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Namibia, See : Flags, Maps

Namibia (Africa)

Introduction ::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 ::Namibia


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Location:

Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa

Geographic coordinates:
22 00 S, 17 00 E

Map references:

Africa

Area:

total: 824,292 sq km country comparison to the world: 34 land: 823,290 sq km

water: 1,002 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly more than half the size of Alaska

Land boundaries:

total: 3,936 km

border countries: Angola 1,376 km, Botswana 1,360 km, South Africa 967 km, Zambia 233 km

Coastline:

1,572 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate:

desert; hot, dry; rainfall sparse and erratic

Terrain:

mostly high plateau; Namib Desert along coast; Kalahari Desert in east

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Konigstein 2,606 m

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

Land use:

arable land: 0.99%

permanent crops: 0.01%

other: 99% (2005)

Irrigated land:

80 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

45.5 cu km (1991)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.3 cu km/yr (24%/5%/71%)

per capita: 148 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

prolonged periods of drought

Environment - current issues:

limited natural fresh water resources; desertification; wildlife poaching; land degradation has led to few conservation areas

Environment - international agreements:

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:

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

People ::Namibia

Population:

2,128,471 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 2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 35.9% (male 381,904/female 375,059)

15-64 years: 60.2% (male 641,995/female 627,146)

65 years and over: 3.9% (male 36,894/female 45,667) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 21.4 years

male: 21.3 years

female: 21.4 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.909% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 127

Birth rate:

21.82 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 80

Death rate:

12.97 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 24

Net migration rate:

0.25 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 68

Urbanization:

urban population: 37% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 45.52 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 57 male: 48.89 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 42.05 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 51.95 years country comparison to the world: 210 male: 52.25 years

female: 51.64 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.57 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 83

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

15.3% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 5

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

200,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 31

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

5,100 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 43

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne disease: malaria

water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Namibian(s)

adjective: Namibian

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% (Lutheran 50% at least), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%

Languages:

English 7% (official), Afrikaans common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population, German 32%, indigenous languages 1% (includes Oshivambo, Herero, Nama)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 85%

male: 86.8%

female: 83.5% (2001 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 12 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

6.9% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 23

Government ::Namibia

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Namibia

conventional short form: Namibia

local long form: Republic of Namibia

local short form: Namibia

former: German Southwest Africa, South-West Africa

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

Administrative divisions:

13 regions; Caprivi, Erongo, Hardap, Karas, Khomas, Kunene, Ohangwena, Okavango, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa

Independence:

21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 21 March (1990)

Constitution:

ratified 9 February 1990, effective 12 March 1990

Legal system:

based on Roman-Dutch law and 1990 constitution; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Hifikepunye POHAMBA (since 21 March 2005)

head of government: 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); 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 1.3%

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)

elections: National Council - elections for regional councils to determine members of the National Council held on 29-30 November 2004 (next to be held on 26-27 November 2010); 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 - SWAPO 89.7%, UDF 4.7%, NUDO 2.8%, DTA 1.9%, other 0.9%; 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, RP 1, COD 1, SWANU 1

Judicial branch:

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

Political parties and leaders:

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]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Earthlife Namibia [Berthchen KOHRS] (environmentalist group);
National Society for Human Rights or NSHR; The World Information
Services of Energy or WISE (group against nuclear power)

International organization participation:

ACP, AfDB, AU, C, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IFAD,
IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU,
ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO,
UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO,
WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

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

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Gail Dennise MATHIEU

embassy: 14 Lossen Street, Windhoek

mailing address: Private Bag 12029 Ausspannplatz, Windhoek

telephone: [264] (61) 295-8500
FAX: [264] (61) 295-8603

Flag description:

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

National anthem:

name: "Namibia, Land of the Brave"

lyrics/music: Axali DOESEB

note: adopted 1991

Economy ::Namibia

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 fourth-largest exporter of nonfuel minerals in Africa, the world's fifth-largest producer of uranium, and the producer of large quantities of lead, zinc, tin, silver, and tungsten. The mining sector employs only about 3% of the population while about 35-40% of the population depends on subsistence agriculture for its livelihood. 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 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 will drop for 2010 and 2011 because South Africa went into recession during the global economic crisis, reducing overall SACU income. Increased fish production and mining of zinc, copper, uranium, and silver spurred growth in 2003-08, but growth in recent years was undercut by poor fish catches, higher costs of producing metals, and the global recession.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$14.64 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 137 $14.06 billion (2009 est.)

$14.17 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$11.45 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

4.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 75 -0.8% (2009 est.)

4.3% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$6,900 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 131 $6,700 (2009 est.)

$6,800 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 9%

industry: 32.7%

services: 58.2% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

729,000 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 147

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 16.3%

industry: 22.4%

services: 61.3% (2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:

51.2% (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 193 36.7% (2004 est.)

Population below poverty line:

55.8%

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.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.1%

highest 10%: 53% (2008)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

70.7 (2003) country comparison to the world: 1

Investment (gross fixed):

24% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 47

Public debt:

20% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 110 15.1% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 135 8.8% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

7% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 47 10% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

11.12% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 56 13.74% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$3.049 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 109 $2.495 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$4.756 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 121 $3.691 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$5.122 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 110 $4.041 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$846.3 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 101 $618.7 million (31 December 2008)

$702 million (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

millet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes; livestock; fish

Industries:

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

Industrial production growth rate:

6.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 46

Electricity - production:

1.491 billion kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 139

Electricity - consumption:

2.845 billion kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 128

Electricity - exports:

40 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:

2.045 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 144

Oil - consumption:

22,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 121

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 161

Oil - imports:

19,120 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 113

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 153

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 159

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 133

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 90

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 150

Natural gas - proved reserves:

62.29 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 61

Current account balance:

-$187 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 87 -$160.9 million (2009 est.)

Exports:

$4.277 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 115 $3.535 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, processed fish, karakul skins

Imports:

$5.152 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 112 $4.519 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs; petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.961 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 100 $2.051 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$2.373 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 136 $2.175 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA

Exchange rates:

Namibian dollars (NAD) per US dollar - 7.57 (2010), 8.4234 (2009), 7.75 (2008), 7.18 (2007), 6.7649 (2006)

Communications ::Namibia

Telephones - main lines in use:

142,100 (2009) country comparison to the world: 134

Telephones - mobile cellular:

1.217 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 142

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 nearly 60 telephones per 100 persons; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 65 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)

Broadcast media:

1 private and 1 state-run television station; satellite and cable TV service is available; state-run radio service broadcasts in multiple languages; about a dozen private radio stations operating; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)

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

Transportation ::Namibia

Airports:

129 (2010) country comparison to the world: 46

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 21

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 13

914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 108

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 25

914 to 1,523 m: 71

under 914 m: 11 (2010)

Railways:

total: 2,629 km country comparison to the world: 65 narrow gauge: 2,629 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:

total: 64,189 km country comparison to the world: 72 paved: 5,477 km

unpaved: 58,712 km (2010)

Merchant marine:

total: 1 country comparison to the world: 156 by type: cargo 1 (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Luderitz, Walvis Bay

Military ::Namibia

Military branches:

Namibian Defense Force (NDF): Army, Navy, Air Force (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 554,531 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 341,783

females age 16-49: 304,496 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 26,152

female: 25,790 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

3.7% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 31

Transnational Issues ::Namibia

Disputes - international:

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; managed dispute with South Africa over the location of the boundary in 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

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 4,700 (Angola) (2007)

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