Namibia

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

South Africa occupied the colony, then known as German South West Africa, in 1915 during World War I and administered it as a mandate until after World War II. In 1966, the Marxist South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of independence for the area that became Namibia. Namibia gained independence in 1990 and has been governed by SWAPO since, though the party has dropped much of its Marxist ideology.

Geography

Area

total: 824,292 sq km

land: 823,290 sq km

water: 1,002 sq km

Climate

desert; hot, dry; rainfall sparse and erratic

Natural resources

diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, silver, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, tungsten, zinc, salt, hydropower, fish, note, suspected deposits of oil, coal, and iron ore

People and Society

Population

2,727,409 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Ovambo 50%, Kavangos 9%, Herero 7%, Damara 7%, mixed European and African ancestry 6.5%, European 6%, Nama 5%, Caprivian 4%, San 3%, Baster 2%, Tswana .5%

Languages

Oshiwambo languages 49.7%, Nama/Damara 11%, Kavango languages 10.4%, Afrikaans 9.4% (also a common language), Herero languages 9.2%, Zambezi languages 4.9%, English (official) 2.3%, other African languages 1.5%, other European languages 0.7%, other 1% (2016 est.)

Religions

Christian 97.5%, other 0.6% (includes Muslim, Baha'i, Jewish, Buddhist), unaffiliated 1.9% (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

1.82% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Windhoek

Executive branch

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) 

Legislative branch

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)

Economy

Economic overview

upper middle-income Sub-Saharan economy; environmentally fragile but natural resource rich; struggling to recover from 2016 recession; pegged exchange rate to South African rand; ongoing post-apartheid land reforms; still high socioeconomic inequality

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$22.6 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$8,900 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

roots/tubers nes, milk, maize, onions, beef, grapes, fruit, pulses nes, vegetables, millet

Industries

meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products, pasta, beverages; mining (diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper)

Exports

$3.56 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

China 27%, South Africa 18%, Botswana 8%, Belgium 7% (2019)

Exports - commodities

copper, diamonds, uranium, thorium, gold, radioactive chemicals, fish (2019)

Imports

$4.54 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

South Africa 47%, Zambia 16% (2019)

Imports - commodities

copper, refined petroleum, delivery trucks, diamonds, cars (2019)


Page last updated: Friday, May 13, 2022