Namibia is an African nation located on the southwest coast of the continent. Its neighbours include Botswana, Zambia, Angola and South Africa. How many of these interesting and fun Namibia facts did you know?
- Namibia only gained independence from South Africa in 1990: The nation won independence following a war that lasted decades and involved combatants from many other nations becoming involved. March 21 is celebrated as Namibia’s independence day.
- Approximately half of Namibia’s population of 2.2 million are people belonging to the Ovambo ethnic group: The majority of Ovambo people call Namibia home, although there are also around 400,000 living in neighbouring Angola.
- Namibia takes its named from the Namib Desert, which scientists believe is the oldest desert in the world: In turn, the Namib Desert gets its name from a local word meaning ‘vast place’.
- Namibia has the lowest annual rainfall of any nation in sub-Saharan Africa: On average, it receives only 350 mm per year. With much of the nation made up of vast deserts, this is not entirely surprising.
- The nation spends quite a lot of its GDP on the military, despite having no real enemies in the region: In 2015, Namibia’s military spending was estimated at around 4% of GDP, the highest of all its neighbours (excluding Angola).
- There are estimated to be around 3,300 millionaires (in US dollars) living in Namibia: Of this figure, around a third live in the capital city, Windhoek. Despite a relatively higher average GDP per capita than some of its neighbours, Namibia has a wide range of incomes and a high unemployment rate (over 25%).
- Around half of Namibia’s residents depend on agriculture for their livelihoods: Despite this, the nation still has to import some food as it is unable to produce enough to meet all domestic demand; in particular, a high volume of cereals are imported.
- Up to 25% of the nation’s annual income is generated through the mining sector: Namibia is the number four producer of uranium in the world, and if the current production trend continues it could become the world’s number one producer.
Fun Namibia Facts:
- Namibia’s national rugby team has enjoyed success, having played in five world cups: The national cricket team has also reached the world cup once, in 2003. Football is the most popular sport in the country, but the national side is yet to reach a FIFA World Cup tournament.
- Perhaps Namibia’s most famous sportsperson is sprinter Frankie Fredericks: Fredericks is the only Namibian Olympic medallist, and over his career he won four silvers – two at the 1992 Games and two at the 1996 Games.