Namibia
namibia


Capital Windhoek
Population 2 million

It gained independence from South Africa in 1990, and as such it is one of the youngest nations in the world.


Geography
The Namibian landscape consists primarily of central highlands. The central plateau runs from north to south, bordered by the Namib Desert and its coastal plains to the west, the Orange River to the south, and the Kalahari Desert to the east.

A remarkable strip of land in the northeast, known as the Caprivi Strip is the vestige of a narrow corridor demarcated for Germany to access the Zambezi River.

The Namibian climate ranges from desert to subtropical, and is generally hot and dry; precipitation is sparse and erratic.


History
The dry lands of Namibia were inhabited from the dawn of time by the San, also known as the "Bushmen", invaded by the Bantu, colonized by the Germans (who called it "South West Africa") and taken over by South Africa after WW1. Namibia is in many ways quite similar to South Africa. Since it was ruled under the apartheid system, Namibia also has many of the problems resulting from that system though apartheid was never implemented as strictly in Namibia as in South Africa, so racial tensions are generally lower.

In 1966 the Marxist South-West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of independence, but it was not until 1988 that South Africa agreed to end its administration of Namibia, in accordance with a United Nations peace plan for the entire region.

SWAPO, the primary force behind independence, has since moved away from its Marxist roots, and is still currently the country's largest party.


Economy
The economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Namibia produces some of the world's highest quality diamonds.

Although per capita GDP is five times the per capita GDP of Africa's poorest countries, the majority of Namibia's people live in pronounced poverty because of large-scale unemployment, the great inequality of income distribution, and the large amount of wealth going to foreigners. The Namibian economy has many close links to South Africa.


Demographics
Namibia is among three sovereign countries with the world’s lowest population density. The majority of the Namibian population consists of mostly black African. In addition to the black Bantu majority, there are large groups of Khoisan (e.g. Nama and Bushmen), who are descendants of the original inhabitants of Southern Africa. Khoisan differ significantly in appearance from both Bantu and whites. There are also two smaller groups of people with mixed racial origins, called "Coloureds" and "Basters", who together make up 8% (with the Coloureds outnumbering the Basters two to one). Whites of Dutch, German, British, French and Portuguese ancestry make up about 8% of the population—which is the second largest proportion in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa). Most of Namibian whites and nearly all those of mixed race are Afrikaans speakers and share similar origins, culture, religion and genealogy as the white and coloured populations of neighbouring South Africa. A smaller proportion of whites (around 20,000) trace their family origins directly back to German settlers and maintain German cultural and educational institutions.

(edited. Wikipedia, BBC, The Africa Guide, Bradt)
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