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

Geographic Coordinates:

 22 00 S, 17 00 E


 Total: 824,292 sq km
Land: 823,290 sq km
Water: 1,002 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly more than half the size of Alaska

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 3,936 km
Border countries: Angola 1,376 km, Botswana 1,360 km, South Africa 967 km, Zambia 233 km


 1,572 km (Rank: 66)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


 Desert; hot, dry; rainfall sparse and erratic


 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, silver, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, tungsten, zinc, salt, hydropower, fish

Note: suspected deposits of oil, coal, and iron ore

Land Use:

 Arable land: 0.99%
Permanent crops: 0.01%
Other: 99% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 80 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 45.5 cu km (1991)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 0.3 cu km/yr (24%/5%/71%)
Per capita: 148 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:

 Prolonged periods of drought

Environment - Current Issues:

 Limited natural freshwater resources; desertification; wildlife poaching; land degradation has led to few conservation areas

Environment - International Agreements:

 Party to: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - Note:

 First country in the world to incorporate the protection of the environment into its constitution; some 14% of the land is protected, including virtually the entire Namib Desert coastal strip

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


 English (official) 7%, Afrikaans (common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population), German 32%, indigenous languages (includes Oshivambo, Herero, Nama) 1%


 Christian 80% to 90% (at least 50% Lutheran), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%


 2,147,585 (July 2011 est.)

Note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 34.2% (male 371,078/female 364,232)
15-64 years: 61.7% (male 671,853/female 652,414)
65 years and over: 4.1% (male 38,851/female 49,157) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 21.7 years
Male: 21.7 years
Female: 21.8 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 0.873% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 21.48 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 12.95 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 38% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 3.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 WINDHOEK (capital) 342,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 180 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 45.59 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 48.86 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 42.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 52.19 years
Male: 52.48 years
Female: 51.89 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 2.49 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 5.9% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 0.374 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital Bed Density:

 2.67 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 99% of population
Rural: 88% of population
Total: 92% of population
Urban: 1% of population
Rural: 12% of population
Total: 8% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 60% of population
Rural: 17% of population
Total: 33% of population
Urban: 40% of population
Rural: 83% of population
Total: 67% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 13.1% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 180,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 6,700 (2009 est.)

Major Infectious Diseases:

 Degree of risk: high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne disease: malaria
Water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 17.5% (2007)

Education Expenditures:

 6.4% of GDP (2008)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 85%
Male: 86.8%
Female: 83.5% (2001 census)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 12 years
Male: 12 years
Female: 12 years (2008)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 41.7%
Male: 36.7%
Female: 47.1% (2004)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: Republic of Namibia
Conventional short form: Namibia
Local long form: Republic of Namibia
Local short form: Namibia
Former: German South-West Africa (Sued-West Afrika), South-West Africa

Government Type:



 Name: Windhoek
Geographic coordinates: 22 34 S, 17 05 E
Time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April

Administrative Divisions:

 13 regions; Caprivi, Erongo, Hardap, Karas, Khomas, Kunene, Ohangwena, Okavango, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa


 21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day, 21 March (1990)


 Ratified 9 February 1990, effective 12 March 1990

Legal System:

 Mixed legal system of uncodified civil law based on Roman-Dutch law and customary law

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Hifikepunye POHAMBA (since 21 March 2005)

Head of government: Prime Minister Nahas ANGULA (since 21 March 2005)

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 (eligible for a second term); election last held on 27-28 November 2009 (next to be held in 2014)

Election results: Hifikepunye POHAMBA reelected president; percent of vote - Hifikepunye POHAMBA 76.4%, Hidipo HAMUTENYA 11.0%, Katuutire KAURA 3.0%, Kuaima RIRUAKO 2.9%, Justus GAROEB 2.4%, Ignatius SHIXWAMENI 1.3%, Hendrick MUDGE 1.2%, other 1.8%

Legislative Branch:

