» Presidential constitutional republic
» 825,615 km2 (34th)
» $13.064 billion
»Per capita $5,961
» $13.064 billion
»Per capita $5,961
» Namibian dollar (NAD)
» WAT (UTC+1)WAST (UTC+2)
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. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of riverbed (essentially the Zambia/Botswana border) separates them at their closest points.
The dry lands of Namibia were inhabited since early times by San, Damara, and Namaqua, and since about the 14th century AD by immigrating Bantu who came with the Bantu expansion. Most of the territory became a German Imperial protectorate in 1884 and remained a German colony until the end of World War I. In 1920, the League of Nations mandated the country to South Africa, which imposed its laws and, from 1948, its apartheid policy. The port of Walvis Bay and the offshore Penguin Islands had been annexed by the Cape Colony under the British crown by 1878 and had become an integral part of the new Union of South Africa at its creation in 1910.
Namibia’s economy is tied closely to South Africa’s due to their shared history. The largest economic sectors are mining (10.4% of the gross domestic product in 2009), agriculture (5.0%), manufacturing (13.5%), and tourism.
Namibia has a highly developed banking sector with modern infrastructure, such as online banking, cell phone banking, etc. The Bank of Namibia (BoN) is the central bank of Namibia responsible for performing all other functions ordinarily performed by a central bank. There are four BoN authorised commercial banks in Namibia: Bank Windhoek, First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank.
In 2013, global business and financial news provider, Bloomberg, named Namibia the top emerging market economy in Africa and the 13th best in the world. Only four African countries made the Top 20 Emerging Markets list in the March 2013 issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine, and Namibia was rated ahead of Morocco (19th), South Africa (15th) and Zambia (14th). Worldwide, Namibia also fared better than Hungary, Brazil and Mexico. Bloomberg Markets magazine ranked the top 20 based on more than a dozen criteria.
Major Imports and Exports
According to the International Trade Centre, the top five export categories for Namibia in 2008, along with percentage of total exports, were:
- Pearls, precious stones, metals, coins, etc. (20.3%)
- Ores, slags, and ash (17.5%)
- Printed books, newspapers, pictures, etc. (17.1%)
- Fish, crustaceans, molluscs, and aquatic invertebrates (10.8%)
- Zinc and articles of zinc (6%)
Major Trading Partners
The top three countries to which Namibia exports merchandise, along with percentage of exports, are:
- South Africa (31.8%)
- European Union (28.8%)
- Angola (8.6%)
According to the International Trade Centre, the top five import categories for Namibia in 2008, along with percentage of total imports, were:
- Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products, etc. (13.7%)
- Vehicles other than railway (13%)
- Boilers, machineray, nuclear reactors, etc. (11.4%)
- Electrical and electronic equipment (6%)
- Articles of iron or steel (4.5%)
The top three countries which import merchandise to Namibia, along with percentage of imports, are:
- South Africa (67.8%)
- European Union (15.8%)
- India (3.5%)
Tourism is a major contributor (14.5%) to Namibia’s GDP, creating tens of thousands of jobs (18.2% of all employment) directly or indirectly and servicing over a million tourists per annum.
There are many lodges and reserves to accommodate eco-tourists. Sport Hunting is also a large, and growing component of the Namibian economy, accounting for 14% of total tourism in the year 2000, or $19.6 million US dollars, with Namibia boasting numerous species sought after by international sport hunters
- Namibia is a land of much natural beauty. To truly appreciate the country, you need to get out in the countryside, either on a tour or by renting a car, and take in the deserts, the mountains, the villages and all that that Namibia has to offer.
- One of its most dominant features, and the one for which the country is named, is the Namib Desert that stretches for nearly a 1000 km along the Atlantic coast. As one of the oldest deserts in the world, its sand takes on a distinctive rust colour and it has some of the highest sand dunes in the world.
- Sossusvlei is the most accessible part of the desert and is a magical place with its towering dunes that shift hues as the sun rises and sets.
- Further south, near the South African border, is Fish River Canyon, one of the largest canyons in the world. Stretching for 160 km, it is reaches 27 km across at its widest and nearly 550 m down at its deepest. In the north of the country is the empty and mostly inaccessible
- Skeleton Coast National Park. It’s a seemingly barren expanse of stone and sand famous for its fog and the number of shipwrecks along the coast.