Geographic and Governmental Profile of Namibia

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 became 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. POHAMBA was reelected in November 2009.
Location
Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa
Geographic coordinates
22 00 S, 17 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
824,292 sq km
rank:
34
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
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
suspected deposits of oil, coal, and iron ore
Land use
arable land:
0.99%
permanent crops:
0.01%
other:
99% (2005)
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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 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
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
republic
Capital
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
Independence
21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)
Constitution
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
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Hifikepunye POHAMBA (since 21 March 2005); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government:
President Hifikepunye POHAMBA (since 21 March 2005); 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); if no single candidate receives a majority of the vote in the first round of voting, a run-off election is scheduled between the two candidates with the greatest vote count; 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, an additonal six nonvoting members are appointed by the president)
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
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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
adopted 1991
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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