About Namibia

Namibia Factsheet

                                                                                                                                                                        
Geography     Namibia is a sub-Saharan African nation, bordering Angola (1,376 km), Botswana (1,360 km), South Africa (967 km), Zambia (233 km) and the South Atlantic Ocean. The country has a total land area of 823,290 km2, of which a mere 1,002 km2 are covered by water. Namibia is located in the south- western part of sub-Saharan Africa (22o57’ S, 17o15’ E) and the most prevalent natural hazard is prolonged periods of drought.
Climate The climate in Namibia is mostly arid. Sometimes described as one of the sunniest countries in the world, Namibia experiences more than 300 days of sunshine annually.
Rainfall is sparse and erratic, and most prevalent on either side of the summer season, between September and November and again between February and April.
Temperatures vary greatly depending on location, ranging from highs of over 45°C in the Namib desert to much lower temperatures along the coast due to the cold Benguela
current of the bordering Atlantic Ocean.
Population As of March 2019, the desert economy had a population estimated in the region of 2.6 million and growing by roughly 0.75% per annum. The country’s inhabitants are relatively young on average, with a median age of 21 years, while the life expectancy at birth is estimated at 64 years.
 
Currency
  • The official currency of the country is the Namibian dollar, adopted in 1993 after Namibia gained independence from South Africa. The Namibia dollar is pegged to the South African rand on a one-to-one basis.
  • The following represents the average recent exchange rates:


- N$ 12.6: EUR 1
- N$ 16.1: USD 1
- N$ 10.2: AUD 1       

                                                           

 

Namibia has many Investor-friendly features:

• Political stability;
• Positive business environment in a regional and African context;
• Low levels of crime and corruption;
• On-going reforms to state-owned enterprises;
• Located near the large economies of South Africa, Angola and Botswana;
• Continued expansion of the financial sector and financial markets;
• History of strong economic growth;
• Positive medium- to long-term outlook for the mining sector; and
• A literate and bilingual labour force.

Type of government

Namibia has a presidential system of government and a bicameral legislature. The president is both the chief of state and the head of government.

The legislative branch of government consists of a national council and a national assembly. The national council is the upper chamber of Namibia’s bicameral Parliament. The national assembly is the lower chamber of Namibia’s bicameral Parliament.

The judicial branch mainly consists of the Supreme Court, High Court, Labour Court, regional and district magistrates’ courts and community courts.

Economy and fiscal policy

Namibia’s economic structure is a complex hybrid of old and new. It has a sophisticated, modern sector based on highly capital intensive mining activities and commercial farming on the one hand, and a large informal sector mostly comprising subsistence farming on the other – each playing a fundamental role in the dual-economy’s wellbeing.

The services sector includes a large tourism industry, a developed banking industry, and a strong retail industry. Sound macroeconomic policies in addition to a stable political environment have contributed to the fact that Namibia has been able to record strong economic growth rates.

Regulatory environment

The Minerals Policy of Namibia highlights the guiding principles and direction of the industry while also communicating the values of the Namibian people in pursuit of the development of the mining sector. All mining related activities in Namibia are regulated by the Minerals (Prospecting and Mining) Act of 1992..
All mineral rights are vested in the State.
Several types of mining and prospecting licenses exist, each of which is outlined briefly below:

Safety and security

The safety and health of persons employed or otherwise present in or at mines’ is provided for in the Mine Health and Safety Regulations (10th Draft) issued by the Ministry of Mines and Energy under section 138A of the Minerals (Prospecting and Mining) Act 33 of 1992 as amended.

Environmental issues

As one of the driest countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia is especially vulnerable to climate change, which often manifests itself in floods and droughts. Seeing as a large proportion of the country’s population rely on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, forestry and fishing, Namibia is particularly vigilant in relation to environmental protection.

During 2011, Namibian authorities adopted the National Climate Change Policy. The policy aims to strengthen the country’s climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

In addition, the Environmental Management Act 7 of 2007 applies to the mining industry as well. The act requires the issuance of environmental permits and licenses for a range of activities which would have an impact on the environment.

Power Supply

The Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower, the national power utility) is mandated to generate, transmit, supply and trade electricity, while also exporting, importing and to a limited extent distributing it. This takes place within the Southern African Power Pool.

Namibia is planning to move from an electricity-deficit country at present to a power exporter. The country’s Energy Sector Plan is looking towards the construction of a 600 MW hydropower installation, several potential wind farm projects generating 114 MW, three solar stations, a diesel-powered facility, and an 800 MW gas-to-power plant. The most ambitious of these, the Kudu Gas power project, is to be a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power station. The power station will be supplied by the equally ambitious development of the off-shore Kudu Gas fields; to be carried out by the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor).

Infrastructure Development

When the country gained independence from South Africa in 1990, it inherited well-functioning physical infrastructure for the most part.

Namibia is currently in the planning and/or development phase of various large-scale infrastructural projects. The most prominent of these is certainly the Kudu Gas power project. The Walvis Bay port is set for an N$3bn expansion in addition to a N$30bn port development to the north of the town. The aim of the latter is to provide more shipping services to other countries in the region.

As part of the Walvis Bay port expansion project, Namcor will start building a N$2.4bn fuel storage and offloading dock. The 80 million litre storage facility, to be linked by pipeline to the dock, will allow Namcor to sell and distribute petroleum products in Namibia.

Labour relations and employment situation

Labour laws, rights and protections are administered under the Labour Act 11 of 2007.

Major mining companies in Namibia

Namibia’s mining industry is highly concentrated by commodity type, as a small number of large mining firms account for the vast majority of output.

The diamond mining industry is dominated by Namdeb – a joint venture between the government and the De Beers conglomerate – which produces upwards of 95% of the local diamond output. The company is also the largest taxpayer and second-largest employer in the country.

Other companies playing a smaller role in the industry include Sakawe Mining Corporation and Diaz Exploration.
The uranium mining industry is dominated by the Rössing mine (majority owned by the Rio Tinto Group) has been operational since 1976 and is the world’s third largest uranium mine by output.

Key domestic players

Foreign companies with operations in Namibia