Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to Namibia: Botswana
Namibia(nämĭb`ēə), officially Republic of Namibia, republic (2005 est. pop. 2,031,000), c.318,000 sq mi (823,620 sq km), SW Africa. It is bordered by Angola in the north, by Zambia in the northeast, by Botswana in the east, by South Africa in the southeast and south, and by the Atlantic Ocean in the west. The Orange River forms the southern boundary, and the Kunene, Cubango, and Zambezi rivers form parts of the northern and northeastern borders. The country includes the Caprivi StripCaprivi Strip
or Caprivi Zipfel
[Ger. Zipfel=tip, point], region, c.300 mi (480 km) long and 50 mi (80 km) wide, NE Namibia, bordered on the N by Angola and Zambia and on the S by Botswana.
..... Click the link for more information. in the northeast; there have been clashes there between government forces and separatists. The capital and largest city of Namibia is WindhoekWindhoek
, city (1991 pop. 147,056), capital of Namibia. It is Namibia's largest city and its administrative, communications, and economic center. Windhoek is one of the world's major trade centers for Karakul sheep skins.
..... Click the link for more information. .
Land and People
The country has four main geographical regions: the arid and barren NamibNamib
, desert, c.800 mi (1,290 km) long and from 30 to 100 mi (50–160 km) wide, SW Africa, along the coast of Namibia. It occupies a rocky platform between the Atlantic Ocean and the escarpment of the interior plateau.
..... Click the link for more information. Desert, which runs along the entire Atlantic coast with widths of from 50 to 80 mi (80–130 km); an extensive central plateau that averages c.3,600 ft (1,100 m) in elevation; the western fringes of the KalahariKalahari
, arid plateau region, c.100,000 sq mi (259,000 sq km), in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. The Kalahari, covered largely by reddish sand, lies between the Orange and Zambezi rivers and is studded with dry lake beds. Yearly rainfall varies from 5 in. (12.
..... Click the link for more information. Desert in the east; and an alluvial plain in the north that includes the Etosha Pan, a large salt marsh. The highest point is Brandberg Mt. (8,402 ft/2,561 m), situated in the western part of the central plateau. In addition to the capital, other towns include KeetmanshoopKeetmanshoop
, town (1991 pop. 15,032), SE Namibia. It is the trade center for a region where karakul sheep are raised. Keetmanshoop was founded in 1866 as a German missionary station.
..... Click the link for more information. , TsumebTsumeb
, town (1991 pop. 16,211), N Namibia. It is the commercial and distribution center for a region where copper, lead, and zinc are mined.
..... Click the link for more information. , Lüderitz, Gobabis, and Otjiwarongo.
Namibia has an ethnically diverse population that includes the Bantu-speaking Ovambo (about 50% of the population), Kavango, and HereroHerero
, Bantu people, mainly in Namibia and Botswana. They number about 75,000. A pastoral tribe noted for their large cattle herds, the Herero probably migrated from the region of Lake Tanganyika in the 18th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. ; various Nama (see KhoikhoiKhoikhoi
, people numbering about 55,000 mainly in Namibia and in W South Africa. The Khoikhoi have been called Hottentots by whites in South Africa. In language and in physical type the Khoikhoi appear to be related to the San (Bushmen), i.e.
..... Click the link for more information. ) groups; the Damara; SanSan
, people of SW Africa (mainly Botswana, Namibia, Angola, and South Africa), consisting of several groups and numbering about 100,000 in all. They are generally short in stature; their skin is yellowish brown in color; and they have broad noses, flat ears, bulging foreheads,
..... Click the link for more information. (Bushmen); and whites of South African, German, and British descent. English is the official language, but most of the population speaks Afrikaans. About 80% of the population is Christian, and the rest follow traditional beliefs.
Because of inadequate rainfall, crops are not widely raised and pastoralism forms the backbone of the agricultural sector. Goats and sheep are raised mainly in the south, and cattle are herded chiefly in the north. About half the people make their living by agriculture, mainly from Karakul pelts, livestock, and dairy goods. Millet, peanuts, sorghum, and grapes are grown. Unemployment is high, and much of the agricultural land remains in the hands of several thousand white farmers; this has led to pressure for land redistribution, and the government has gradually transferred ownership to black Namibians through land purchases, some of which have involved expropriation.
