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You are in:  Nations > Africa > Namibia
Namibia*Namibia flag
Basic facts
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The country 
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Capital: Windhoek
Area: 824,269 sq km; 318,252 sq miles
Population: 1,674,116 (2000 Estimate)
Urbanisation: Urban 39 per cent (1998 Estimate); Rural 61 per cent (1998 Estimate)
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Economy

Exports: Diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium, cattle, processed fish, sheepskins

Industry: Meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products, mining

Agriculture: Mostly subsistence farming; livestock raising is a major source of cash income: cattle, sheep, goats, meat, milk, wool; crops: millet, roots and tubers, fruits

Currency: 1 Namibian dollar (N$), consisting of 100 cents

Natural resources: Diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, zinc, salt, vanadium, natural gas, fish; deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, iron ore

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The people

Ethnic: Ethnic divisions Black 86.0 per cent, White 6.6 per cent, Mixed 7.4 per cent. Note: About 50 per cent of the population belong to the Ovambo group and 9 per cent to the Kavango group; other ethnic groups include (with approximate share of total population): Herero 7 per cent, Damara 7 per cent, Nama 5 per cent, Caprivian 4 per cent, Bushmen 3 per cent, Baster 2 per cent, Tswana 0.5 per cent

Language: Although English is the official language most Namibians speak at least one indigenous language at home. Afrikaans and German are also spoken. English is the official language in Namibia although only a tiny fraction of the population speaks it as their first language. Each African ethnic group has its own language, which is generally spoken at home. Ovambo languages are the most widely spoken African languages in Namibia; Damara/Nama, Kavango, Caprivian, Herero and San languages are also common. Afrikaans, a derivation of Dutch that is also spoken in South Africa, a legacy of Namibia's foreign occupation, is still widely used.

Religion: Christian 90 per cent, Other or non-religious 10 per cent. Most Namibians are formally Christian, adhering to a variety of denominations; Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism are the most widely practised. Many people also follow traditional indigenous religions.

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The history

Independence: 21 March 1990 (from South African mandate).

Government: Namibia's President is the executive and is elected by the people. The President may serve a maximum of two five-year terms. Legislative authority is vested in the National Assembly, a body made up of 72 elected members and up to six appointed representatives and in the National Council, made up of two representatives from each of Namibia's 13 regional councils. There is also an independent judiciary.

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