[Country map of Namibia]



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

Map references: Africa

total area: 825,418 sq km
land area: 825,418 sq km
comparative area: slightly more than half the size of Alaska

Land boundaries: total 3,824 km, 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

International disputes: short section of boundary with Botswana is indefinite; quadripoint with Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe is in disagreement; dispute with Botswana over uninhabited Kasikili ( Sidudu) Island in Linyanti (Chobe) River remained unresolved in mid-February 1995 and the parties agreed to refer the matter to the International Court of Justice;

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

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

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%
meadows and pastures: 64%
forest and woodland: 22%
other: 13%

Irrigated land: 40 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: very limited natural fresh water resources; desertification
natural hazards: prolonged periods of drought
international agreements: party to - Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change


Population: 1,651,545 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 47% (female 384,885; male 394,216)
15-64 years: 50% (female 414,283; male 405,938)
65 years and over: 3% (female 26,783; male 25,440) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.44% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 43.04 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 8.61 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 59.8 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 62.1 years
male: 59.37 years
female: 64.9 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.34 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Namibian(s)
adjective: Namibian

Ethnic divisions: black 86%, white 6.6%, mixed 7.4%
note: about 50% of the population belong to the Ovambo tribe and 9% to the Kavangos tribe; other ethnic groups include (with approximate share of total population): Herero 7%, Damara 7%, Nama 5%, Caprivian 4%, Bushmen 3%, Baster 2%, Tswana 0.5%

Religions: 80%-90% Christian (50% Lutheran; at least 30% other Christian denominations)

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

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

Labor force: 500,000
by occupation: agriculture 60%, industry and commerce 19%, services 8%, government 7%, mining 6% (1981 est.)


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

Digraph: WA

Type: republic

Capital: Windhoek

Administrative divisions: 13 districts; Erongo, Hardap, Karas, Khomas, Kunene, Caprivi (Liambezi), 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 and head of government: President Sam NUJOMA (since 21 March 1990); election last held 7-8 December 1994 (next to be held NA); results - Sam NUJOMA elected president by popular vote
cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president from the National Assembly

Legislative branch: bicameral legislature
National Council: elections last held 30 November-3 December 1992 (next to be held by December 1998); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (26 total) SWAPO 19, DTA 6, UDF 1
National Assembly: elections last held 7-8 December 1994 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (72 total) SWAPO 53, DTA 15, UDF 2, MAG 1, DCN 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), Sam NUJOMA; DTA of Namibia (formerly Democratic Turnhalle Alliance) (DTA), Mishake MUYONGO; United Democratic Front (UDF), Justus GAROEB; Federal Convention of Namibia (FCN), Kephics CONRUDIE; Monitor Action Group (MAG), Kosie PRETORIUS; Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP); Southwest African National Union (SWANU), Hitjevi VEII; Democratic Coalition of Namibia (DCN), Moses KATJIUONGA

Other political or pressure groups: NA


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

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Marshall F. McCALLIE
embassy: Ausplan Building, 14 Lossen St., Windhoek
mailing address: Private Bag 12029 Ausspannplatz, Windhoek
telephone: [264] (61) 221601
FAX: [264] (61) 229792

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


Overview: The economy is heavily dependent on the mining industry to extract and process 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. Alluvial diamond deposits are among the richest in the world, making Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Namibia also produces large quantities of lead, zinc, tin, silver, and tungsten. More than half the population depends on agriculture (largely subsistence agriculture) for its livelihood. Namibia must import some of its food.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $5.8 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 5.8% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $3,600 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 11% (1994)

Unemployment rate: 35% in urban areas (1993 est.)

revenues: $941 million
expenditures: $1.05 billion, including capital expenditures of $157 million (FY93/94)

Exports: $1.3 billion (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium, cattle, processed fish, karakul skins
partners: Switzerland, South Africa, Germany, Japan

Imports: $1.1 billion (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: foodstuffs, petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment
partners: South Africa, Germany, US, Switzerland

External debt: about $385 million (1994 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate -14% (1993); accounts for 30% of GDP, including mining

capacity: 406,000 kW
production: 1.29 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 658 kWh (1991)

Industries: meat packing, fish processing, dairy products, mining (copper, lead, zinc, diamond, uranium)

Agriculture: accounts for 10% of GDP; livestock raising major source of cash income; crops - millet, sorghum, peanuts; fish catch potential of over 1 million metric tons not being fulfilled

Economic aid:
recipient: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $47.2 million

Currency: 1 South African rand (R) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: South African rand (R) per US$1 - 3.539 (January 1995), 3.5489 (1994), 3.2678 (1993), 2.8497 (1992), 2.7653 (1991), 2.5863 (1990)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March


total: 2,341 km (single track)
narrow gauge: 2,341 km 1.067-m gauge

total: 54,500 km
paved: 4,080 km
unpaved: gravel 2,540 km; earth 47,880 km (roads and tracks)

Ports: Luderitz, Walvis Bay

Merchant marine: none

total: 135
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 3
with paved runways under 914 m: 20
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 23
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 70


Telephone system: 62,800 telephones; telephone density - 38/1,000 persons
local: good urban services
intercity: fair rural service; microwave radio relay links major towns; connections to other populated places are by open wire
international: NA

broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 40, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 3
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: National Defense Force (Army), Police

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 348,380; males fit for military service 206,684 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $54 million, 2% of GDP (FY93/94)