The country's few manufactures are made up mostly of processed food. There is an extensive mining industry, run principally by foreign-owned companies. Namibia is a major producer of gem-quality diamonds, the country's principal export; the most significant diamond deposits are offshore. Other important minerals are uranium, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, and copper. There are significant but yet unexploited natural gas deposits offshore and iron deposits in NW Namibia. Fishing fleets operate in the Atlantic. Unrestricted fishing by commercial companies severely depleted the country's supply of certain types of fish, but stocks are being replenished.
The central part of the country is served by roads and rail lines that are linked with those of South Africa, its largest trading partner. The main exports are diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium, cattle, fish, and Karakul pelts. Foodstuffs, petroleum products, machinery and equipment, and chemicals are imported.
Namibia is governed under the constitution of 1990. The president, who is head of state, is popularly elected for a five-year term and is eligible for a second term. The government is headed by a prime minister, who is appointed by the president. There is a bicameral legislature. The National Council has 26 seats, with two members chosen from each regional council to serve six-year terms. Members of the 72-seat National Assembly are popularly elected for five-year terms. Administratively, the country is divided into 13 regions.
Early History and Colonialism
The earliest inhabitants of Namibia were San hunters and gatherers, who lived there as early as 2,000 years ago. By c.A.D. 500, Nama herders had entered the region; they have left early records of their activities in the form of cave paintings. The Herero people settled in the western and northern areas of Namibia around 1600. The Ovambo migrated into Namibia after about 1800.
Diogo Cam and Bartolomeu Dias, both Portuguese navigators, landed on the coast in the early 15th cent. Portuguese and Dutch expeditions explored the coastal regions, and in the late 18th cent. Dutch and British captains laid claim to parts of the coast. These claims, however, were disallowed by their governments. In the 18th cent., English missionaries arrived, and they were followed by German missionaries in the 1840s. Britain annexed Walvis Bay in 1878. The Bremen trading firm of F. A. E. Lüderitz gained a cession of land at Angra Pequeña (now Lüderitz) in 1883, and in 1884 the German government under Otto von Bismarck proclaimed a protectorate over this area, to which the rest of South West Africa (Ger. Süd-West Afrika) was soon added.
Conflicts between the indigenous population and the Europeans, mainly over control of land, led to outbreaks of violence in the 1890s, which worsened in the 1900s. In 1903 the Nama began a revolt, joined by the Herero in 1904. The Germans pursued an brutal military campaign that aimed at dispossessing and exterminating the Herero and Nama. By 1908 it had resulted in the death of about 54,000 Herero (out of a total Herero population of about 70,000), many of whom were driven into the Kalahari Desert, where they perished; 30,000 others also died in the revolt. In 1908 diamonds were discovered near Lüderitz, and a large influx of Europeans began.
During World War I the country was occupied (1915) by South African forces, and after the war South Africa began (1920) to administer it as a C-type mandatemandates,
system of trusteeships established by Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations for the administration of former Turkish territories and of former German colonies.
..... Click the link for more information. under the League of Nations. In 1921–22 the Bondelzwarts, a small Nama group, revolted against South African rule, but they were crushed by South African forces employing airpower. After the founding of the United Nations in 1945, South Africa, unlike the other League of Nations mandatories, refused to surrender its mandate and place South West Africa under the UN trusteeship system.
The Struggle for Independence
In 1960, Ethiopia and Liberia (both of which had been members of the League of Nations) initiated proceedings in the International Court of JusticeInternational Court of Justice,
principal judicial organ of the United Nations, established 1946 by chapter 14 of the UN Charter. It superseded the Permanent Court of International Justice (see World Court), and its statute for the most part repeats that of the former tribunal.
..... Click the link for more information. to have the mandate declared as being in force and to have South Africa charged with failing to fulfill the terms of the mandate. The court ruled in 1966 that Ethiopia and Liberia had not established a legal right or interest entitling them to bring the case. In frustration at this decision, the South West African People's Organization (SWAPO), operating in exile, undertook small-scale guerrilla warfare in South West Africa.
The UN General Assembly in 1966 passed a resolution terminating the mandate, and in 1968 it resolved that the country be known as Namibia. The International Court of Justice reaffirmed (1971) the General Assembly's resolution, but the South African government maintained that the United Nations had no authority over South West Africa, and it proceeded with plans for establishing ten African homelands (bantustans) in the country and for tying it more closely to South Africa.
