Natural resources and energy
Namibia has among the largest deposits of
diamonds and uranium in the world. There are also plenty
of other minerals. A gas field outside the Orange River
estuary hopes to provide improved electricity supply.
In addition to diamonds and uranium, there are rich
resources, including copper, lead, zinc, gold, silver
and tin. Furthermore, there are valuable rocks such as
marble. In 1980, the mining sector accounted for half of
the country's gross domestic product (GDP), but the
share has dropped to a little more than a tenth.
However, the minerals still generate more than half of
the export revenue.
Major exports by Namibia with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Diamonds, which are of the highest quality, are found
mainly in the Namib Desert and on the seabed in the
south. Namibia developed during the 1990s the world's
first large-scale diamond mining at greater depths, up
to 120 meters below sea level.
In Rössing, 10 miles from Walvis Bay, there is the
world's largest mine for uranium extraction. However,
the uranium is of relatively low quality. In the Langer
Heinrich mine, which was inaugurated in 2007 near
Rössing, the uranium is of significantly higher quality.
Plans are underway to open another couple of uranium
mines. Namibia is the world's fourth-fifth largest
Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, NA stands for Namibia. Visit itypeusa for more information about Namibia.
Oil resources were found in 2011 off the southern
coast of Namibia, but unlike the first reports, they
proved not profitable to recover.
As early as the 1970s, a large natural gas field was
found outside the mouth of the Orange River in the
south. A decision was taken in 2005 to extract gas and
build a gas power plant in Oranjemund, but the
development has been slow. The power plant is scheduled
to make Namibia self-sufficient in electricity.
Otherwise, electricity shortages threaten.
So far, well over half of the electricity consumed is
imported, mainly from South Africa. The domestic
electricity comes mainly from the Ruacana hydroelectric
plant at the Kunene border in the north. Discussions on
extracting hydroelectric power from the Okavango River
have also raised concerns about the unique nature of the
Okavango Delta in Botswana (see Foreign Policy and
The water shortage is a problem that is exacerbated
by the move into the cities and the expansion of the
water-demanding mining industry.
Nearly half of the land area - including the nearly
160-mile coastal strip - is under some form of nature
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
752 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
1564 kWh, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
3 755 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
1.6 tonnes (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
26.5 percent (2015)
Long prison sentence for those involved in the coup attempt
The 30 men found guilty of treason (see September) are
collectively sentenced in groups, depending on the degree of responsibility, to
prisoners of between 30 and 225 years. Those who received the shortest sentence
will in practice be served 18 years (see also Modern history and Political
Swapo wins by a large margin
The Swapo government demonstrates its total control over the country's
politics by winning in 113 of the 121 constituencies in the nationwide municipal
and regional elections. For the first time, the party gains power in all 14
regional boards. Swapo also strengthens the grip on the 57 municipal councils,
including Windhoek and Walvis Bay.
Judgment in due course
30 people are convicted of treason, murder and attempted murder for a failed
attempt in 1999 to break the Caprivi strip from Namibia. In total, more than 100
people have been prosecuted on a total of 278 points in the trial that has been
going on for 16 years. Eight people were killed when a rebel force attacked a
number of buildings in central Katima Mulilo. Over the years, dozens of
defendants have been released afterwards and several have died in prison. At the
end of the trial, 35 people were released. The convicted are at risk of life
The government's process should reduce the housing shortage
The Government concludes an agreement with the Affirmative Repositioning
Action Group (see February 2015) on a process to create 200,000
new plots in the country's cities. The government also plans to build affordable
housing for people living in shelters and other temporary housing on occupied
land. President Geingob further suggests that it may be relevant to expropriate
land from farms around the capital. With the agreement, activists abolish their
threat of nationwide land occupations.
26 countries are included in free trade agreements
Namibia and 25 other countries agree on a new free trade agreement,
Tripartite free trade area, which covers half of Africa, from Egypt in the north
to South Africa in the south. However, before the agreement can come into force,
negotiations are required and the agreement is approved by the parliaments of
The presidential couple reports on their assets
President Geingob and his wife Monica report their financial assets, to
promote transparency and accountability - and urge other authorities to do the
Swapo switches leaders
Ex-President Hifikepunye Pohamba resigns as party chairman for the Swapo
government party. The country's newly-appointed president Hage Geingob becomes
acting party leader.
Hage Geingbo takes over as president
Hage Geingbo will take over as president on March 21. In connection with the
accession, he presents his new government, with Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila as
Pohamba wins the prize for democracy
Outgoing President Hifikepunye Pohamba receives the Mo Ibrahim Prize for
African Leadership. The prize is awarded to someone who is considered to have
stood for democratic values.
Action group sets ultimatum
An Action Group for Land Rights, Affirmative Repositioning (about Yes for
relocation) states that 50,000 people have submitted a request to the
authorities to obtain land. The group gives the government until 31 July to
handle the applications. If nothing happens, activists threaten to take matters
into their own hands and occupy land across the country.
Hundreds of people protest against housing shortages
More than 1,000 people occupy an uninhabited area in the port city of
Swakopmund. The occupants say they have grown tired of waiting for the
government to fulfill their promises and provide them with land where they can
build housing. The land that is occupied is earmarked for cheap housing but
nothing has happened for several years. The housing shortage is a major problem
in Namibia and the government has invested in a program that will render 100,000
new housing for 15 years.