Namibia By | Saturday, September 8   2012 at  16:06

Full Name
Republic of Namibia (English)
Republiek van Namibië (Afrikaans)
Republik Namibia (German)
Originally Called: German South West Africa
Origins: The name is derived from the Namib, the desert that runs along the Namibia coast. Namib in turn means "an area where there is nothing" in the local Nama language

Current Leader
President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba (since March 21, 2005)

Overview

The San are generally assumed to have been the earliest inhabitants of the region. Later inhabitants include the Nama and the Damara or Berg Dama. The Bantu-speaking Ovambo and Herero migrated from the north in about the 14th century AD
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 Organisation (Swapo) guerrilla group launched a war of independence for the area that became Namibia
Heavily influenced by the cultural impact of Germans
Former German, South African colony
Achieved independence on March 21, 1990 from South Africa mandate

Facts


Form of Government
Republic
Head of State is the President who is elected every 5 years

Government Structure
President, Prime Minister, Bicameral parliament

Military Statistics
Manpower fit for military service: 624,104 people
Expenditures: 3.7% of GDP (2006) per year
Branches: Namibian Defence Force: Army, Navy, Air Wing

Former Rulers
1977 – 1979 Marthinus T. Steyn
1979-19800 Gerrit Viljoen
1980 – 1983 Danie Hough
1983 – 1985 Willie van Niekerk
1985 -1990 Louis Pienaar
1990-2005 Sam Nujoma
2005- present Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba

Capital
Windhoek (English)
Windhuk (German)
Altitude: 1,684 metres
Population: 268,132 people

Population
Size: 2,324,000 (2011)
Life Expectancy: 51.2 years
Gender make: Female – 49.73 %,Male-50.27% (2009)

GDP per capita
$6,825 (2011)

$6,515 (2010)

Geography
Area: 318,696sqkm
Land Boundaries: Angola 1,376km, Botswana 1,360km, South Africa 967km, Zambia 233km

Major Languages
English, Afrikaans, German, Oshivambo, Herero, Nama, Kwanyama, Ndonga

Religious Portfolio
Christianity (90.88%), Ethnic Religions (6.308%), Baha’i' Faith (0.475%), Islam (0.3907%), Judaism (0.1152%)

National Make-up
Africans 87.5%, White 6%, Mixed 6.5%

Natural Resources
Diamonds, Copper, Uranium, Gold, Silver, Lead tin, Lithium, Cadmium, Tungsten, Zinc, Salt, Hydropower, Fish

Main exports
Diamonds, Copper, Gold, Zinc, Lead, Uranium, Cattle, Processed fish, Karakul (sheep) skins

Land Use
Arable land: 0.99%
Permanent crops: 0.01%
Other: 99% (2005)

Currency
Namibian dollar

Dialling Code
+264

Internet Code
.na

Transport
Main Airport: Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport located 45km east of Windhoek
Main Port: Walvis Bay

Modern issues


Environmental
Despite being prone to flooding, the nation continues to be unprepared floods. In 2011 Mr. Pohamba was required to declare a state of emergency – they resulted in cute malnutrition, dislocation and destruction

Acidification
Afforestation
Poaching
Waterborne diseases

Political
The country held a General Election on November 27 and 28 and Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba was re-elected for a second five-year term
Multiparty and multiracial democracy

The opposition are up in arms over what they termed as the ruling Swapo party’s unfair rubberstamping of laws without adequate deliberations in the country’s legislative chambers

Economic
The Namibian economy has a modern market sector, which produces most of the country's wealth, and a traditional subsistence sector
Economy is based on capital-intensive industry, farming and heavily dependent on the earnings generated from mineral, livestock and fish exports.

Social
Gender inequality still high
Segregation has continued even after apartheid

Foreign Policy issues
Attempts to improve diplomatic ties with neighbours; making deals with Angola to supply energy to the nation, abolishing entry visas with Mozambique

Dispute with Botswana over Namibian plans to construct a hydroelectric dam on Popa Falls along the Angola-Namibia border
Dormant dispute over where the boundaries of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe converge.
Disputes over Angolan rebels and refugees residing in Namibia

The Major Conflicts


Battle of Waterberg
When: 1904-1907
Who: Namibians Herero’s and Nama vs German
Why: Resisting colonial rule/slavery
Outcome: Estimated 65,000 Herero’s and 10,000 Namas perished, it was the first 20th Century genocide

South-West Africa Campaign
When: August 1914-1915
Who: British, South Africans vs German
Why: World War I, South African troops opened hostilities with an assault on the Ramansdrift police
Outcome: British and South African victory

Namibia War of Independence
When: (1966 - 1988)
Who: Nationalist South West Africa People's Organisation (Swapo) vs. apartheid South Africa
Why: War for nationalism
Outcome: Guerrilla type warfare resulted in Namibia’s independence from South Africa in 1990

What to see
Caprivi Strip
Succulent Koroo wilderness reserve
Fish River Canyon
Skeleton Coast Park
Sesriem camp site in Namib desert
Etosha Pan (dry lake bed)
Coastal towns of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz

Sports
Popular Sports
Football
Boxing
Cricket
Tennis
Golf
Rugby

Famous Sportsmen and Sportswomen
Japhet Uutoni: Namibian boxer-(winner of gold medal at 2006 Commonwealth Games and 2006 African Boxing championships)
Frankie Fredericks: The first Olympic medallist from Namibia in Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics

Quirks
Swartpuntia is the most recent addition to a group of organisms known as the Ediacaran biota, which first appeared about 600 million years, was discovered again in Namibia in 1977