South Africa's attempt to repress political opposition was met with SWAPO's extensive boycott of the bantustan elections in Ovamboland in 1973. South Africa held a constitutional conference (the Turnhalle Conference) in 1975 and delayed deciding Namibia's status. Responding to threats from the world community, the government promised Namibian independence by the end of 1978.
In 1977, the government adopted a new constitution that upheld apartheid policies, restricted SWAPO participation in politics, and sought to continue South African control over foreign affairs after independence. SWAPO and other opposition groups effectively waged guerrilla warfare, gaining control of areas in the north. A UN resolution in 1978 called for a cease-fire and UN-monitored elections. South Africa balked at elections, fearing a SWAPO-led Namibian government.
Under a 1988 agreement brokered by the United States, the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola was linked with the implementation of the UN plan in Namibia. UN-supervised elections were held in 1989; SWAPO won a majority of the parliamentary seats, and party leader Sam NujomaNujoma, Sam
(Samuel Daniel Shafiishuna Nujoma) , 1929–, Namibian political leader. A railway worker in what was then the South African mandate of South West Africa, Nujoma became the head of the Owambo People's Organization in 1959, which opposed South African rule and its
..... Click the link for more information. was elected president. A constitution was adopted in Feb., 1990, and Namibia became independent on Mar. 21, 1990. The important deepwater port of Walvis Bay, to which South Africa had continued to lay claim, was yielded to Namibia in 1994. In the 1994 elections, SWAPO again won a majority and Nujoma was reelected. A land reform program began in 1996 but proceeded slowly; in 2004 the government began expropriating white-owned farms to accelerate the process of resettlement. In the late 1990s Namibia supplied military aid to President Laurent Kabila of the Congo, who was fighting rebel forces seeking to overthrow him.
President Nujoma was reelected again in 1999, following a constitutional change that permitted him to run for a third term. Suggestions in 2004 that another amendment be made to permit a fourth term proved potentially polarizing within both the ruling party and the nation, but in Apr., 2004, Nujoma announced that he would step down at the end of his third term. In Nov., 2004, Hifikepunye PohambaPohamba, Hifikepunye
, 1935–, Namibia rebel and political leader. A miner, he was a founder of the South West African People's Organization (SWAPO) and became (1960) an organizer for the group. His political activities led (1961) to his arrest, flogging, and forced exile.
..... Click the link for more information. , the SWAPO candidate and Nujoma's handpicked successor, was elected president in a landslide, and succeeded him in the post in Mar., 2005. SWAPO also retained a two-thirds majority of the seats in the parliament.
An outbreak of polio in 2006 that resulted in more than 100 cases led to a mass immunization program throughout the country in June and July. Namibia has a significant AIDS problem, with more than 40% of the population infected in some northern areas. In Sept., 2006, the government declared the revived United Democratic party, a group advocating independence for the Caprivi Strip through peaceful means, illegal for secessionist activities. Pohamba was reelected by a large margin in Dec., 2009, and SWAPO again dominated the parliamentary elections. SWAPO remained in power after the Nov., 2014, elections, again easily winning control of parliament and the presidency; Hage Geingob, the prime minister, was elected to succeed Pohamba.
See H. Bley, South West Africa under German Rule, 1894–1914 (tr. 1971); I. Goldblatt, History of South West Africa from the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century (1971); D. Soggot, Namibia: The Violent Heritage (1986); P. H. Katjavivi, A History of Resistance in Namibia (1988); D. L. Sparks and D. Green, Namibia: The Nation after Independence (1991).
(before 1968, South West Africa), a country in the southwestern part of Africa, illegally annexed by the Republic of South Africa (RSA). In the north it borders on Angola and Zambia; in the east, on Botswana; and in the southeast and south on the RSA. In the west it is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Namibia has an area of 824,300 sq km and a population of 747,300 (1970 census). Its capital is Windhoek. The country is governed by an administrator who is appointed by the president of South Africa. The administrator is aided by an advisory organ —the South West Africa Legislative Assembly—elected by persons of European descent.
Natural features. Namibia has a regular coastline. There are two natural harbor-bays, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz. Frequent groundswells and strong incoming tides make navigation difficult.
