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  Namibia   
Introduction
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational
Issues
  Introduction Back To Top

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.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.3 cu km/yr (24%/5%/71%)
per capita: 148 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
45.5 cu km (1991)

Land boundaries:
total: 3,936 km
border countries: Angola 1,376 km, Botswana 1,360 km, South Africa 967 km, Zambia 233 km

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

Climate:
desert; hot, dry; rainfall sparse and erratic

Map references:
Africa

Geographic coordinates:
22 00 S, 17 00 E

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

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Konigstein 2,606 m

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

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

Area:
total: 825,418 sq km
land: 825,418 sq km
water: 0 sq km

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

Coastline:
1,572 km

Area - comparative:
slightly more than half the size of Alaska

Irrigated land:
80 sq km (2003)

Environment - current issues:
limited natural fresh water resources; desertification; wildlife poaching; land degradation has led to few conservation areas

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Natural hazards:
prolonged periods of drought

Land use:
arable land: 0.99%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 99% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
2.81 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
21.3% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
210,000 (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 49.89 years
male: 50.39 years
female: 49.38 years (2008 est.)

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 (2008)

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

Net migration rate:
0.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

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%

Median age:
total: 20.7 years
male: 20.6 years
female: 20.8 years (2008 est.)

Population:
2,088,669
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 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
6.9% of GDP (2003)

Population growth rate:
0.947% (2008 est.)

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)

Death rate:
14.07 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 45.64 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 49.24 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 41.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
16,000 (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2006)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 36.7% (male 386,252/female 379,426)
15-64 years: 59.5% (male 627,752/female 615,241)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 35,960/female 44,038) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
23.19 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

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

Nationality:
noun: Namibian(s)
adjective: Namibian

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador G. Dennise MATHIEU
embassy: 14 Lossen Street, Windhoek
mailing address: Private Bag 12029 Ausspannplatz, Windhoek
telephone: [264] (61) 295-8500
FAX: [264] (61) 295-8603

National holiday:
Independence Day, 21 March (1990)

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Government type:
republic

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)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Patrick NANDAGO
chancery: 1605 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 986-0540
FAX: [1] (202) 986-0443

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

Legislative branch:
bicameral legislature consists of the National Council (26 seats; two members are chosen from each regional council to serve six-year terms) and the National Assembly (72 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: National Council - elections for regional councils to determine members of the National Council held 29-30 November 2004 (next to be held in November 2010); National Assembly - last held 15-16 November 2004 (next to be held in November 2009)
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 76.1%, COD 7.3%, DTA 5.1%, NUDO 4.2%, UDF 3.6%, RP 1.9%, MAG 0.8%, other 1.0%; seats by party - SWAPO 55, COD 5, DTA 4, NUDO 3, UDF 3, RP 1, MAG 1
note: the National Council is primarily an advisory body

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

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

Independence:
21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)

Country name (Goverment):
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

Political parties and leaders:
All People's Party or APP [Ignatius SHIXWAMENI]; Congress of Democrats or COD [Ben 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 [Henk 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]

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

Constitution:
ratified 9 February 1990, effective 12 March 1990

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
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 15 November 2004 (next to be held in November 2009)
election results: Hifikepunye POHAMBA elected president; percent of vote - Hifikepunye POHAMBA 76.4%, Den ULENGA 7.3%, Katuutire KAURA 5.1%, Kuaima RIRUAKO 4.2%, Justus GAROEB 3.8%, other 3.2%

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

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

  Economy Back To Top

Electricity - consumption:
3.194 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
10.5% (31 December 2007)

Electricity - imports:
1.948 billion kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (2006 est.)

Current account balance:
$326 million (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$1.151 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
5% (2008 est.)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$5,500 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
27.4% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$4.446 billion (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$11.59 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$7.781 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
70.7 (2003)

Exchange rates:
Namibian dollars (NAD) per US dollar - 7.75 (2008 est.), 7.18 (2007), 6.7649 (2006), 6.3593 (2005), 6.4597 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
3.9% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$2.149 billion (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
667,000 (2008 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
10.3% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 10.4%
industry: 36.2%
services: 53.4% (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
17,750 bbl/day (2005)

Exports:
$2.98 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
Namibian dollar (NAD); South African rand (ZAR)

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 half 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. The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African rand. Increased payments from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) put Namibia's budget into surplus in 2007 for the first time since independence, but SACU payments will decline after 2008 as part of a new revenue sharing formula. Increased fish production and mining of zinc, copper, uranium, and silver spurred growth in 2003-07, but growth in recent years was undercut by poor fish catches and high costs for metal inputs.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

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

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

Electricity - exports:
40 million kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
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

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
12.88% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$1.493 billion (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
1.606 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Imports:
$3.56 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 47%
industry: 20%
services: 33% (1999 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
62.29 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$1.375 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
19,840 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA

Public debt:
24.8% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$NA

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$702 million (31 December 2007)

Currency code:
NAD; ZAR

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 0.5%
highest 10%: 64.5% (2003)

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

Economic aid - recipient:
ODA, $123.4 million (2005 est.)

Electricity - production by source:
NA

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $2.668 billion
expenditures: $2.896 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
101,000 (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
138,100 (2007)

Televisions:
60,000 (1997)

Internet country code:
.na

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 39, shortwave 4 (2001)

Radios:
232,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
800,300 (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
2 (2007)

Telephone system:
general assessment: good system with a combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity of about 45 per 100 persons
domestic: core fiber-optic network links most centers and connections are now digital; Namibia's first mobile-cellular network, launched in 1994, provides coverage to 86 percent of Namibia by area
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 (2007)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
2 (2000)

Internet hosts:
6,296 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Railways:
total: 2,382 km
narrow gauge: 2,382 km 1.067-m gauge (2006)

Ports and terminals:
Luderitz, Walvis Bay

Merchant marine:
total: 1
by type: cargo 1
registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2008)

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 (2007)

Roadways:
total: 42,237 km
paved: 5,406 km
unpaved: 36,831 km (2002)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 116
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 22
914 to 1,523 m: 72
under 914 m: 20 (2007)

Airports:
137 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 527,948 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 313,497 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Namibian Defense Force: Army, Navy, Air Wing (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 25,525
female: 25,182 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
3.7% of GDP (2006)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

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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