Republic of Namibia
CAPITAL : Windhoek
FLAG : Top left triangle is blue, center diagonal band is red, and the bottom right triangle is green. Colors are separated by narrow white bands. On the blue triangle is a golden sun with twelve triangular rays.
ANTHEM : Namibia Land of the Brave , music and words by Axali Doeseb.
MONETARY UNIT : The Namibian dollar ( N $) of 100 cents is in use; N $1 = $0.13297 (or $1 = N $7.52) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is in use.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Independence Day, 21 March; Easter, 1–4 April; Workers' Day, 1 May; Casinga Day, 4 May; Ascension Day, 12 May; Africa Day, 25 May; Heroes' Day, 26 August; Day of Goodwill, 7 October; Human Rights Day, 10 December; Christmas, 25–26 December.
TIME : 2 PM = noon GMT.
The official language of Namibia is English; however, it is only used by about 7% of the population. Afrikaans is the common language used by most people, including about 60% of the white population. Approximately 32% speak German. Ovambo, in any of several dialects, is widely used throughout the country, and Herero is widely spoken in Windhoek. Other indigenous languages are also used by the various tribes.
There are 13 regions in Namibia. The most populous is Ohangwena, followed by Oshikoto, Khomas, Oshana, Omusati, Okavango, Erongo, Caprivi, Otjozondjupa, Hardap, Karas, Kunene, and Omaheke. They are governed by elected councils. Local governments (municipalities, towns and villages) have elected councils.
The armed forces in Namibia numbered 9,000 in 2002 including the Presidential guard and an air wing. The coast guard numbered around 200 and operated two patrol craft for fishery protection. The paramilitary consisted of a special field force of 6,000 which included border guards. Namibia participated in the peacekeeping effort in Ethiopia/Eritrea. Defense spending was $104.4 million in 2001.
Namibia is a member of the UN and agencies including the FAO, IAEA, ILO, ITU, UNESCO, and WHO. It also belongs to ECA and participates in the African Development Bank, G-77, the AU and the WTO. In the sub-region, Namibia belongs to the South Africa Customs Union (SACU) and to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).
About 10% of Namibia consists of forests and woodland, including woodland savanna, all in the north and northeast. Most of the timber is used locally.
Herman Toivo ja Toivo (b.1915?), the founder of SWAPO and the leader of Namibian nationalism, languished in a South African prison from 1966, when he was convicted of treason, until his release in March 1984. Sam Nujoma (b. 1929) has been leader of SWAPO since 1966.
Namibia has no territories or colonies.
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