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NAMIBIA
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Map of Namibia
 

 
Geography


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

Geographic coordinates: 22 00 S, 17 00 E

Map references: Africa

Area:
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% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 60 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: prolonged periods of drought

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

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

 
People

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Population: 1,622,328 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 44% (male 362,310; female 354,386)
15-64 years: 52% (male 414,281; female 426,921)
65 years and over: 4% (male 27,001; female 37,429) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.6% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 35.84 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 19.82 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 66.76 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 41.48 years
male: 41.73 years
female: 41.24 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.99 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Namibian(s)
adjective: Namibian

Ethnic groups: 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 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

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

 
Government

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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 NUJOMA (since 21 March 1990); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Sam 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 7-8 December 1994 (next to be held NA December 1999)
election results: Sam NUJOMA elected president; percent of vote—76%

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—last held 30 November-3 December 1992 (next to be held by December 1998); National Assembly—last held 7-8 December 1994 (next to be held NA December 1999)
election results: National Council—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—SWAPO 19, DTA 6, UDF 1; National Assembly—percent of vote by party—SWAPO 73.89%, DTA 20.78%, UDF 2.72%, DCN 0.83%, MAG 0.82%; seats by party—SWAPO 53, DTA 15, UDF 2, MAG 1, DCN 1
note: the National Council is a purely advisory body

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders: South West Africa People's Organization or SWAPO [Sam NUJOMA]; National Democratic Party for Justice or NDPFJ [Nbhwete NDJOBA]; Democratic Turnhalle Alliance of Namibia or DTA [Mishake MUYONGO, president]; United Democratic Front or UDF [Justus GAROEB]; Monitor Action Group or MAG [Kosie PRETORIUS]; Democratic Coalition of Namibia or DCN [Moses K. KATJIUONGUA]

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), ISO (subscriber), ITU, NAM, OAU, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Veiccoh NGHIWETE
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 George F. WARD, Jr. (24 July 1996)
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

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Economy—overview: The economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for 20% 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 three to six times the per capita GDP of Africa's poorest countries, the majority of Namibia's people live in pronounced poverty because of the great inequality of income distribution and the large amounts going to foreigners. The Namibian economy has close links to South Africa.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$6.2 billion (1996 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 3% (1996 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3,700 (1996 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 15%
industry: 20%
services: 65% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 8% (1996 est.)

Labor force:
total: 500,000
by occupation: agriculture 49%, industry and commerce 25%, services 5%, government 18%, mining 3% (1994 est.)

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

Budget:
revenues: $1.1 billion
expenditures: $1.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $193 million (FY96/97 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 10% (1994)

Electricity—capacity: 0 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 0 kWh (1995)
note: imports electricity from South Africa

Electricity—consumption per capita: 584 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: millet, sorghum, peanuts; livestock; fish

Exports:
total value: $1.45 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium, cattle, processed fish, karakul skins
partners: UK, South Africa, Spain, Japan (1994)

Imports:
total value: $1.55 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: foodstuffs, petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals
partners: South Africa 85%, Germany, US, Japan (1994 est.)

Debt—external: $315 million (1996 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 Namibian dollar (N$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Nambian dollars (N$) per US$1—4.94193 (January 1998), 4.60796 (1997), 4.29935 (1996), 3.62709 (1995), 3.55080 (1994), 3.26774 (1993)

Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March

 
Communications

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Telephones: 89,722 (1992 est.)

Telephone system:
domestic: good urban services; fair rural service; microwave radio relay links major towns; connections to other populated places are by open wire
international: NA
note: a fully automated digital network is to be operational by 1997

Radio broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 40, shortwave 0

Radios: 195,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 3

Televisions: 27,000 (1993 est.)

 
Transportation

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Railways:
total: 2,382 km
narrow gauge: 2,382 km 1.067-m gauge; single track (1995)

Highways:
total: 64,799 km
paved: 7,841 km
unpaved: 56,958 km (1996 est.)

Ports and harbors: Luderitz, Walvis Bay

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 135 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 22
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 113
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 20
914 to 1,523 m: 70
under 914 m: 21 (1997 est.)

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