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South Africa occupied the German colony of South-West Africa during World War I and administered it as a mandate until after World War II, when it annexed the territory. In 1966 the Marxist South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of independence for the area that became Namibia, but it was not until 1988 that South Africa agreed to end its administration in accordance with a UN peace plan for the entire region. Namibia has been governed by SWAPO since the country won independence in 1990. Hifikepunye POHAMBA was elected president in November 2004 in a landslide victory replacing Sam NUJOMA who led the country during its first 14 years of self rule. POHAMBA was reelected in November 2009.


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Economy

Economy - overview
The economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for 8% of GDP, but provides more than 50% of foreign exchange earnings. Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Namibia is the world's fourth-largest producer of uranium. It also produces large quantities of zinc and is a small producer of gold and other minerals. The mining sector employs only about 3% of the population. Namibia normally imports about 50% of its cereal requirements; in drought years food shortages are a major problem in rural areas. A high per capita GDP, relative to the region, hides one of the world''s most unequal income distributions, as shown by Namibia''s 70.7 GINI coefficient. The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African rand. Until 2010, Namibia drew 40% of its budget revenues from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). Increased payments from SACU put Namibia''s budget into surplus in 2007 for the first time since independence. SACU allotments to Namibia increased in 2009, but dropped in 2010 and 2011 because of the global recession, reducing Namibia''s overall SACU income. Increased fish production and mining of zinc, copper, and uranium spurred growth in 2003-08, but growth in recent years was undercut by poor fish catches, a dramatic decline in demand for diamonds, higher costs of producing metals, and the global recession. A rebound in diamond and uranium prices in 2010 and the reopening of copper mines in 2011 provided a significant boost to Namibia''s mining sector.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 138
$15.94 billion (2011 est.)
$15.39 billion (2010 est.)
$14.44 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$12.46 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 104
3.6% (2011 est.)
6.6% (2010 est.)
-0.4% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 131
$7,500 (2011 est.)
$7,300 (2010 est.)
$6,900 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 7.2%
Industry 33.3%
Services 59.5% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 147
803,700 (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 16.3%
Industry 22.4%
Services 61.3%
Note
Statistics are for the formal sector only; about half of Namibia's people are unemployed while about two-thirds live in rural areas; roughly two-thirds of rural dwellers rely on subsistence agriculture (2008 est.)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 193
51.2% (2008 est.)
36.7% (2004 est.)

Population below poverty line
55.8%
Note
The UNDP's 2005 Human Development Report indicated that 34.9% of the population live on $1 per day and 55.8% live on $2 per day (2005 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 1.1%
Highest 10% 53% (2008)

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 1
70.7 (2003)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 76
21.2% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget
Revenues $3.699 billion
Expenditures $4.931 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 93
29.7% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 196
-9.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 112
26.8% of GDP (2011 est.)
15.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 129
5% (2011 est.)
4.5% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 45
12% (31 December 2010 est.)
7% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 99
8.73% (31 December 2011 est.)
9.72% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 112
$3.42 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$3.653 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 113
$7.433 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$8.078 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 112
$5.815 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$6.553 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 106
$1.152 billion (31 December 2011)
$1.176 billion (31 December 2010)
$846.3 million (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products
Millet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes; livestock; fish

Industries
Meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products; mining (diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper)

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 47
6.5% (2010 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 131
2.197 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 121
3.928 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
47 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports
2.1 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 205
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 121
24,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 182
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 111
19,890 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 169
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 103
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 209
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 149
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 98
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 64
62.29 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 73
-$108.2 million (2011 est.)
-$314.1 million (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 119
$4.393 billion (2011 est.)
$4.129 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, processed fish, karakul skins

Imports World Ranking: 125
$5.345 billion (2011 est.)
$4.915 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Foodstuffs; petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 123
$1.758 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.495 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 121
$4.537 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$3.101 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$NA

Exchange rates
Namibian dollars (NAD) per US dollar -
7.2611 (2011 est.)
7.3212 (2010 est.)
8.42 (2009)
7.75 (2008)
7.18 (2007)

Fiscal year
1 April - 31 March


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  Namibia (Windhoek):


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