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Africa :: Namibia
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Namibia
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Namibia
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Map of Namibia
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Introduction ::Namibia
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South Africa occupied the German colony of South-West Africa during World War I and administered it as a mandate until after World War II, when it annexed the territory. In 1966 the Marxist South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of independence for the area that became Namibia, but it was not until 1988 that South Africa agreed to end its administration in accordance with a UN peace plan for the entire region. Namibia has been governed by SWAPO since the country won independence in 1990. Hifikepunye POHAMBA was elected president in November 2004 in a landslide victory replacing Sam NUJOMA who led the country during its first 14 years of self rule.
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Geography ::Namibia
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Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa
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22 00 S, 17 00 E
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total: 824,292 sq km
country comparison to the world: 34
land: 823,290 sq km
water: 1,002 sq km
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slightly more than half the size of Alaska
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total: 3,936 km
border countries: Angola 1,376 km, Botswana 1,360 km, South Africa 967 km, Zambia 233 km
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1,572 km
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territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
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desert; hot, dry; rainfall sparse and erratic
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mostly high plateau; Namib Desert along coast; Kalahari Desert in east
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lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Konigstein 2,606 m
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diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, silver, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, tungsten, zinc, salt, hydropower, fish
note: suspected deposits of oil, coal, and iron ore
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arable land: 0.99%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 99% (2005)
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80 sq km (2003)
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45.5 cu km (1991)
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total: 0.3 cu km/yr (24%/5%/71%)
per capita: 148 cu m/yr (2000)
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prolonged periods of drought
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limited natural fresh water resources; desertification; wildlife poaching; land degradation has led to few conservation areas
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party to: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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first country in the world to incorporate the protection of the environment into its constitution; some 14% of the land is protected, including virtually the entire Namib Desert coastal strip
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People ::Namibia
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2,108,665
country comparison to the world: 143
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2009 est.)
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0-14 years: 35.9% (male 381,904/female 375,059)
15-64 years: 60.2% (male 641,995/female 627,146)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 36,894/female 45,667) (2009 est.)
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total: 21 years
male: 20.9 years
female: 21.1 years (2009 est.)
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0.95% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
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22.51 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
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13.3 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
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0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
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urban population: 37% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 45.51 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 55
male: 48.98 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 41.94 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 51.24 years
country comparison to the world: 205
male: 51.61 years
female: 50.86 years (2009 est.)
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2.69 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
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15.3% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
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200,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
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5,100 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
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degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)
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noun: Namibian(s)
adjective: Namibian
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black 87.5%, white 6%, mixed 6.5%
note: about 50% of the population belong to the Ovambo tribe and 9% to the Kavangos tribe; other ethnic groups include Herero 7%, Damara 7%, Nama 5%, Caprivian 4%, Bushmen 3%, Baster 2%, Tswana 0.5%
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Christian 80% to 90% (Lutheran 50% at least), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%
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English 7% (official), Afrikaans common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population, German 32%, indigenous languages 1% (includes Oshivambo, Herero, Nama)
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 85%
male: 86.8%
female: 83.5% (2001 census)
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total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2006)
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6.9% of GDP (2003)
country comparison to the world: 26
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Government ::Namibia
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conventional long form: Republic of Namibia
conventional short form: Namibia
local long form: Republic of Namibia
local short form: Namibia
former: German Southwest Africa, South-West Africa
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republic
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name: Windhoek
geographic coordinates: 22 34 S, 17 05 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April
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13 regions; Caprivi, Erongo, Hardap, Karas, Khomas, Kunene, Ohangwena, Okavango, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa
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21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)
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Independence Day, 21 March (1990)
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ratified 9 February 1990, effective 12 March 1990
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based on Roman-Dutch law and 1990 constitution; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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18 years of age; universal
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chief of state: President Hifikepunye POHAMBA (since 21 March 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Nahas ANGULA (since 21 March 2005)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 15 November 2004 (next to be held in November 2009)
election results: Hifikepunye POHAMBA elected president; percent of vote - Hifikepunye POHAMBA 76.4%, Den ULENGA 7.3%, Katuutire KAURA 5.1%, Kuaima RIRUAKO 4.2%, Justus GAROEB 3.8%, other 3.2%
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bicameral legislature consists of the National Council (26 seats; two members are chosen from each regional council to serve six-year terms) and the National Assembly (72 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: National Council - elections for regional councils to determine members of the National Council held 29-30 November 2004 (next to be held in November 2010); National Assembly - last held 15-16 November 2004 (next to be held in November 2009)
election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - SWAPO 89.7%, UDF 4.7%, NUDO 2.8%, DTA 1.9%, other 0.9%; seats by party - SWAPO 24, UDF 1, DTA 1; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - SWAPO 76.1%, COD 7.3%, DTA 5.1%, NUDO 4.2%, UDF 3.6%, RP 1.9%, MAG 0.8%, other 1.0%; seats by party - SWAPO 55, COD 5, DTA 4, NUDO 3, UDF 3, RP 1, MAG 1
note: the National Council is primarily an advisory body
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Supreme Court (judges appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission)
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All People's Party or APP [Ignatius SHIXWAMENI]; Congress of Democrats or COD [Ben ULENGA]; Democratic Turnhalle Alliance of Namibia or DTA [Katuutire KAURA]; Monitor Action Group or MAG [Jurie VILJOEN]; National Democratic Movement for Change or NamDMC; National Unity Democratic Organization or NUDO [Kuaima RIRUAKO]; Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Hidipo HAMUTENYA]; Republican Party or RP [Henk MUDGE]; South West Africa National Union or SWANU [Usutuaije MAAMBERUA]; South West Africa People's Organization or SWAPO [Hifikepunye POHAMBA]; United Democratic Front or UDF [Justus GAROEB]
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Earthlife Namibia [Berthchen KOHRS] (environmentalist group); National Society for Human Rights or NSHR; The World Information Services of Energy or WISE (group against nuclear power)
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ACP, AfDB, AU, C, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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chief of mission: Ambassador Patrick NANDAGO
chancery: 1605 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 986-0540
FAX: [1] (202) 986-0443
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chief of mission: Ambassador G. Dennise MATHIEU
embassy: 14 Lossen Street, Windhoek
mailing address: Private Bag 12029 Ausspannplatz, Windhoek
telephone: [264] (61) 295-8500
FAX: [264] (61) 295-8603
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a wide red stripe edged by narrow white stripes divides the flag diagonally from lower hoist corner to upper fly corner; the upper hoist-side triangle is blue and charged with a yellow, 12-rayed sunburst; the lower fly-side triangle is green
