The Republic of Namibia

You may recognize its name because Brangelina recently hunkered down to have their baby there, but Namibia is much more than a safe haven for celebrities to escape from the fierce paparazzi spotlight. Find out about this southern African country right here!

Namibia - Where Is It?

This African country is located on the southwest coast of the continent. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the east, Angola and Zambia to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The capital of Namibia is Windhoek and is located almost directly in the middle of the country.

Namibia - A Brief History

Namibia was originally inhabited by different tribes that had immigrated from the north of Africa. It wasn't until the mid to late 19th century that Europeans laid claim to the country. Germany came to control the majority of Namibia, which at the time was called South West Africa, and the United Kingdom controlled the region of Walvis Bay. When World War I began, South Africa moved in and occupied Namibia - unofficially running it as its own territory. In the mid-1960s though, a guerrilla group called the South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) launched a war against South Africa, looking for independence. Even though South West Africa was re-named Namibia by the United Nations in 1968, it wasn't until 1990 that it officially became an independent nation.

Namibia - Diamonds Are Forever

In comparison to other diamonds in the world, Namibian diamonds tend to be much smaller, but also of higher quality. Each year, close to 1.5 million carats of diamonds are harvested from various mines throughout the country. Many African countries rely on the diamond trade to support their economy, but often rebel groups have a hand in selling these precious gems to support their illegal activities and civil wars - a subject that is discussed in Kanye West's song, Diamonds From Sierra Leone. As well as diamonds, Namibia is a lead exporter of minerals like lead, zinc, tin and silver.

Namibia - Did U Know?

  • Angelina Jolie, accompanied by the father of her children, Brad Pitt, opted to give birth to her daughter Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt in Namibia in May 2006.
  • The average life expectancy of a Namibian citizen is 43 years, which is approximately 34 years less than the average American. This is largely in part because of the rampant AIDS epidemic that Namibia faces.
  • Namibia is home to the Namib Desert, which is thought to be the oldest desert in the world!
  • The official language in Namibia is English, but most of the population speaks Afrikaans as either their first or second language.
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