Geographically, most of Namibia is a plateau with elevations from 900 to 1,500 m, dissected by river valleys and tectonic depressions into separate regions—plateaus and uplands, including Kaoko, Damaraland, and Namaqualand (Great Namaland). The highest elevation is Mount Brandberg (2,600 m). To the east (the western edge of the Kalahari) and north (Etosha Pan), the plateau gently slopes downward; to the west it terminates and drops abruptly to a hilly plain along the coast (the Namib Desert).
Namibia is located on the southwestern edge of the South African Shield, which was formed by metamorphic, volcanic sedimentary, and terrigenous carbonate complexes dating from the Precambrian era. Situated in the southern and central parts of Namibia is an extensive flat downwarp, formed by deposits of the Nama system dating from the late Precambrian era or the early Cambrian period. Small areas are composed of rocks of the Upper Paleozoic Karroo system as well as Mesozoic deposits. Eastern Namibia is covered by the Cenozoic sands of the Kalahari syneclise.
The principal mineral deposits in Namibia belong to the Otavi and Damara systems. The largest of these include the Tsumeb copper and complex metal deposits, which also contains industrially useful amounts of germanium, cadmium, and vanadium, and the Abenab lead and vanadium deposit. Located in central Namibia, in the vicinity of Windhoek, are deposits of manganese (Otjosondu) and copper (Kan and Natas). Connected with the pegmatite belt of the Erongo Mountains are deposits of tin, tungsten, lithium, and beryllium (Brandberg and Uis). Diamond fields are worked along the entire Atlantic coast and in the upper part of the coastal shelf.
The climate is tropical and very dry. The average temperature of the warmest month (January) ranges from 18° to 27°C, and that of the coldest month (July) varies from 12° to 16°C. Frosts occur during the winter in the regions with the highest elevations. Precipitation is meager, irregular, and falls primarily in the summer. The annual precipitation ranges from 10–50 mm in the coastal area to as much as 500–700 mm in the extreme northeast. Most of the rivers are temporary watercourses of the wadi type. The largest of these are the perennially flowing border rivers Orange and Cunene. There is a predominance of tropical desert soils and reddish-brown savanna soils. Vegetation in the Namib Desert is extremely sparse and of the succulent type. The plateau is covered primarily with xerophytic shrub and shrub-and-grass vegetation. Located in the higher regions are semidesert and desert savannas.
The mountain regions and the eastern part of the country are inhabited by indigenous rodents (jumping hare, mole rat, and unique species of hare), as well as insectivores (golden mole) and aardvarks. There are antelopes and predatory animals, including the African civet (Viverra civetta) and hyena. Certain animal species remain only in wildlife preserves. Etosha National Park is one of the world’s largest game preserves; its wildlife includes zebra, antelope, elephant, giraffe, ostrich, lion, leopard, and many species of birds.
G. M. MOISEEVA and N. A. BOZHKO
Population. Predominant among the indigenous population of Namibia are peoples of the Bantu language family: the Ovambo (about 44 percent of the country’s entire population), the Herero, and others. There are also Hottentots, Berg Damara (Mountain Damara), and Bushmen. Persons of European descent (Afrikaners, Germans, English) make up about 11 percent of the population. The official languages are Afrikaans and English. More than half the population are Christians (mostly Protestants), while the rest retain their traditional local beliefs. The official calendar is the Gregorian.
The average annual natural population growth amounts to 2.1 percent. The average population density is less than one person per sq km. In regions (Bantustans) set aside by the racist government of the RSA for the aboriginal population, population density reaches 35 persons per sq km. Approximately 55 percent of the working population (1970, estimate) are engaged in agriculture, for the most part, in the pasture raising of livestock. As of 1960, the urban population amounted to 23.5 percent of the total population. The principal cities are Windhoek, which in 1970 had a population of 61,300, Walvis Bay, Grootfontein, and Lüd-eritz.
Historical survey. The history of Namibia before the 19th century has been insufficiently studied. At the beginning of the 19th century, the primitive communal relations among the Hottentots (Khoi-Khoin), Bushmen, and peoples belonging to the Bantu language family who settled the country were disintegrating and giving way to a clan-tribal nobility; certain tribes had a form of patriarchal slavery. The first half of the 19th century was marked by numerous internecine tribal wars, a cause of which was the invasion of Namibian territory by tribes that had been driven from their own lands by the European colonialists. These wars were accompanied by the dispersion and fragmentation of some tribes and the consolidation of others into numerically important tribal unions. Thus, in the 1860’s the Herero tribes united under the leadership of chief Maharero.
