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About Namibia    Country Background:

   Namibia is one of the youngest country in Africa.  It is situated on the West Coast of Southern Africa.  The country is surrounded by Botswana and Zimbabwe to the East, the Atlantic Ocean to the West, South Africa to the South and, Angola and Zambia to the North.

   Namibia gained its independence on March 21st , 1990 after seven decades of rule by South African administrations.  Originally, Namibia was a German Colony from 1884 to 1915.  In 1920, South Africa was granted a C-class mandate by the then League of Nations to administer Namibia.  The country was administer by South Africa, which extended its apartheid system of government to Namibia.  The capital of Namibia is Windhoek.

   Population: The population of Namibia is about 1.7 million, with population growth rate estimated at about 3%.  The country covers an area of about 826, 000 square kilometers. 

   Languages: English is the official language in Namibia.  Other languages spoken in Namibia including Afrikaans, Oshiwambo the home language of the majority of the population, German is also commonly spoken.

 Currency: The Namibia Dollar is the currency use.  The currency is par-linked to the South African currency-The Rand.  The Rand is legal tender in Namibia.  The symbol of the currency is N$.

  Almost a decade after gaining independence, Namibia is now a member of many organizations, including the following: 

  •  The British Commonwealth of Nations
  •  The Organization of Africa Unity (OAU)
  •  Southern African Customs Union (SACU)
  •  Southern African Development Community (SACU)
  •  The United Nations (UN) 
  •  The International Monetary Fund (IBF) and the World Bank
  •  The World Trade Organization (WTO) 
  •  The Common Market for Eastern and Southern African (COMESA)
   Government of Namibia: Namibia is a democratic country.  The President is elected by popular vote to a five-year term.  The Head of State Namibia is the Honorable Samuel Nujoma. President Nujoma is the first president of the country and the only person to rule Namibia since independence. The maximum a president can serve is 2 five-term in office.  However, the constitution was recently amended to enable the current President to be re-elected for a third five-year term.   President Nujoma, led the independence movement in Namibia during the rule of South Africa. 

    Namibia has three branches of government: 

  • The Executive branch
  • The Legislative branch
  • The Judiciary branch. 
   The Executive branch is headed by the President and assisted by the cabinet. 

   The Judiciary is constitutionally independent of both the Executive and the Legislative branches

   The Legislative consist of two chambers- the Upper and the Lowers chambers.  The Upper chambers is made up 26 members representing the thirteen regions of the country.  The Lower chambers is made up of 78 members.  72 of the members are elected for five-year terms on the basis of proportional representation and party list.  The other six members are appointed by the president and have no voting powers.  (1) 

   Namibia earns much of its foreign exchange from a wealth of natural resources,  which include the following: diamonds, cooper, uranium, gold, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, zinc, salt, vanadium, natural gas, fishing, agriculture and tourism.  The country is also suspected to have a deposit of oil, coal and iron ore. 

   Namibia's main problem is very limited natural fresh water resources. (2) 

   This page was last updated: 12/16/99

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