Namibia’s economy relies heavily on extraction and processing of minerals as well as on processed fish and other
manufacturers for export. Namibia is the world's fifth largest producer of uranium and a primary source of gem-quality
diamonds. Agriculture is dominated by cattle and sheep raising. The country has one of the richest potential fisheries
in the world. Policies adopted since independence have aimed at sustaining economic growth, diversifying the country’s
productive base, and attracting foreign investors.
History: Click here for the Long
The earliest inhabitants of deserts of Namibia and Botswana were the hardy San whose presence here can be traced back
to 100 AD. Their unique clicking language was shared by the Khoikhoiwho moved in from the south around 500 AD. Later,
Bantu tribes started moving in from the northeast, first the Ovambo who settled in the north around 1300 AD and then
the Herero who pushed the Khoikhoi into the desert or the swamps of Botswana around 1600 AD. The Khoisan speaking people
who resisted gave rise to the modern Nana people.
The area that comprises Namibia today became a German protectorate in 1884 (except for the small area surrounding the
deep water port Walvis Bay which was declared British Territory in 1876). In 1927 Jack Carstens - an officer in the Royal
Indian Army on vacation in Africa - discovered diamonds on the Skeleton
Coast near the mouth of the Oranje River. One of the last famous "Diamond Rushes" took place. Chaos ruled in the new
settlements of Oranjemund, Port Nolloth and Hondeklipbaai. The government took control and proclaimed the whole area
"Sperrgebiet". That is until now (August 2001)! This area has opened-up at last and now for the first time since 1927
you can tour this area!
During World War I, Namibia was occupied by
South Africa and later declared a mandated territory under the League of Nations, administered by South Africa on
behalf of Britain. Subsequently, the United Nations refused to place the territory under trusteeship and demanded
South Africa’s withdrawal. In the 1950s, the Ovamboland People's Congress (which later became the South-West Africa
People's Organisation [SWAPO]) emerged and led the struggle against South African occupation. The territory won
independence in 1990. SWAPO leader Sam Nujoma became president following victory in UN-supervised polls. The 1990
constitution mandates a multiparty democratic system for Namibia. The president and the 72-seat National Assembly
are elected by universal adult suffrage every five years. SWAPO remains the leading political party in the country.
President Sam Nujoma, who had been appointed Head of State by the first parliament, was directly elected in 1994 and 1999.
The area surrounding the Okavango-, Kwando- and Zambezi Rivers, has been described as the "Eden of Africa" as long
ago as in the beginning of the previous century. Since then very little and very much has changed. Much has changed
in this sense that the areas has been carved up into 5 different countries and has experienced the scourges of war.
Little has changed in this sense that hardly any development has taken place and the border is often just a line drawn
on a map - still peoples and wildlife co-exist in harmony and trek across borders at will.
This amazing area varies from the "Thirstland" of the Kalahari Desert, to the amazing Okavango Swamps and the
tropical paradise around the world famous Victoria Falls. Large sections of this area has never been fully explored
but more than 500 species of birds have been listed. The animal kingdom is truly remarkable with Sable antelope,
Roan antelope, elephant, buffalo, hippopotamus and crocodile in abundance.
Read the full story CLICK HERE
Last update: 25 April 2008