcasts in multiple languages; about a dozen private radio stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)
    78,280 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    127,500 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 151

Transportation ::Namibia

Military ::Namibia

Transnational Issues ::Namibia

    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
    current situation: Namibia is predominantly 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 hazardous condition 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, and criminal activities; children are also forced into prostitution, often catering to tourists from southern Africa and Europe; girls of the San tribe are particularly vulnerable
    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; in 2012, the government launched a National Plan of Action on Gender-Based Violence, which included addressing human trafficking but did not complete its draft comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation or obtain parliamentary passage of the Child Care and Protection Bill, which would criminalize child trafficking; a process has been developed for referring trafficking victims for assistance but a system for screening potential victims and providing official designation of trafficking victim status is lacking (2013)