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Namibia (2004)

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Administrative divisions 13 regions; Caprivi, Erongo, Hardap, Karas, Khomas, Kunene, Ohangwena, Okavango, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa
Age structure 0-14 years: 42.4% (male 419,700; female 409,156)

15-64 years: 54% (male 527,553; female 528,386)

65 years and over: 3.5% (male 30,427; female 38,811) (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products millet, sorghum, peanuts; livestock; fish
Airports 136 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 21

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 13

914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 115

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 22

914 to 1,523 m: 71

under 914 m: 20 (2004 est.)
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
Background 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 won its independence in 1990 and has been governed by SWAPO since. 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.
Birth rate 33.51 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Budget revenues: $1.434 billion

expenditures: $1.62 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2003)
Capital Windhoek
Climate desert; hot, dry; rainfall sparse and erratic
Coastline 1,572 km
Constitution ratified 9 February 1990; effective 12 March 1990
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Namibia

conventional short form: Namibia

former: German Southwest Africa, South-West Africa
Currency Namibian dollar (NAD); South African rand (ZAR)
Death rate 21.02 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Debt - external $1.04 billion (2003 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Kevin J. McGUIRE

embassy: Ausplan Building, 14 Lossen Street, Windhoek

mailing address: Private Bag 12029 Ausspannplatz, Windhoek

telephone: [264] (61) 221601

FAX: [264] (61) 229792
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Leonard Nangolo IIPUMBU

chancery: 1605 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 986-0540

FAX: [1] (202) 986-0443
Disputes - international commission established with Botswana to resolve small residual disputes along the Caprivi Strip, including the Situngu marshlands along the Linyanti River; Botswana residents protest Namibia's planned construction of the Okavango hydroelectric dam on Popa Falls; managed dispute with South Africa over the location of the boundary in the Orange River; Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe boundary convergence is not clearly defined or delimited; Angolan rebels and refugees still reside in Namibia
Economic aid - recipient ODA $160 million (2000 est.)
Economy - overview The economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for 20% of GDP. 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 the great inequality of income distribution; nearly one-third of Namibians had annual incomes of less than $1,400 in constant 1994 dollars, according to a 1993 study. The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian dollar pegged to the South African rand. Privatization of several enterprises in coming years may stimulate long-run foreign investment. Mining of zinc, copper, and silver and increased fish production led growth in 2003.
Electricity - consumption 603.1 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 578 million kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (2001)
Electricity - production 26.95 million kWh (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Konigstein 2,606 m
Environment - current issues very 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
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 are: Herero 7%, Damara 7%, Nama 5%, Caprivian 4%, Bushmen 3%, Baster 2%, Tswana 0.5%
Exchange rates Namibian dollars per US dollar - 7.5648 (2003), 10.5407 (2002), 8.6092 (2001), 6.9398 (2000), 6.1095 (1999)
Executive branch chief of state: President Hifikepunye POHAMBA (since November 2004)

head of government: Prime Minister Theo-Ben GURIRAB (since 28 August 2002)

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 15 November 2004 (next to be held November 2009)

election results: Hifikepunye POHAMBA elected president; percent of vote - NA%
Exports 0 kWh (2001)
Exports $1.09 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, processed fish, karakul skins
Exports - partners EU 79%, US 4% (2001)
Fiscal year 1 April - 31 March
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
GDP purchasing power parity - $13.85 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 11.5%

industry: 29.8%

services: 58.7% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $7,200 (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 3.3% (2003 est.)
Geographic coordinates 22 00 S, 17 00 E
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
Highways total: 66,467 km

paved: 9,172 km

unpaved: 57,285 km (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA
Imports 578 million kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (2001)
Imports $1.371 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities foodstuffs; petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Imports - partners US 50%, EU 31% (2001)
Independence 21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)
Industrial production growth rate NA
Industries meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products; mining (diamond, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper)
Infant mortality rate total: 69.58 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 72.65 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 66.43 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 7.3% (2003)
International organization participation ACP, AfDB, AU, C, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, ONUB, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNOCI, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Irrigated land 70 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court (judges appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission)
Labor force 760,000 (2003)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 47%, industry 20%, services 33% (1999 est.)
Land boundaries total: 3,936 km

border countries: Angola 1,376 km, Botswana 1,360 km, South Africa 967 km, Zambia 233 km
Land use arable land: 0.99%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 99.01% (2001)
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
Legal system based on Roman-Dutch law and 1990 constitution
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 - elections for regional councils, to determine members of the National Council, held 15-16 November 2004 (next to be held November 2009); National Assembly - last held 15-16 November 2004 (next to be held November 2009)

election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - SWAPO 55, COD 5, DTA 4, UDF 3, MAG 1, other 4

note: the National Council is primarily an advisory body
Life expectancy at birth total population: 40.53 years

male: 42.36 years

female: 38.64 years (2004 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 84%

male: 84.4%

female: 83.7% (2003 est.)
Location Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa
Map references Africa
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Merchant marine none (2004 est.)
Military branches Namibian Defense Force: Army (including Naval Wing, Air Wing), Police
Military expenditures - dollar figure $111.6 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2.5% (2003)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 468,934 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 279,755 (2004 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 21 March (1990)
Nationality noun: Namibian(s)

adjective: Namibian
Natural hazards prolonged periods of drought
Natural resources diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, zinc, salt, vanadium, natural gas, hydropower, fish

note: suspected deposits of oil, coal, and iron ore
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Political parties and leaders Congress of Democrats or COD [Ben ULENGA]; Democratic Turnhalle Alliance of Namibia or DTA [Katuutire KAURA, president]; Monitor Action Group or MAG [Kosie PRETORIUS]; South West Africa People's Organization or SWAPO [Sam Shafishuna NUJOMA]; United Democratic Front or UDF [Justus GAROEB]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 1,954,033

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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2004 est.)
Population below poverty line 50% (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 1.25% (2004 est.)
Ports and harbors Luderitz, Walvis Bay
Radio broadcast stations AM 2, FM 39, shortwave 4 (2001)
Railways total: 2,382 km

narrow gauge: 2,382 km 1.067-m gauge (2003)
Religions Christian 80% to 90% (Lutheran 50% at least), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: good system; about 6 telephones for each 100 persons

domestic: good urban services; fair rural service; microwave radio relay links major towns; connections to other populated places are by open wire; 100% digital

international: country code - 264; fiber-optic cable to South Africa, microwave radio relay link to Botswana, direct links to other neighboring countries; connected to Africa ONE and South African Far East (SAFE) submarine cables through South Africa; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (2002)
Telephones - main lines in use 127,400 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular 223,700 (2003)
Television broadcast stations 8 (plus about 20 low-power repeaters) (1997)
Terrain mostly high plateau; Namib Desert along coast; Kalahari Desert in east
Total fertility rate 4.65 children born/woman (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate 35% (1998)
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