Namibia (Geography), The country can naturally be divided into three geographical regions. The wide coastal plain is covered by the Namib Desert. Off the coast is the cool Benguela stream, which makes the climate cooler than you might expect, but also completely dry. The plain is characterized by colossal sand formations; its name from the sailing ship era, the Skeleton Coast, tells of the inhospitable nature.
Behind the Namib Desert, the landscape turns into a dry highland plateau with altitudes up to 2500 m, behind which lies the Kalahari Desert. The whole country is thus dry, but with increasing rainfall to the north, where there is dry grass water. The only permanent rivers are the boundary rivers Cunene and Okavango to the north, Zambezi to the northeast and Oranje to the south. Other rivers are only water-bearing after rains, most often falling December-February.
The population is composed of many ethnic groups with ovambo being the largest (47%); others are kavango (9%), herero (7%), damara (7%) and nama (4%). 6% are white, most South Africans and Germans with a background in the country’s colonial history. Population growth is high, 2.6% per year, but declining due to HIV/AIDS; almost half of the population is under 15 years of age. Average life expectancy is low, and following a rising trend in the 1980’s, it is again declining due to HIV/AIDS; approximately 21% of the population is believed to have HIV/AIDS (2003).
- Countryaah: Do you know how many people there are in Namibia? Check this site to see population pyramid and resident density about this country.
Business and Economics
Agriculture. It is estimated that 1% of the land is potentially arable land, while much larger land can be used for grazing. Cultivation is mainly carried out along the rivers and in the northern parts of the highland plateau, where rainfall makes it possible. Corn and millet are the most important crops. In the drier areas, agriculture is supplemented by gathering and hunting; elsewhere, the water supply is supplemented by boreholes and dams, but not without problems, as the groundwater level is lowered in several places by 30 m during the 1900-h. Namibia has more cows than humans (over 2 million) and 4-5 times as many sheep and goats. The majority are self-sufficient family farms in the villages and with nomads, but many farm animals are owned by white farmers on large farms; here are also the hardy caracal sheep. Meat and wool from the farms constitute a significant part of exports.
Fishing. The cool ocean currents off the coast of Namibia mean that the waters are a so-called upwelling area with rich fishing resources and these are exploited under license agreements by foreign ship owners. However, overfishing in the 1980’s has reduced revenues from this.
Mining remains an important part of the country’s economy; the vast majority of the mining sector is owned by foreign mining companies. In 1908, diamonds were found at Lüderitz on the southern Atlantic coast, and later deposits were found on the Orange River. These deposits are now depleted, and the search is taking place especially off the coast at the Orange’s outlet. The diamonds are of very high quality and Namibia is the world’s largest manufacturer of jewelry diamonds. Like most other places in the world, the South African De Beers Group is centrally located in the industry, but a Russian diamond company is also participating. Namibia is also a significant uranium producer. The Rossing mine at Swakopmund is the world’s largest uranium mine and one of the largest open mines ever.
The industry is only slightly expanded and most goods are imported from South Africa. Locally processed agricultural products and fish, and there is a modest production of building materials, etc.
Tourism. After independence, efforts have been made to build a tourism industry aimed at a small but exclusive audience and with the country’s natural parks as the main attraction. The special climate gives the parks a distinctive flora and fauna with several endemic species. Best known is Etosha Pan to the north and the 160 km long Fish River Canyon with 550 m deep canyons.
A very large part of Namibia’s population lives in deep poverty. Many structures have been continued from the long period as a colony and during apartheid. Now there are plans for land reform that could give the black population land in cultivable areas. Another objective is to restructure the unilateral economic structure, where exports of mining products together with lightly processed agricultural products pay for the import of food and consumer goods. However, building up national industry is costly and so far dependent on foreign aid. In 2004, development aid accounted for 3% of the country’s GDP.
Namibia – language
Namibia – languages, In Namibia, almost 30 languages are spoken, including: bantusprogene Ndonga or Ovambo spoken by over half the population, and Herero (about 130,000) in addition khoisansprog as nama (about 175 000, 1998). Official language is English, while Afrikaans is the most important lingua franca. The former colonial language German is widespread especially in the white minority. For culture and traditions of Namibia, please check aparentingblog.