Namibia Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022
Basic data
Capital Windhoek
Population 2.62 million
Language English (official language), Oshiwambo (49%), Khoekhoe, Herero, Afrikaans, German
Religion 90% Christian (of which 50% Lutheran, 19% Catholic), 10% animist religions
State system semi-presidential republic
Head of State Hage Geingob
Head of government Hage Geingob
Currency name Namibian Dollar (NAD)

Namibia Basic Information

Travel
Time shift none (September, October), + 1 hour (winter time), – 1 hour (summer time)
Economy 2021
Nominal GDP (billion USD) 24.8
Economic growth (%) 1.5
Inflation (%) 3.6
Unemployment (%)

The Republic of Namibia is a relatively stable country in sub-Saharan Africa. Politically, the country straddles the border between an authoritarian socialist regime and democracy. The dominant political force since independence has been the People’s Organization of South West Africa, known as SWAPO, with President Dr. Hage Geingob is also the chairman of this party. The ethnically diverse state gained independence as one of the last African countries from the Republic of South Africa in 1990. Economically, Namibia is dependent on the mining of mineral wealth (uranium, lithium, diamonds, copper), tourism and fishing. Agriculture has suffered from a lack of rainfall in recent years, and income from tourism has been hit hard by the pandemic. One of the topics of the left-wing government is the legal implementation of the land reform, the completion of which, however, was postponed under the pressure of the economic crisis. According to the Namibian Agricultural Union, about 30% of the land has been reclaimed so far, leaving about that much more to redistribute. In 2020, the government passed a law that envisages the forced divestment of the ownership stake in the company to “originally disadvantaged” Namibians. This law, called NEEEF (New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework), is similar to South Africa’s BB-BEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment). Namibia is developing warm relations with China and North Korea. Relations with the West are correct despite ideological differences. Germany, which is the largest provider of development aid to Namibia and a major investor, has been sued by the Namibian government for reparations for the crimes of genocide committed by the imperial colonial government between 1904 and 1908 against the Namibian Herero and Nam tribes. The debate over reparations, which Germany rejected, increased tensions between the German minority and the majority black population. The main investor is China, which is active mainly in the areas of mineral extraction (uranium), infrastructure building (Walvis Bay terminal) and fishing.

In the coming decade, so-called green hydrogen has the potential to play a significant role in Namibia, for the production of which Namibia has excellent conditions (sun, wind), and the Namibian government has therefore already started a feasibility study together with foreign investors. Coordination of these activities with neighboring South Africa is also expected, which is a little further along in a similar effort. However, due to the need to build the necessary infrastructure, this is a longer time horizon, but there is a relatively large potential to attract the necessary investments to the country already in the coming years.

This Summary Territorial Information is processed for a country that is so-called accredited. The information is provided in an abbreviated form.

Basic information about the territory

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

The official name of the country is the Republic of Namibia. The head of state is President Dr. Hage Geingob, who has served continuously since 2015. The president is directly elected and is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and head of government. In the elections in October 2019, the current president Geingob was confirmed in office until the end of 2024. In Namibia, the so-called presidential system of governance is applied, where the president nominates members of the government. The list of ministers and the current composition of the government is available on the government portal of the Republic of Namibia. The elected bicameral parliament has a legislative role, which consists of a 104-member National Assembly and a 42-member National Council. The dominant political force in the country since independence has been the left-wing SWAPO party, which also dominated the last general election, although it lost its two-thirds constitutional majority in parliament. In the coming years, despite the internal political and economic challenges the country is facing, a change in the political distribution in the country cannot be expected. Check computerminus to learn more about Namibia political system.

Foreign policy of the country

Namibia has fair relations with Western countries, including the European Union, mainly due to economic interests and development aid. In the recent past, Namibia was on the so-called list of tax havens of the European Commission, but after the adoption of the relevant laws, Namibia was removed from the so-called EU Black List in early 2021. Germany is primarily active in the field of development cooperation, although in 2017 the Namibian government sued it for reparations for the crimes of genocide committed by the imperial colonial government between 1904 and 1908 against the Namibian Herero and Nam tribes. The German government has repeatedly apologized for crimes in the past, but flatly refused reparations. Namibia is developing strong ties with China, which is the main investor mainly in the areas of mineral resource extraction (uranium), infrastructure building (Walvis Bay terminal) and fishing. Namibia also has relatively intensive relations with India, which has economic interests in the country similar to China. In the past, Namibia was reprimanded by the UN for not complying with the sanctions regime against North Korea. There has been speculation that North Korea is using uranium from Namibia for its nuclear program. Namibia has problem-free relations with all its neighbors, including South Africa, supported by the interconnectedness of economies. Even Namibia has its currency, the Namibian dollar, tied to the South African rand. The country is a member of both the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). Check relationshipsplus for Namibia defense and foreign policy.

Population

With an area of ​​824,269 km², which is more than ten times the area of ​​the Czech Republic, approximately million people live in Namibia. The population density is only inhabitants per km². According to the latest World Bank data published in 2019, the birth rate per woman was children. The annual population increase is at the level of 1.9%. The average life expectancy is 63.37 years. Around 50% of the population is Oshivambo. Approximately 22% of Namibians are members of the Kawango group (Kawango, Herero, Caprivi and Tswana tribes). The Damara, Lozi, Kwangali nationalities have a share of 12%. Caucasians of German descent and Afrikaans-speaking South Africans represent approximately 6% of the population. There are about 5% mixed-race people. Other groups represented are the Bushmen and Rehoboth half-breeds (approximately 5%).

Almost 90% of the population is Christian (of which about 50% Lutherans, 19% Catholics, 6% adherents of the Dutch Reformed Church, 5% Anglicans). Approximately 10% of the population practice traditional animistic religions. Members of other religions, including Islam, and non-believers make up roughly 1% of the population.