Portuguese seafarers landed on the coast of what is now Namibia in 1484, but for several centuries this territory was of no particular interest to Europeans and their contacts with the indigenous population were of an episodic nature. It was only in 1802 that the British founded the first mission, located north of the Orange River; from this time on, the number of traders and missionaries arriving in Namibia continued to increase. In 1878, Great Britain proclaimed the region of Walvis Bay to be its possession. In 1883, the Bremen merchant F. A. C. Lüderitz bought a territory in the region of present-day Lüderitz Bay for a trifling sum from one of the local chiefs. In 1884, Germany established a protectorate over the territory of Namibia, giving it the name of German South West Africa (SWA). Taking advantage of the dissension among the African tribal leaders, the colonialists forced them to submit to colonial authority. The greatest resistance was offered by several Hottentot leaders, the most influential of whom was Hendrik Witboi. The colonialists organized troops against Witboi and his rebels and defeated them in 1894. In 1896, the Mbanderu and Koua tribes revolted; in 1904–07, the Hottentots and the Herero rose up against German domination.
In 1915, during World War I, South West Africa was invaded and occupied by troops of the Union of South Africa. After the war, South West Africa became a mandated territory under the League of Nations. In 1920 the League of Nations assigned South West Africa to the Union of South Africa as a mandate. The racist government of South Africa extended its policies to the mandated territory. In 1922, the South African government massacred the Bondelswart Hottentots and, in 1924, took similar action against the community of the Rehoboth Basters. In 1925, the South West Africa Legislative Assembly was created, the deputies to which were elected by white settlers only; Africans did not have the right to vote.
After World War II (1939–45), when all the mandated territories were placed under the UN international trusteeship system, the Union of South Africa (since 1961, the Republic of South Africa) refused to relinquish its control of South West Africa. In 1949 the Union of South Africa adopted a law that de facto converted the territory into a province. Since 1946 the question of South West Africa has been constantly discussed in various organs of the United Nations and dozens of resolutions have been passed condemning South Africa’s de facto annexation of the territory.
Under the pressure of world public opinion and the demands of the people of South West Africa for a just solution to the territory’s problems, in October 1966 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it affirmed the inalienable right of South West Africa to self-determination and independence. The resolution abolished the mandate entrusting South Africa with the administration of South West Africa and declared that the UN assumes direct responsibility for this territory. In order to administer the territory, the Assembly created the Council for South West Africa in 1967 and appointed a UN commissioner. In response to the wishes of the people of South West Africa, the UN General Assembly in June 1968 adopted a resolution changing the name of the territory to Namibia and calling on the member-states of the United Nations to render aid to the Namibian patriots in their lawful struggle for independence. The USSR has repeatedly advocated the immediate granting of independence to the people of Namibia and the adoption of measures to impose political, economic, and military sanctions on the RSA. The South African government has continued to ignore the UN resolutions. Carrying out its racist policy of apartheid, the South African government embarked upon a policy of “Bantustanization,” which entails the establishment of isolated reserves (Bantustans) for each nationality; the lands least suitable for habitation were to be allocated to the black African majority. The implementation of this policy was begun in 1968 when the first Bantustan, Ovamboland, was created. By 1972, two more Bantustans had been established.
The people of Namibia are waging a struggle against the policy of racial discrimination and segregation and for national liberation. After World War II, the first black African political organizations came into being. Since the late 1960’s, an armed struggle has developed in Namibia against the racist regime of South Africa; it is led by the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO). The largest strike by African workers in the history of Namibia occurred between December 1971 and March 1972.
L. N. RYTOV
Political parties and trade unions. The South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO), founded in 1958, has led the Namibian people’s struggle for liberation from South African colonialists. The South West Africa National Union (SWANU), founded in 1959, is the successor to the South West African Progressive Association, which had been in existence since 1952. Since the late 1960’s, SWANU has ceased to be associated with Namibia’s anti-imperialist faction and its influence among the masses has declined. Persons of European descent have joined local sections of the Nationalist or United parties of the Republic of South Africa.
White workers are members of local sections of the South African trade unions. Black Africans are forbidden to organize trade unions.
Economy. Namibia is an economically underdeveloped country. The primitive methods of farming practiced by the black Africans contrast sharply with the capitalist, modern farms of European settlers. A well-developed mining industry is controlled by foreign monopoly capital. As of 1970, the mining industry constituted 46 percent of the gross national product, while agriculture constituted 17 percent.
Of principal importance in agriculture is the raising of karakul sheep. According to a 1972 estimate, the total livestock population in Namibia amounted to 4.2 million sheep, 1.8 million goats, and 2.6 million head of cattle. Less than one-fifth of all livestock are concentrated on farms belonging to black Africans. Agriculture without irrigation is extremely difficult; it is limited to small crops of corn and sorghum.
American, British, and South African capital is rapaciously exploiting the mineral deposits of diamonds (primarily of gem quality; in 1971 some 1.9 million carats were extracted), lead (73,200 tons in metal content), zinc (48,900 tons), copper (25,900 tons), and manganese ore (13,600 tons). Diamond mining is carried out by the Anglo-South African De Beers concern (De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd.) on the Atlantic coast (for the most part, from Lüderitz to the mouth of the Orange River); since 1962 the Marine Diamond Corporation has been working underwater deposits. Mining of nonferrous metal ores is conducted by a US company at the Tsumeb copper and lead mining center. Vanadium and lithium minerals are also being extracted along with small amounts of beryllium, tin, tungsten, and silver. Preparations for mining uranium ore at the Rossing deposit are being made by the British company Rio Tinto Zinc. In 1968, the capacity of thermal electric power plants amounted to approximately 80 megawatts; the annual electric power production amounted to about 200 million kW-hr. The metal processing industry is not well developed. With the expansion of the fishing industry, fish-canning and the production of fish meal have become important industries in Walvis Bay. Other branches of industry serving the fishing industry have also grown. Spiny lobsters are processed in Lüderitz.
In 1962 a copper-smelting plant went into operation and in 1963, a lead-smelting plant. In 1971, 68,400 tons of lead and 29,000 tons of copper were smelted. As of 1970, the length of all railroads amounted to 2,400km; railroads link the centers where raw materials are extracted with Namibian ports and with South Africa. In 1970 the length of all roads (for the most part, dirt roads) for motor vehicles totaled 57,500km. Seaports are located at Walvis Bay and Lüderitz. There is air transportation between Namibia and South Africa. South Africa is Namibia’s main trading partner. Namibia’s most important exports include mineral raw materials, karakul pelts (2–3.5 million pieces annually), and mohair. Imports include foodstuffs, fuel, and industrial articles. About nine-tenths of the imports and one-fourth of the exports are handled by South Africa. The monetary unit used in Namibia is the South African rand. In April 1973, 0.7 rand was equivalent to US $1.
G. M. MOISEEVA
Education. The South African government’s policy of apartheid deprives the black African population of Namibia of the possibility of receiving an education. The absolute majority of adult Africans is illiterate. There are separate schools for whites, Coloureds (persons of mixed racial origin), and Africans. The educational system for whites and Coloureds includes a seven-year elementary school and a five-year secondary school with instruction in English or German. Elementary school and some secondary school are compulsory. Instruction is not compulsory for Africans; there are eight-year elementary schools for them, but most children finish only the first four grades. The secondary five-year school is, practically speaking, inaccessible to Africans.
During the 1966 academic year there were 69 schools for whites, 57 schools for Coloureds, and 417 schools for Africans. These schools had a total enrollment of approximately 80,000 pupils. Near Windhoek there is a technical college for whites, which trains teachers and technical specialists. Located in Windhoek are a library and archives and the State Museum (founded 1958).
V. Z. KLEPIKOV
Press and radio. In 1972, approximately ten newspapers and journals were regularly published. The most important are All-gemeine Zeitung, a German daily newspaper published in Windhoek since 1915 (circulation, 5,200); The Windhoek Advertiser, an English daily newspaper published in Windhoek since 1919 (circulation, 2,700), Namib Times, a weekly published in English, Afrikaans, and German in Walvis Bay since 1958; Die Suidwes Afrikaner, an Afrikaans newspaper published twice a week in Windhoek since 1927; and Die Suidwester, an Afrikaans newspaper published three times a week in Windhoek since 1945.
The South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) publishes the English-language newspaper Namibia News (in London) and the English-language journal Namibia Today (in Tanzania). There is a radio broadcasting network that airs programs from the Republic of South Africa.
Folk art. Namibia possesses a wealth of cave drawings, the oldest of which were made several thousand years ago. Some of these were done with the use of pigments; others were made by scratching or carving with rock (petroglyphs). Many of these drawings were made by Bushmen. The drawings are distinguished for their convincingly realistic forms and for their diverse subjects (scenes from hunting, battle, religious worship, and mythology, as well as drawings of people and animals). Among the cave drawings that are not of Bushman origin are drawings by the inhabitants of Namibia—Hottentots, Herero, and Ovambo, as well as scenes from everyday life (the White Lady of the Brandberg) in Maak Cave near Brandberg.
In rural Herero and Hottentot settlements there is a predominance of hemispherical huts with circular foundations and with frameworks consisting of long, thin poles interlaced with thongs and tied together at the top. Among the Herero such huts are covered with a layer of grass and animal hides; the Hottenots cover their huts with mats. To support the framework, a pole is driven into the ground in the center of the hut. Among the Ovambo, the framework of their straw-covered huts consists of poles driven into the ground in the form of a circle; the spaces between the poles are filled in with clay and manure. The most interesting artistic handicraft is the art of metalworking among the Ovambo (weapons with ornamentation; iron beads).
REFERENCESGalybin, A.I. Namibiia (Iugo-Zapadnaia Afrika) ν planakh kolonizatorov 1946–70 gg. Moscow, 1971.
First, R. Iugo-Zapadnaia Afrika: Istoriko-publitsisticheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1965. (Translated from English.)
Rozin, M. S. Mineral’nye bogatsva Afriki. Moscow, 1972.
Tongue, M. H. Bushman Paintings. Oxford, 1909.
Obermaier, H., and H. Kühn. Buschmannkunst. Berlin, 1930.
Breuil, H., M. Boyle, and E. Scherz. The White Lady of the Brandberg. London, 1955.
Official name: Republic of Namibia
Capital city: Windhoek
Internet country code: .na
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
National anthem: “Namibia Land of the Brave”
National motto: Unity, Liberty, Justice
Geographical description: Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa
Total area: 320,827 sq. mi. (823,145 sq. km.)
Climate: Desert; hot, dry; rainfall sparse and erratic
Nationality: noun: Namibian(s); adjective: Namibian
Population: 2,055,080 (July 2007 CIA est.)
Ethnic groups: Black 87%; white 6%; mixed race 7%. About 50% of the population belong to Ovambo ethnic group, and 9% to the Kavango ethnic group. Other ethnic groups are: Herero 7%, Damara 7%, Nama 5%, Caprivian 4%, San (Bushmen) 3%, Baster 2%, and Tswana 0.5%.
Languages spoken: English (official) 7%, Afrikaans common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population, German 32%, indigenous languages (including Oshivambo, Herero, Nama) 1%
Religions: Christian 80% to 90% (at least 50% Lutheran 50%), indigenous religions 10% to 20%
|Africa Day||May 25|
|Cassinga Day||May 4|
|Christmas Day||Dec 25|
|Easter Monday||Apr 25, 2011; Apr 9, 2012; Apr 1, 2013; Apr 21, 2014; Apr 6, 2015; Mar 28, 2016; Apr 17, 2017; Apr 2, 2018; Apr 22, 2019; Apr 13, 2020; Apr 5, 2021; Apr 18, 2022; Apr 10, 2023|
|Family Day||Dec 26|
|Good Friday||Apr 22, 2011; Apr 6, 2012; Mar 29, 2013; Apr 18, 2014; Apr 3, 2015; Mar 25, 2016; Apr 14, 2017; Mar 30, 2018; Apr 19, 2019; Apr 10, 2020; Apr 2, 2021; Apr 15, 2022; Apr 7, 2023|
|Heroes Day||Aug 26|
|Independence Day||Mar 21|
|International Human Rights Day||Dec 10|
|New Year's Day||Jan 1|
|Workers Day||May 1|