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National Computer Board>Africa-Namibia

Africa-Namibia

Background
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
Location:
Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa

Area:
total: 824,292 sq km
country comparison to the world: 34
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
Population: 2,165,828 (July 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143



Ethnic groups
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%



Religions
Christian 80% to 90% (at least 50% Lutheran), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%.


Languages
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%.


Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 85%
male: 86.8%
female: 83.5% (2001 census) 



Government
Government type: republic
Capital:
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

Independence:
21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)

Legal system:
mixed legal system of uncodified civil law based on Roman-Dutch law and customary law

Executive branch:
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 Nahas ANGULA (since 21 March 2005)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly
(For more information visit the World Leaders website)
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%

Legislative branch:
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

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission)


Economy Overview
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. 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 70.7 GINI coefficient. The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African rand. Until 2010, Namibia drew 40% of its budget revenues from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). Increased payments from SACU put Namibia's budget into surplus in 2007 for the first time since independence. SACU allotments to Namibia increased in 2009, but dropped in 2010 and 2011 because of the global recession, reducing Namibia's overall SACU income. Increased fish production and mining of zinc, copper, and uranium spurred growth in 2003-08, but growth in recent years was undercut by poor fish catches, a dramatic decline in demand for diamonds, higher costs of producing metals, and the global recession. A rebound in diamond and uranium prices in 2010 and the reopening of copper mines in 2011 provided a significant boost to Namibia's mining sector.


Key Economic Indicators
GDP – real growth rate:
3.6% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
4.8% (2010 est.)
-0.7% (2009 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP):
$7,300 (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
$7,100 (2010 est.)
$6,800 (2009 est.)
note:data are in 2011 US dollars

GDP – composition by sector

agriculture:7.1%
industry:
34.4%
services: 58.5% (2011 est.)

Labor force:
803,700 (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146

Budget:
revenues: $3.959 billion
expenditures: $5.217 billion (2011 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5.3% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
4.5% (2010 est.)

Agriculture – products:
millet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes; livestock; fish

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

Exports:
$4.568 billion (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
$4.115 billion (2010 est.)

Exports – commodities:
diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, processed fish, karakul skins

Imports:
$5.345 billion (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
$4.904 billion (2010 est.)

Imports – commodities:
foodstuffs; petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals

Exchange rates:
Namibian dollars (NAD) per US dollar -
7.076 (2011 est.)
7.32 (2010 est.)
8.42 (2009)
7.75 (2008)
7.18 (2007)

Communications
Telephones – main lines in use
152,000 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 134
Telephones – mobile cellular:
1.535 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 144

Telephone system:

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 70 telephones per 100 persons; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 80 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 (2008)

Internet country code: .na

Internet hosts: 76,020 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 80

Internet Users: 127,500 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 151



Source: CIA World Factbook