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Economy ::Namibia
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The economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for 8% of GDP, but provides more than 50% of foreign exchange earnings. Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Namibia is the fourth-largest exporter of nonfuel minerals in Africa, the world's fifth-largest producer of uranium, and the producer of large quantities of lead, zinc, tin, silver, and tungsten. The mining sector employs only about 3% of the population while about half of the population depends on subsistence agriculture for its livelihood. Namibia normally imports about 50% of its cereal requirements; in drought years food shortages are a major problem in rural areas. A high per capita GDP, relative to the region, hides one of the world's most unequal income distributions. The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African rand. Increased payments from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) put Namibia's budget into surplus in 2007 for the first time since independence, but SACU payments will decline after 2008 as part of a new revenue sharing formula. Increased fish production and mining of zinc, copper, uranium, and silver spurred growth in 2003-07, but growth in recent years was undercut by poor fish catches and high costs for metal inputs.
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$13.25 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
$12.87 billion (2007 est.)
$12.2 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$8.456 billion (2008 est.)
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2.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
5.5% (2007 est.)
7.1% (2006 est.)
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$6,300 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
$6,200 (2007 est.)
$6,000 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 9%
industry: 37%
services: 54% (2008 est.)
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686,000 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145
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agriculture: 47%
industry: 20%
services: 33% (1999 est.)
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5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
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the UNDP's 2005 Human Development Report indicated that 34.9% of the population live on $1 per day and 55.8% live on $2 per day
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lowest 10%: 0.5%
highest 10%: 64.5% (2003)
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70.7 (2003)
country comparison to the world: 1
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23.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
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revenues: $2.661 billion
expenditures: $2.745 billion (2008 est.)
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22.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
38.5% of GDP (2004 est.)
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10.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
6.7% (2007 est.)
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10% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 35
10.5% (31 December 2007)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 61
12.88% (31 December 2007)
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$1.983 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 93
$2.149 billion (31 December 2007)
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$1.158 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 109
$1.493 billion (31 December 2007)
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$3.43 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 100
$4.446 billion (31 December 2007)
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$618.7 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 100
$702 million (31 December 2007)
$541.8 million (31 December 2006)
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millet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes; livestock; fish
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meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products; mining (diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper)
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0.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
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1.65 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
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3.175 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
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40 million kWh (2007 est.)
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2.045 billion kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (2007 est.)
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0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
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21,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
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0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156
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19,120 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
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0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
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0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 89
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114
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62.29 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
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$156.8 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
$693.2 million (2007 est.)
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$2.791 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
$2.922 billion (2007 est.)
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diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, processed fish, karakul skins
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$3.502 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
$3.102 billion (2007 est.)
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foodstuffs; petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals
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$1.293 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
$896 million (31 December 2007 est.)
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$797.7 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
$1.003 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$NA
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$NA
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Namibian dollars (NAD) per US dollar - 7.75 (2008 est.), 7.18 (2007), 6.7649 (2006), 6.3593 (2005), 6.4597 (2004)
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Communications ::Namibia
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140,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 137
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1.052 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 141
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general assessment: good system with a combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity of about 55 per 100 persons
domestic: core fiber-optic network links most centers and connections are now digital; Namibia's first mobile-cellular network, launched in 1994, provides coverage to 86 percent of Namibia by area
international: country code - 264; fiber-optic cable to South Africa, microwave radio relay link to Botswana, direct links to other neighboring countries; connected to the South African Far East (SAFE) submarine cable through South Africa; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (2008)
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AM 2, FM 39, shortwave 4 (2001)
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2 (2007)
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.na
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17,840 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 105
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113,500 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 149
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Transportation ::Namibia
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129 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 44
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total: 21
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2009)
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total: 108
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 22
914 to 1,523 m: 73
under 914 m: 11 (2009)
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total: 2,629 km
country comparison to the world: 64
narrow gauge: 2,629 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
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total: 42,237 km
country comparison to the world: 86
paved: 5,406 km
unpaved: 36,831 km (2002)
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total: 1
country comparison to the world: 155
by type: cargo 1
registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2008)
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Luderitz, Walvis Bay
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Military ::Namibia
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Namibian Defense Force: Army, Navy, Air Wing (2008)
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18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)
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males age 16-49: 527,948 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 329,614
females age 16-49: 294,490 (2009 est.)
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male: 25,857
female: 25,505 (2009 est.)
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3.7% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 36
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Transnational Issues ::Namibia
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concerns from international experts and local populations over the Okavango Delta ecology in Botswana and human displacement scuttled Namibian plans to construct a hydroelectric dam on Popa Falls along the Angola-Namibia border; managed dispute with South Africa over the location of the boundary in the Orange River; Namibia has supported, and in 2004 Zimbabwe dropped objections to, plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the Zambezi River, thereby de facto recognizing a short, but not clearly delimited, Botswana-Zambia boundary in the river
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refugees (country of origin): 4,700 (Angola) (2007)
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