 Bicameral legislature consists of the National Council, primarily an advisory body (26 seats; two members chosen from each regional council to serve six-year terms), and the National Assembly (72 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

Elections: National Council - elections for regional councils to determine members of the National Council held on 26-27 November 2010 (next to be held in 2016); National Assembly - last held on 26-27 November 2009 (next to be held in November 2014)

Election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SWAPO 24, UDF 1, DTA 1; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - SWAPO 75.3%, RDP 11.3%, DTA 3.1%, NUDO 3.0%, UDF 2.4%, APP 1.4%, RP 0.8%, COD 0.7%, SWANU 0.6%, other 1.3%; seats by party - SWAPO 54, RDP 8, DTA 2, NUDO 2, UDF 2, APP 1, COD 1, RP 1, SWANU 1

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court (judges appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission)

Political Parties and Leaders:

 All People's Party or APP [Ignatius SHIXWAMENI]; Congress of Democrats or COD [Benjamin ULENGA]; Democratic Turnhalle Alliance of Namibia or DTA [Katuutire KAURA]; Monitor Action Group or MAG [Jurie VILJOEN]; National Democratic Movement for Change or NamDMC; National Unity Democratic Organization or NUDO [Kuaima RIRUAKO]; Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Hidipo HAMUTENYA]; Republican Party or RP [Hendrick MUDGE]; South West Africa National Union or SWANU [Usutuaije MAAMBERUA]; South West Africa People's Organization or SWAPO [Hifikepunye POHAMBA]; United Democratic Front or UDF [Justus GAROEB]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 National Society for Human Rights or NSHR (NAMRIGHTS as of 2010); various labor unions

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Martin ANDJABA
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 Wanda L. NESBITT
Embassy: 14 Lossen Street, Windhoek
Mailing address: Private Bag 12029 Ausspannplatz, Windhoek
Telephone: [264] (61) 295-8500
FAX: [264] (61) 295-8603

Flag Description:

 A wide red stripe edged by narrow white stripes divides the flag diagonally from lower hoist corner to upper fly corner; the upper hoist-side triangle is blue and charged with a yellow, 12-rayed sunburst; the lower fly-side triangle is green; red signifies the heroism of the people and their determination to build a future of equal opportunity for all; white stands for peace, unity, tranquility, and harmony; blue represents the Namibian sky and the Atlantic Ocean, the country's precious water resources and rain; the yellow sun denotes power and existence; green symbolizes vegetation and agricultural resources

National Anthem:

 Name: "Namibia, Land of the Brave"
Lyrics/music: Axali DOESEB

Note: adopted 1991

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Economy - Overview:

 The economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for 8% of GDP, but provides more than 50% of foreign exchange earnings. Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Namibia is the world's fourth-largest producer of uranium. It also produces large quantities of zinc and is a small producer of gold and other minerals. The mining sector employs only about 3% of the population while about 35-40% of the population depends on subsistence agriculture for its livelihood. Namibia normally imports about 50% of its cereal requirements; in drought years food shortages are a major problem in rural areas. A high per capita GDP, relative to the region, hides one of the world's most unequal income distributions, as shown by Namibia's 70.7 GINI coefficient. The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African rand. Until 2010, Namibia drew 40% of its budget revenues from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). Increased payments from SACU put Namibia's budget into surplus in 2007 for the first time since independence. SACU allotments to Namibia increased in 2009, but will drop for 2010 and 2011 because South Africa went into recession during the global economic crisis, reducing overall SACU income. Increased fish production and mining of zinc, copper, and uranium spurred growth in 2003-08, but growth in recent years was undercut by poor fish catches, a dramatic decline in demand for diamonds, higher costs of producing metals, and the global recession. A rebound in diamond and uranium prices in 2010 provided a significant boost to Namibia's mining sector. Copper mines, which closed in 2008, are slated to reopen in 2011.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $14.6 billion (2010 est.)
$13.98 billion (2009 est.)
$14.1 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $11.87 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 4.4% (2010 est.)
-0.8% (2009 est.)
4.3% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $6,900 (2010 est.)
$6,600 (2009 est.)
$6,700 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 7.3%
Industry: 34.3%
Services: 58.4% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 789,100 (2010 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 16.3%
Industry: 22.4%
Services: 61.3%

