Namibia - Country history and economic development

1884. South West Africa (SWA) is declared a German protectorate.

1915. South African troops defeat Germans and occupy SWA during World War I (1914-18).

1920. SWA is mandated to South Africa by the League of Nations.

1925. South Africa grants limit self-government to the territory's white inhabitants.

1945. The United Nations (UN) calls for Namibia to become a UN Trusteeship but is rebuffed by South Africa.

1950. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) rules that SWA remain under an international mandate.

1957. The Ovamboland People's Congress (OPC) is formed, with its main objective being the securing of independence for Namibia.

1958. OPC is renamed Ovamboland's People's Organization (OPO) and in 1960 becomes the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) under the leadership of Sam Nujoma.

1966. The UN General Assembly terminates South Africa's mandate over SWA, placing it under UN control. South Africa ignores this and extends its apartheid laws to SWA. SWAPO launches an armed struggle against the South African regime in Namibia.

1968. The United Nations renames the country Namibia.

1971. The ICJ rules that South Africa's claims to Namibia are invalid.

1973. The UN General Assembly recognizes SWAPO as the sole legitimate representative of the Namibian people.

1978. The Democratic Turnhalle Alliance of Namibia (DTA) wins elections boycotted by SWAPO and a South African-backed internal government is established. The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 435, which calls for Namibia's independence.

1988. The terms of Resolution 435 are finally set in motion as part of a tripartite agreement formally signed by Angola, Cuba, and South Africa.

1989. In UN-supervised elections held in November SWAPO wins 41 seats in a 72-member Constituent Assembly; the DTA wins 21 seats. In December the Constituent Assembly introduces proposals for a draft constitution.

1990. On 9 February, the constitution is formally adopted. Sam Nujoma is elected as the country's first president, and SWAPO forms a government. On 21 March, Namibia becomes independent, the Constituent Assembly becomes the National Assembly, and the president assumes executive powers. In March, Namibia becomes a full member of the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), the UN, Organization of African Unity, and the Commonwealth.

1995. Sam Nujoma is elected president for a second term, and SWAPO forms government.

1999. Sam Nujoma elected president for a third term, and SWAPO forms government.

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