Namibia: History Truth And Knowledge Of This South African Nation


(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA WORLD FACT BOOK)

 

Namibia

Introduction South Africa occupied the German colony of South-West Africa during World War I and administered it as a mandate until after World War II, when it annexed the territory. In 1966 the Marxist South-West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of independence for the area that was soon named Namibia, but it was not until 1988 that South Africa agreed to end its administration in accordance with a UN peace plan for the entire region. Namibia has been governed by SWAPO since the country won independence in 1990. Hifikepunye POHAMBA was elected president in November 2004 in a landslide victory replacing Sam NUJOMA who led the country during its first 14 years of self rule.
History The dry lands of Namibia were inhabited since early times by Bushmen, Damara, Namaqua, and since about the 14th century AD, by immigrating Bantu who came with the Bantu expansion. The region was not extensively explored by Europeans until the 19th century, when the land came under German control as South West Africa (Deutsch-Südwestafrika[3]) — apart from Walvis Bay, which was under British control. South Africa occupied the colony during World War I and administered it as a League of Nations mandate territory until after World War II, when it unilaterally annexed the territory, without international recognition.

In 1966 the South-West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of independence, but it was not until 1988 that South Africa agreed to end its administration of Namibia, in accordance with a United Nations peace plan for the entire region. Independence came in 1990, and Walvis Bay was ceded to Namibia in 1994.

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: 3,936 km
border countries: Angola 1,376 km, Botswana 1,360 km, South Africa 967 km, Zambia 233 km
Coastline: 1,572 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 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, 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 (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 45.5 cu km (1991)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): 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 fresh water 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
Politics The politics of Namibia takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Namibia is elected to a five year term and is both the head of state and the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the bicameral Parliament, the National Assembly and the National Council. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.
People Population: 2,088,669
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 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 36.7% (male 386,252/female 379,426)
15-64 years: 59.5% (male 627,752/female 615,241)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 35,960/female 44,038) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 20.7 years
male: 20.6 years
female: 20.8 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.947% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 23.19 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 14.07 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 45.64 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 49.24 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 41.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 49.89 years
male: 50.39 years
female: 49.38 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.81 children born/woman (2008 est.)

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