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Countries > Namibia Namibia Flag

Languages   7 languages are spoken in Namibia. We have 175 products available for 4 of those languages.

Capital: Windhoek
Population: 1,651,000
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Namibia Map


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

Geographic coordinates: 22 00 S, 17 00 E

Map references: Africa

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

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

Land boundaries:
total: 3,824 km
border countries: Angola 1,376 km, Botswana 1,360 km, South Africa 855 km, Zambia 233 km

Coastline: 1,572 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 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, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, zinc, salt, vanadium, natural gas, fish; suspected deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, iron ore

Land use:
arable land: 1%
permanent crops : 0%
permanent pastures: 46%
forests and woodland: 22%
other: 31% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 70 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards: prolonged periods of drought

Environment - current issues: very limited natural fresh water resources; desertification

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified : Biodiversity, Desertification


Population: 1,820,916 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 42.6% (male 392,706; female 382,690)
15-64 years: 53.7% (male 490,151; female 488,052)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 29,345; female 37,972) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.19% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 34.17 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 22.28 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth : 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population : 1 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 72.43 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 38.97 years
male :40.81 years
female: 37.07 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate:4.77 children born/woman (2002 est.)

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 are: Herero 7%, Damara 7%, Nama 5%, Caprivian 4%, Bushmen 3%, Baster 2%, Tswana 0.5%

Religions: Christian 80% to 90% (Lutheran 50% at least, other Christian denominations 30%, native religions 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

definition : age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 38%
male: 45%
female: 31% (1960 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Namibia
conventional short form: Namibia

Data code: WA

Government type: republic

National capital: Windhoek

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

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state:President Sam Shafishuna NUJOMA (since 21 March 1990); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Sam Shafishuna NUJOMA (since 21 March 1990); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
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; election last held 30 November-1 December 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)
election results :Sam Shafishuna NUJOMA elected president; percent of vote - Sam Shafishuna NUJOMA 77%

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 30 November-1 December 1998 (next to be held by December 2004); National Assembly - last held 30 November-1 December 1999 (next to be held by December 2004)
election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - SWAPO 21, DTA 4, UDF 1; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - SWAPO 76%, COD 10%, DTA 9%, UDF 3%, MAG 1%, other 1%; seats by party - SWAPO 55, COD 7, DTA 7, UDF 2, MAG 1,

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders:Congress of Democrats or COD [Ben ULENGA]; Democratic Turnhalle Alliance of Namibia or DTA [Katuutire KAURA, president]; Monitor Action Group or MAG [Kosie PRETORIUS]; South West Africa People's Organization or SWAPO [Sam Shafishuna NUJOMA]; United Democratic Front or UDF [Justus GAROEB

Political pressure groups and leaders: NA

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OAU, SACU, SADC, UN, UNAVEM III, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Leonard Nangolo IIPUMBU
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 Kevin J. McGUIRE
embassy: Ausplan Building, 14 Lossen St., Windhoek
mailing address: Private Bag 12029 Ausspannplatz, Windhoek
telephone: [264] (61) 221601
FAX: [264] (61) 229792

Flag description: 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 - overview: The economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for almost 25% of GDP. Namibia is the fourth-largest exporter of nonfuel minerals in Africa and the world's fifth-largest producer of uranium. Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Namibia also produces large quantities of lead, zinc, tin, silver, and tungsten. Half of the population depends on agriculture (largely subsistence agriculture) for its livelihood. Namibia must import some of its food. Although per capita GDP is five times the per capita GDP of Africa's poorest countries, the majority of Namibia's people live in pronounced poverty because of large-scale unemployment, the great inequality of income distribution, and the large amount of wealth going to foreigners. The Namibian economy has close links to South Africa. Agreement has been reached on the privatization of several more enterprises in coming years, which should stimulate long-run foreign investment.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $8.1 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,500 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 11%
industry: 28%
services: 61% (2000 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 8.8% (2001)

Labor force:
total: 500,000
by occupation: agriculture 47%, industry 20%, services 33% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate:30% to 40%, including underemployment (1997 est.)

revenues :$883 million
expenditures: $950 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998)

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

Industrial production growth rate: NA

Electricity - capacity: 406,000 kW (1993)

Electricity - production: 30 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 890.9 million kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: millet, sorghum, peanuts; livestock; fish catch potential of over 1 million metric tons not being fulfilled

total value: $1.58 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium, cattle, processed fish, karakul skins
partners : UK 43%, South Africa 26%, Spain 14%, France 8%, Japan (1998 est.)

total value: $1.71 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: foodstuffs, petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals
partners: South Africa 81%, US 4%, Germany 2% (1997 est.)

Debt - external: $217 million (2000 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: $127 million (1998)

Currency: 1 Namibian dollar(NAD) = 100 cents; South African rand (ZAR)

Exchange rates:Namibian dollars per US dollar - 11.58786 (January 2002), 8.60918 (2001), 6.93983 (2000), 6.10948 (1999), 5.52828 (1998), 4.60796 (1997)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March


Telephones: 110,200 (2000)

Telephone system: 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: 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: AM 4, FM 40, shortwave 0

Radios: AM 2, FM 39, shortwave 4 (2001)

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

Televisions: 60,000 (1997)


total: 2,382 km
narrow gauge: 2,382 km 1.067-m gauge; single track (2001)

total: 64,800 km
paved: 5,378 km
unpaved: 59,430 km (2001)

Ports and harbors: Luderitz, Walvis Bay

Merchant marine:
total : 1 roll-on/roll-off ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,330 GRT/2,233 DWT

Airports: 137 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 22
over 3,047 m : 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 79
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 21
914 to 1,523 m: 72
under 914 m :20 (2001)


Military branches: National Defense Force (Army), Police

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 436,642 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 260,879 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $104.4 million (2001)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.6% (FY97/98)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: quadripoint with Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe is in disagreement; dispute with Botswana over uninhabited Kasikili (Sidudu) Island in Linyanti (Chobe) River remained unresolved in December 1995, and the parties agreed to refer the matter to the ICJ

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