|Full name||Republic of Namibia|
|Location||Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa|
|Geographic coordinates||22 00 S, 17 00 E|
|Currency||Namibian dollar (NAD)|
|Internet code||.na||Industry||Meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products, mining (diamonds, lead, zinc)|
|Agriculture||Millet, sorghum, peanuts, livestock, fish|
|Exports||Diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead|
|Geographic note||The Namib (meaning “open space”) desert in Namibia is estimated to be 80 million years old, making it the world’s oldest desert.|
Namibia possesses some of the most stunning landscapes in Africa, and a trip through the country can be an epic road adventure. Natural wonders such as the mighty gash in the earth at Fish River Canyon and the wildlife utopia of Etosha National Park enthral, but it’s the lonely desert roads where enormous slabs of granite rise out of swirling desert sands that will sear themselves in your mind.
Namibia is the headquarters of adventure activities in the region, so whether you’re a dreamer or love hearing the crunch of earth under your boots, travel in Namibia will stay with you long after the desert vistas fade. Among all this is a German legacy evident in the cuisine and art nouveau architecture, and in festivals such as Windhoek’s legendary Oktoberfest.
Source: Lonely Planet
Namibia held off the global economic slowdown, posting growth rates above 5% since 2010. Recovery remains on course despite the winding down of official fiscal stimulus measures. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth accelerated to 5.3% in 2014 from 5.1% in 2013 with robust construction activity and high consumer demand. Growth is expected to improve to 6.4% in 2016 as external demand improves and new mines start production and exporting. Tight monetary policy has kept consumer price index (CPI) inflation within the target range of 3% to 6%.
Political stability and prudent fiscal management have helped anchor Namibia’s high growth rates and poverty reduction efforts. With strong ties to South Africa, the region’s second biggest economy, Namibia has stronger competitiveness and investment attraction than average sub-Saharan countries.
Fiscal consolidation, including rationalising public sector wages, should continue to achieve efficiency gains and help attain a more sustainable current account balance. Efforts to enhance education and training quality must be stepped up and anti-corruption efforts redoubled to recapture public confidence and strengthen the country’s strong governance record.
Namibia has made progress reducing geographical income disparities. Thanks to the government’s Vision 2030 and national development plans, Namibia has seen a 40% reduction in poverty between 1993-1994 and 2009-2010 with the biggest improvement in rural areas. Accelerated implementation of the Decentralisation Enabling Act of 2000 and deeper structural reforms to intensify value addition in agriculture and broaden non-mineral diversification will be key in consolidating progress made in promoting spatial inclusion in Namibia.
Source: African Development Bank
Namibia made the transition to democracy in 1990 after a century of colonial rule. While some African nations reverted to undemocratic rule shortly after independence and only later managed to establish democratic elections, Namibia has maintained elections, largely considered free and fair, since independence.
Some concerns were voiced out in 2008 when the opposition party, Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), was subjected to intimidation by the ruling party South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) members. However, then President Hifikepunye Pohamba (2005 - 2015) called for more tolerance and respect for the opposition, and increased police protection at opposition gatherings. Although continued vigilance is required, the government, civil society and citizens have gone a long way towards entrenching democracy in Namibia.
Often, after a protracted armed liberation struggle, a country will find it difficult to maintain peace and stability. Armed groups who worked towards the same goal of independence may turn against each other in violent conflict. It is therefore a significant achievement that Namibia has remained stable, making a peaceful transition from armed struggle to democratic participation.
The government has also received praise for its commitment in addressing the problems related to HIV/AIDS. In 2002, HIV/AIDS prevalence peaked at 22% of 15-49 year-olds in the country. It has become a major consideration in development projects and education, combined with increasing provision of antiretroviral to pregnant women to reduce mother-to-child transmission (MTCT), which have resulted in a decline in the prevalence rate to 15.3% of 15-49 year-olds. Treatment for those who have the virus has also been improved. In 2005, just 27% of people with advanced HIV infection received antiretroviral, but by 2009 83% of adults and 93% of children with HIV were receiving the drugs.
Source: Action for Southern Africa