Background on Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in
southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land
borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South
Africa to the south and east.
Namibia is a clean, safe, relatively modern nation with the lowest
population density and second- highest per-capita income in Sub-Sahara
Africa. In the European colonial era, it was known as German Southwest
Africa. During the First World War it was taken over by South Africa,
which retained the area as a "protectorate" until a guerrilla war and
U.N. pressures led to Namibian independence in 1991. The nation was named for the Namib Desert, the world's
oldest desert and surely among the most beautiful.
The primary sources of income are diamond and mineral mining,
livestock and game ranching, commercial fishing, and tourism, with a majority
of visitors coming from German-speaking countries. The official language is English, which is widely spoken in
the cities and towns. There are more than a dozen tribal languages
reflecting the diverse tribal backgrounds of Namibia's population.
Because Namibia was controlled by South Africa for seventy years, it has a good
infrastructure with excellent roads, a modern international airport at
the capital Windhoek and a reliable electrical power grid. Namibia has a population of 2.1 million people and a stable
multi-party parliamentary democracy. Agriculture, herding, tourism and the
mining industry – including mining for gem diamonds, uranium, gold, silver, and
base metals – form the basis of Namibia's economy.
Given the presence of the arid Namib Desert, it is one of
the least densely populated countries in the world. Namibia enjoys high
political, economic and social stability.