Country Description

General information:

Name: Republic of Namibia

Government: Republic

Area: 824,292 km2

Capital: Windhoek

Official languages: English (official) 7%, Afrikaans (common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population), German 32%, indigenous languages (includes Oshivambo, Herero, Nama) 1%

Population: 2,182,852 (July 2013 estimate)

Religions: Christian 80% to 90% (at least 50% Lutheran), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%

Political data:

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

Structure of Government:

Executive: the President is both the chief of state and head of government. The President is elected by popular vote for a 5-year term. He/she can be eligible for a second term.

Legislative: the National Assembly is bicameral. It consists of the National Council, primarily an advisory body (26 seats: 2 members are chosen from each regional council to serve 6-year terms), and the National Assembly (72 seats: members are elected by popular vote to serve 5-year terms, with an additional 6 non-voting members are appointed by the President).

Judicial: the Supreme Court is the highest court. It consists of a chief Justice and at least 3 judges in quorum sessions. The judges are appointed by the President of Namibia upon the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission. The judges serve until the age of 65 but their term can be extended by the President until the age of 70. The Labour Court, the regional and district magistrates' courts, and the community courts are all subordinate courts.

Foreign policy: Namibia is a member state of the UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTOILO, IFM, and others.

Economic data:

GDP: 13.072 billion USD (IMF 2012 estimate)

Main economic resources: mining (diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper), millet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes, livestock, fish etc.

Legal system:

Mixed legal system of uncodified civil law based on Roman-Dutch law and customary law.

Useful links (conventions and  other instruments ratified or signed):

International: see the United Nations Treaty Collection, searchable by participant, including countries and institutions. Other search options are available.

Regional: see the African Union website, the Southern African Development Community, etc

National: consult the Constitution of Namibia and the Government of Namibia portal

National partners of African Law Library:

www.africanlawlibrary.net/partners