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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Namibia

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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. (from the CIA)


Economic 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 fourth-largest exporter of nonfuel minerals in africa, the world's fifth-largest producer of uranium, and the producer of large quantities of lead, zinc, tin, silver, and tungsten. the mining sector employs only about 3% of the population while about half 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. the namibian economy is closely linked to south africa with the namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the south african rand. increased payments from the southern african customs union (sacu) put namibia's budget into surplus in 2007 for the first time since independence, but sacu payments will decline after 2008 as part of a new revenue sharing formula. increased fish production and mining of zinc, copper, uranium, and silver spurred growth in 2003-07, but growth in recent years was undercut by poor fish catches and high costs for metal inputs.

Environmental Issues

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

Government Type



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.)


Southern africa, bordering the south atlantic ocean, between angola and south africa


Total: 825,418 sq km land: 825,418 sq km water: 0 sq km

Slightly more than half the size of alaska

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: republic of namibia conventional short form: namibia local long form: republic of namibia local short form: namibia former: german southwest africa, south-west africa


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

Military Service

18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)

International Disputes

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

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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