Namibia Information - Page 2
Early groups of people who lived in "Namibia" were the San or "Bushmen". Bantu-speaking people settled in the region between one and a half to two thousand years ago.
The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese: Diego Cao (1486) and Bartholomew Diaz (1488). Germany annexed the country, known as South West Africa, towards the end of the nineteenth century.
During the First World War South West Africa (SWA) was occupied by South Africa and in 1920 the League of Nations granted South Africa mandate over SWA. Following the Second World War SWA was annexed to South Africa. In 1966 the United Nations ended the mandate but South Africa continued to govern SWA extending South Africa's apartheid laws to the country. SWAPO, the South West Africa People's Organization, began the struggle for the country's independence which was achieved in 1990 although Walvis Bay, Namibia's most important port, was not handed back until 1994. The country became officially known as Namibia in 1968.
The mining industry is an important sector of Namibia's economy. Although only employing a small percentage of the working population, mining provides a significant percentage of Namibia's foreign exchange earnings. Namibia is a major producer of gem-quality diamonds and an important producer of uranium. Other minerals include copper, gold, lead, tin, tungsten, silver and zinc.
Agriculture, especially subsistence agriculture, accounts for the employment of a large percentage of the working population. Other related industries include meat packing and fish processing.
The services sector provides the largest percentage of the country's Gross Domestic Product. Tourism is an important earner of foreign currency and an expanding sector of the economy. (2011)
There are a number of rock art sites in Namibia, for example Twyfelfontein in Damaraland. Prehistoric art can also be seen at the National Museum of Namibia which exhibits a permanent rock art collection.
Many of Namibia's craftsmen and craftswomen are supported by the Namibia Crafts Centre. Traditional crafts include basketry, pottery, woodcarving and handmade carpets.
Namibian artists work in theatre, music and films: "theatre (directors and actors); modern and traditional dancing; visual arts (painters and sculptors); film making (directors and producers); all forms of music; arts and craft; writers and playwrights; radio and television (artists and technicians)" - The Namibian.
Popular sports in Namibia include football, basketball, rugby and cricket.
In 1999 the Namibia Sports School opened to promote sport and excellence in sport.
Other sporting activities available are hiking, cycling, mountaineering and fishing.
Christmas and Easter are celebrated. Other holidays include New Year, Independence Day - 21 March (1990), Africa Day - 25 May, and Human Rights Day - 10 December.
News is available from Newslink.
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