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Namibia

 
Flag of Namibia
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Coordinates:
22.00 S  17.00 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Namibia Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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 was soon named 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 won its independence in 1990 and has been governed by SWAPO since. 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    Namibia Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
22 00 S, 17 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 825,418 sq km
land: 825,418 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly more than half the size of Alaska
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 3,936 km
border countries: Angola 1,376 km, Botswana 1,360 km, South Africa 967 km, Zambia 233 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
1,572 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
desert; hot, dry; rainfall sparse and erratic
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly high plateau; Namib Desert along coast; Kalahari Desert in east
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Konigstein 2,606 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, zinc, salt, hydropower, fish
note: suspected deposits of oil, coal, and iron ore
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0.99%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 99% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
80 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
prolonged periods of drought
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
very limited natural fresh water resources; desertification; wildlife poaching; land degradation has led to few conservation areas
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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 Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,044,147
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 38.2% (male 393,878/female 387,147)
15-64 years: 58.1% (male 596,557/female 591,350)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 34,245/female 40,970) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 20 years
male: 19.8 years
female: 20.1 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.59% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
24.32 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18.86 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.47 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 48.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 51.99 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 44.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 43.39 years
male: 44.46 years
female: 42.29 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.06 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
21.3% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
210,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2005)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Namibian(s)
adjective: Namibian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
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 includes Herero 7%, Damara 7%, Nama 5%, Caprivian 4%, Bushmen 3%, Baster 2%, Tswana 0.5%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Christian 80% to 90% (Lutheran 50% at least), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
English 7% (official), Afrikaans common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population, German 32%, indigenous languages (Oshivambo, Herero, Nama)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 84%
male: 84.4%
female: 83.7% (2003 est.)
   Government    Namibia Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Namibia
conventional short form: Namibia
former: German Southwest Africa, South-West Africa
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Windhoek
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
13 regions; Caprivi, Erongo, Hardap, Karas, Khomas, Kunene, Ohangwena, Okavango, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 21 March (1990)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
ratified 9 February 1990, effective 12 March 1990
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Roman-Dutch law and 1990 constitution
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
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 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%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral legislature consists of the National Council (26 seats; 2 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 November 2010); National Assembly - last held 15-16 November 2004 (next to be held November 2009)
election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - SWAPO 89.7%, UDF 4.7%, NUDO 2.8%, DTA 1.9%; seats by party - SWAPO 24, UDF 1, DTA 1; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - SWAPO 75.1%, COD 7.2%, DTA 5%, NUDO 4.1%, UDF 3.5%, RP 1.9%, MAG 0.8%; 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
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court (judges appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Congress of Democrats or COD [Ben ULENGA]; Democratic Turnhalle Alliance of Namibia or DTA [Katuutire KAURA, president]; Monitor Action Group or MAG [Jurie VILJOEN]; South West Africa People's Organization or SWAPO [Sam Shafishuna NUJOMA]; United Democratic Front or UDF [Justus GAROEB]; Republican Party or RP [Henk MUDGE]; National Unity Democratic Organization or NUDO [Kuaima RIRUAKO]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, ONUB, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Hopelong Uushona IPINGE
chancery: 1605 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 986-0540
FAX: [1] (202) 986-0443
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Joyce BARR
embassy: Ausplan Building, 14 Lossen Street, Windhoek
mailing address: Private Bag 12029 Ausspannplatz, Windhoek
telephone: [264] (61) 221601
FAX: [264] (61) 229792
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
a large blue triangle with a yellow sunburst fills the upper left section and an equal green triangle (solid) fills the lower right section; the triangles are separated by a red stripe that is contrasted by two narrow white-edge borders
   Economy    Namibia Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for 20% of GDP. 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 the world's worst inequality of income distribution. The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African rand. Privatization of several enterprises in coming years may stimulate long-run foreign investment. Increased fish production and mining of zinc, copper, uranium, and silver spurred growth in 2003-05.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$14.23 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$4.976 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.5% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$7,000 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 9.7%
industry: 31.5%
services: 58.8% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
820,000 (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 47%
industry: 20%
services: 33% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
35% (1998)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
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
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
70.7 (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.3% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
24.3% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $1.945 billion
expenditures: $2.039 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
32.7% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
millet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes; livestock; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products; mining (diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper)
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.464 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.372 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
55 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
1.065 billion kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
62.3 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$509.2 million (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2.04 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, processed fish, karakul skins
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
South Africa 33.4%, US 4% (2004)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2.35 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs; petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
South Africa 85.2%, US (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$312.1 million (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$712.9 million (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $160 million (2000 est.)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Namibian dollar (NAD); South African rand (ZAR)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Namibian dollars per US dollar - 6.3593 (2005), 6.4597 (2004), 7.5648 (2003), 10.5407 (2002), 8.6092 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 April - 31 March
   Communications    Namibia Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
127,900 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
286,100 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: good system; about 6 telephones for each 100 persons
domestic: good urban services; fair rural service; microwave radio relay links major towns; connections to other populated places are by open wire; 100% digital
international: country code - 264; fiber-optic cable to South Africa, microwave radio relay link to Botswana, direct links to other neighboring countries; connected to Africa ONE and South African Far East (SAFE) submarine cables through South Africa; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (2002)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 2, FM 39, shortwave 4 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
8 (plus about 20 low-power repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.na
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,273 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
75,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Namibia Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
136 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
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 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 115
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 22
914 to 1,523 m: 71
under 914 m: 20 (2005)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2,382 km
narrow gauge: 2,382 km 1.067-m gauge (2004)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 42,237 km
paved: 5,406 km
unpaved: 36,831 km (2002)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,265 GRT/3,605 DWT
by type: cargo 1 (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Luderitz, Walvis Bay
   Military    Namibia Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Namibian Defense Force: Army (includes Air Wing), Navy, Police
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 441,293 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 217,118 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$149.5 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.3% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Namibia Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
border commission has yet to resolve small residual disputes with Botswana along the Caprivi Strip, including the Situngu marshlands along the Linyanti River; Botswana residents protest Namibia's planned construction of the Okavango hydroelectric dam on Popa Falls; 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:
Definition Field Listing
refugees (country of origin): 12,618 (Angola) (2005)

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook