Namibia

seek code

Country Code: 264
ISO Code: NAM

Namibia (in English and officially: Republic of Namibia, in German: Republik Namibia, in Afrikaans: Republiek van Namibië) is a country in southwestern Africa that occupies the territory of what was known until the 1960s as South West Africa.

Limiting to the north with Angola, to the northeast with Zambia, to the west with the Atlantic Ocean, to the east with Botswana, and to the southeast and to the south with South Africa. Namibia is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the African Union and the United Nations. Its capital and most populated city is Windhoek.

Etymology

The name of the country is derived from the name of the Namib desert, considered the oldest desert in the world. The term Namib is a word of Khoekhoe origin meaning “vast place.” Before gaining independence in 1990, the territory was first called South-West German Africa (in German: Deutsch-Südwestafrika), and later as South-West Africa (in English: South-West Africa), to reflect the colonial occupation of the Germans and the South Africans, the latter as part of the British Empire.

History

The first registered human occupations are due to the Nama or San, later various groups from North Africa settled in the territory. Europeans arrived in considerable numbers during the second half of the 15th century. The coasts of Namibia were explored by the Portuguese Bartolomeu Dias in 1486, but the aridity of the territory did not stimulate colonization at that time.

The recent history of Namibia began in January 1793, when the Dutch claimed Walvis Bay. In 1815, with the annexation of the Dutch Cape of Good Hope colony by the British, the port became part of its territory.

This important port had been discovered in 1487 by Bartolomeu Dias, but the region was not claimed by the Portuguese crown, probably because it was abandoned in the middle of the Namibian desert.

In 1840 the Germans arrived, who took possession of the territory and colonized it with the name of South-West German Africa, a name recently put in 1884. The severe colonial regime led to confiscation and violence against the native population. The uprising of some ethnic groups was brutally suppressed, earning the name of the first genocide of the 20th century. Germany lost all its colonies after being defeated in the First World War, so the League of Nations bequeathed to South Africa its temporary administration in the form of mandate, although Namibia was occupied a de facto province. Years later, the UN and the International Court of Justice declared the South African occupation illegal on numerous occasions.

After many years of war and under international pressure, South Africa agreed to leave the territory and supervise the transition to independence, which in 1989 elected its first president in the person of Sam Nujoma, leader of SWAPO. Sam Nujoma was re-elected in 1994 and 1999; In addition, in both elections reached the parliamentary majority.

In 2004, Hifikepunye Pohamba (SWAPO candidate) was elected president, having achieved 55 of the 72 seats in the congress.

Language

Although the official language is English, a large part of the population has owambo as their mother tongue. Afrikaans and German are also very common, they were official until the independence of Namibia in 1990. Among the different tribes and ethnic groups are spoken the Oshivambo, Herero and Nama. Portuguese is present in groups of Angolan origin.

Currency

The currency of Namibia is the Namibian dollar (NAD)

Religion

The majority of the inhabitants are Christians (Lutherans and Catholics), and between 20 and 30% of the population retain their indigenous religious beliefs. Muslims represent approximately 3% of the population.

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