Southern Africa

Namibia

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The name of the country is derived from a Nama word that means “vast place”, referring to the Namib Desert, which is the oldest desert in the world. Nomadic peoples with a survival-oriented culture, such as the San tribes, have been inhabiting this land for thousands of years. Around the 14th century, the Bantu expansion reached the area and, since then, dominated the population of the country. Due to its barren and inhospitable coastlines, it wasn’t until the 19th century that Europeans had ventured into present-day Namibia. In 1884 the German Empire gained control over most of the territory and formed a colony known as German South-West Africa. The colonization period was characterized by many conflicts and rebellions, which in the early 20th century culminated in the genocide of the Herero and Nama people by German forces. After World War I, Germany surrendered to the South African expeditionary army, to whom the League of Nations mandated the administration of the colony. However, this transition only traded one colonial rule for another. Hence, the South West Africa People’s Organisation initiated a war for liberation that continued until 1988, when South Africa agreed to end its apartheid administration. Soon after, the new Namibian state held its first democratic elections and became independent, maintaining uninterrupted peace and stability.

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