Namibia: 6 Ways The Southern African Country Is Leading The Pack In Africa



Namibia is the 12th happiest country in Africa according to the 2017 Happiness index.

On a global rating Namibia became the 55th Most Peaceful Country In Africa(2016 Global Peace Index).

Brief History

Namibia is the 18th smallest African country by population. From a 2015 estimate, the country has a population of 2.3 million people.

The Southern African nation gained its independence on 21 March 1990 under the rulership of Namibia’s first president, Sam Nujoma. It was ruled by the German Empire in the late 19th century; and later by the South African apartheid regime.

Formerly known as  South West Africa, Namibia took its name from the Namib Desert.

The Namibian genocide is one of the earliest and less known Genocides in Africa.

Germany tendered a formal apology for the colonial-era killings but the descendants of the Herero tribe found it unsatisfactory.

In January 1904, the Herero people, led by Samuel Maharero and Nama Captain Hendrik Witbooi, rebelled against German colonial rule. In a counter attack, the indigenous groups were killed, imprisoned and driven into the desert where they faced starvation and subsequent massive deaths.

The current Namibian government is demanding reparation for the gruesome massacre.

After the colonial bruises, Namibia has done very well for itself. The nation has made significant rises in some of its sectors. The nation in the midst of its developmental struggles has set examples for African governments

See Also: Homegrown Doctors Willing To Stay Home And Save Lives

These are the 5 ways Namibia has set examples for other African countries to emulate. 

1. Economy

The mining sector is the power house of the Namibian economy; followed by Agro-investments and tourism.

Namibia is rich with mineral resources such as diamonds, uranium, gold, silver, and base metals. Diamonds were discovered in 1908. This soon attracted European investors.

Ranked 108th in the 2017 Ease of Doing Business index, Namibia is the 4th largest exporter of non-fuel minerals in Africa and the 4th largest producer of uranium in the world.

In the presence of severe inequality in wealth distribution, Namibia has an estimated annual GDP per capita of $5,828.  As at 2012, the country’s unemployment rate was at a 27.4% rate.

According to Project Syndicate, the poverty benchmark of less than $1.90 a day, Namibia has seen a 53% -23% decrease over a 10 year period.

World Bank has categorized Namibia as an upper middle income nation.



2. Political Structure

Political instability is a major problem with most African countries. Namibia is credited for having a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy.

The system is such that the President is both head of state and government; but all members of the government are individually and collectively responsible to the legislature(Wikipedia).

The SWAPO party is however the leading party since independence in 1990.

Another striking feature of the Namibian government is that they seem to be one African country that has considerably implemented a reduced Presidential term.

The Namibian constitution clearly stipulates that a president is entitled to a two-year single tenure. The former president Hifikepunye Pohamba served for 2 terms and handed over to the incumbent president Hage Geingob in 2014.

3. Education

As a quintessential aspect in youth formation as well as the general well-being of any nation, Namibia is on a mission to make education as affordable as possible for its citizens.

Primary education in Namibia is free. The government is successively making plans to make education in all public secondary schools free as well.

The government’s commitment to accessible education has reflected in the increasing literacy levels in Namibia. Investing in education by extension has positively affected the health and economic sectors.

4. Media Freedom

According to BBC, Namibia enjoys a commendable level of press freedom in Africa.

The media is at liberty to criticize the government without fear of victimization.

Media and journalists in Namibia are represented by the Namibian chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa and the Editors’ Forum of Namibia. An independent media ombudsman was appointed in 2009 to prevent a state-controlled media council(Wikipedia).

The Namibian media is consistently ranking high in the global press freedom index.

See Also: Namibian Genocide: Descendants Sue Germany For A $30 Billion Reparation

5. The Patriotic Spirit

Owing to economic setbacks, many African countries are suffering the Brain drain syndrome. This occurs when homegrown professionals in search of greener pastures broaden gaps in the African labor sector while investing the talent in already developed nations.

For a change Namibian trained doctors opted to practice in their country. The country made this possible by setting up its first medical school, The University of Namibia’s medical sciences centre in 2010. The government provides funds and scholarships for the medical students. Provisions of this sort encourages their talents to remain in the country after their education.

6. Wildlife Conservation

Namibia’s biodiversity is a boost to her tourism successes. Thus, they have partnered with international bodies to conserve wildlife.

The Namibian government has included the conservation and protection of natural resources in its constitution

“The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting international policies aimed at the following: maintenance of ecosystems, essential ecological processes, and biological diversity of Namibia, and utilization of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future.”

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