Note: statistics are for the formal sector only; about half of Namibia's people are unemployed while about two-thirds live in rural areas; roughly two-thirds of rural dwellers rely on subsistence agriculture (2008 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 51.2% (2008 est.)
36.7% (2004 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:


Note: the UNDP's 2005 Human Development Report indicated that 34.9% of the population live on $1 per day and 55.8% live on $2 per day (2005 est.)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 1.1%
Highest 10%: 53% (2008)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 70.7 (2003)

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons:

 Refugees (country of origin): 4,700 (Angola) (2007)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 22.3% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $3.103 billion
Expenditures: $3.874 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 26.2% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -6.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 20.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
14.8% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 4.5% (2010 est.)
8.8% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 12% (31 December 2010 est.)
7% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 9.72% (31 December 2010 est.)
11.12% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $1.983 billion (31 December 2008)
$2.149 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $1.158 billion (31 December 2008)
$1.493 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $3.653 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.839 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $8.078 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$6.595 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $6.553 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$4.726 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $1.176 billion (31 December 2010)
$846.3 million (31 December 2009)
$618.7 million (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - Products:

 Millet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes; livestock; fish


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

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 6.5% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 2.197 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Consumption:

 3.928 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 47 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 2.1 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 24,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 19,890 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 62.29 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 $11.35 million (2010 est.)
-$160.9 million (2009 est.)


 $4.115 billion (2010 est.)
$3.535 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, processed fish, karakul skins


 $4.904 billion (2010 est.)
$4.519 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Foodstuffs; petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $1.495 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$1.846 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $3.101 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.199 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Namibian Dollar to Any Currency

Namibian dollars (NAD) per US dollar -
7.57 (2010)
8.42 (2009)
7.75 (2008)
7.18 (2007)
6.7649 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 152,000 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 1.535 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: good system; core fiber-optic network links most centers and connections are now digital

Domestic: multiple mobile-cellular providers with a combined subscribership of nearly 60 telephones per 100 persons; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 65 per 100 persons

International: country code - 264; fiber-optic cable to South Africa, microwave radio relay link to Botswana, direct links to other neighboring countries; connected to the South African Far East (SAFE) submarine cable through South Africa; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (2008)

Broadcast Media:

 1 private and 1 state-run television station; satellite and cable TV service is available; state-run radio service broadcasts in multiple languages; about a dozen private radio stations operating; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 2, FM 39, shortwave 4 (2001)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 2 (2007)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 76,020 (2010)

Internet Users:

 127,500 (2009)

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 129 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 21
Over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 108
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 25
914 to 1,523 m: 71
Under 914 m: 11 (2010)


 Total: 2,626 km
Narrow gauge: 2,626 km 1.067-m gauge (2010)


 Total: 64,189 km
Paved: 5,477 km
Unpaved: 58,712 km (2010)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 1
By type: cargo 1 (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Luderitz, Walvis Bay

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Military Branches:

 Namibian Defense Force (NDF): Army, Navy, Air Force (2010)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2010)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 568,231 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 351,431
Females age 16-49: 311,513 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 26,413
Female: 26,038 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 3.7% of GDP (2006)

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Disputes - International:

 Concerns from international experts and local populations over the Okavango Delta ecology in Botswana and human displacement scuttled Namibian plans to construct a hydroelectric dam on Popa Falls along the Angola-Namibia border; managed dispute with South Africa over the location of the boundary in the Orange River; Namibia has supported, and in 2004 Zimbabwe dropped objections to, plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the Zambezi River, thereby de facto recognizing a short, but not clearly delimited, Botswana-Zambia boundary in the river

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Last Updated: December 2011

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