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Namibia

Namibia, a former German colony, is in southern Africa. It is bounded by the South Atlantic Ocean, South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Zambia. Namibia was both administered and mandated by South Africa, until 1990 when it gained full independence.  Many Europeans came and remained to Namibia once diamond was discovered in this region in 1908. Namibia has been fairly stable politically since gaining independence. Social and economic standards are higher than neighbouring countries due to resourceful mining, tourism, farming and fishing industries. Namibia is home to Namib Desert, which some consider the oldest desert on earth. Various kinds of landscapes are found in Namibia. From

mountains and savannahs, to open plains and dense bush, tourists can enjoy the beauty and the peace of nature in Namibia. The Etosha National Park, known as the third largest National Park in Africa, is in Namibia. Because Germany occupied Namibia for a long period of time, the road infrastructure and cities architecture is German influenced.  Namibia’s capital is Windhoek, a beautiful city surrounded by mountains. Some of the memories left by the Germans include the Alte Feste, the Christuskirche (church), the Tintenpalast (Ink Palace) and the old colonial administrative building. These places are still very much present in Windhoek.
CATEGORIES: Demographics - Quick Facts - Economy - Communications - Health Issues
Demographics
Country Flag: Namibia's Flag

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

Nationality: Namibian

Capital: Windhoek

Population: 2,044,147 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

  • 0-14 years: 38.2%
  • 15-64 years: 58.1%
  • 65 years and over: 3.7% (2006 est.)  

Population growth rate: 0.59% (2006 est.)

Literacy rate:

  • ages 15 and above can read and write.
  • 84% of the population is literate (male: 84.4%, female: 83.7%) (2003 est.)

Major 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 (Oshivambo, Herero, Nama)

Quick Facts
Area:
  • total: 825,418 sq km
  • land: 825,418 sq km
  • water: 0 sq km

Area comparative to Canadian province:
slightly bigger than Alberta

Natural resources: diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, zinc, salt, hydropower, fish (suspected deposits of oil, coal and iron ore)

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

Economy


Namibia’s economy relies greatly on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining alone accounts for 20% of Namibia’s GDP.  Because of Namibia’s rich diamond deposits, this country is a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. In Africa, Namibia is the fourth-largest exporter of non-fuel minerals. Meanwhile, it is also the world’s fifth-largest producer of uranium and the producer of large quantities of lead, zinc, tin, silver and tungsten. Nearly half of Namibia’s population is dependent on subsistence agriculture, while only 3% of the population is employed by the mining sector. Namibia’s economy is closely tied to South Africa’s, with the Namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African rand. Between 2003-05, increased fish production and the mining of zinc, copper, uranium and silver led to increased economic growth. Namibia’s main trading partner is South Africa.


Major industries:

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

Agricultural products:

  • millet
  • sorghum
  • peanuts
  • grapes
  • livestock
  • fish

Oil production: 0 bbl/day (2003)

Railways: 2,382 km

Road map: 42,237 km (paved: 5,406 km, unpaved: 36,831 km)

Currency: Namibian dollar ; South African rand (ZAR)

Communications

Telephone lines in use: 127,900 (2004)

Cellular lines in use: 286,100 (2004)

Television Stations: 8 (plus about 20 low-power repeaters) (1997)

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

Internet users: 75,000 (2005)

Health Issues

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

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

More Information

For more informaiton, please visit:
http://cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/wa.html