Our Country

Namibia’s National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 2 February 1990 as a symbol of the country’s struggle for national unity. Namibian Flag It symbolizes peace, unity and common loyalty to Namibia. The National Flag represents the nation in every aspect.

The sun symbolizes life and energy. The golden color of the sun represents the warmth and the color of the plains of the Namib Desert. The blue symbolizes the sky, the Atlantic Ocean, Namibia’s marine resources and the importance of rain and water. Red represents the Namibian people, their heroism and their determination to build a future of equal opportunity for all. White refers to peace and unity, while the green symbolizes the country’s vegetation and agricultural resources.
 
Namibian The National Flag is reproduced on the shield of the Coat of Arms. It is firmly anchored in the sand of the centuries old Namib Desert. On the headband above the shield is the fish eagle, representing the north and our country’s water resources. The fish eagle has excellent vision and is thus also a symbol of the farsightedness of our country’s leaders. The two Oryx antelope on either side of the shield are indigenous, specifically to the semi-arid parts of Namibia. They are renowned for their courage, elegance and pride.
 
The Welwitschia mirabilis, rooted in the desert sand is a unique desert plant, a fighter for survival and, therefore, a symbol of Namibia’s fortitude and tenacity. The headband refers to the traditions of our people and the diamond shapes symbolize the importance of diamonds to the country’s economy.
The motto, Unity, Liberty, Justice enshrines the key principles embodied in the Constitution. Private bodies may not use the Coat of Arms without the express permission of the President.
 
Area: Namibia is a vast country of about 824000 square kilometres. It is the 12 th largest country in sub-Sahara Africa. It shares  borders with Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Map
 
Population: According to the 2001 Population and Housing Census, Namibia had a population of approximately 1,825 million and the annual population growth of about 2,6%. The average population density of the territory is less than three (about 2,5) people per square kilometre as against 16 (sixteen) for Africa and 32,5 per square kilometre for the world. While English is the official language in Namibia, many languages are spoken in the country. They can be divided in three categories: the Bantu languages spoken by the Owambos, Hereros, Kavangos, Caprivians and Tswanas; the Khoi-san languages spoken by the San and Nama/Damara; and the Indo-Germanic languages of Afrikaans, English and German. The Owambos are the biggest ethnical group in Namibia. Numbering approximately 900000 in 2001, they represent about 50% of Namibia’s population. Windhoek is the nation’s capital. Major other towns and municipalities include Ondangwa, Oshakati, Walvisbay, Katima Mulilo.
 
Climate: Namibia has a dry climate typical of a semi-desert country where droughts are a regular occurrence. Days are mostly warm to very hot, while nights are generally cool. Average day temperatures in the summer vary from 20 0 C - 34 0 C and average night temperatures in the winter from 0 0 C - 10 0 C. Temperatures in the interior are lower because of the altitude, while along the coast the cold Benguela Current has a modifying influence. The Benguela is the prime determinant of the climate of the Namib Desert as it reduces rainfall and causes the omnipresent fog typical of the coast. Rain in Namibia usually falls in summer, with a short rainy season in November and the main rainy season from February to March. Average rainfall figures vary from less than 50 mm along the coast to 350 mm in the central and 700 in the far north-eastern regions.
 
Economy: The pillars of Namibia’s economy are mining, fishing, tourism and agriculture of which tourism is the fastest growing industry. The largest single contributor to Namibia’s Gross Domestic Product is general government, and the largest provider of employment is agriculture.
   
 
Prison's History.  Namibia gained independence in March 1990 after 106 years of foreign ruling. German protectorate since 1884 (known as "German South West Africa") South Africa became, after World War I, the administrator of SWA under the League of Nations mandate.  In 1946, South African government submitted a plan to the United Nations to make Namibia part of South Africa.  Rejected by the UN, South Africa went on with what became in practice an annexation of Namibia. In 1966, it was decided by the General Assembly of the United Nations to put an end to South Africa mandate over Namibia, but South Africa simply ignored the decision.  The same year, SWAPO (South West African People’s Organisation) engage itself in a national liberation war against the occupying South African forces.  Finally, in 1989, the United Nations Resolution 435 for free and fair elections was implemented.  On March 21, 1990, Namibia became independent with the election of SWAPO and it first President Dr. Sam Nujoma.
 
Colonialism and political apartheid had a great impact on what is Namibia’s social, cultural and political reality of today.  Introduced in 1907 by the German colonial administration, all Africans hoping to enter the zone circling the capital Windhoek had to enter a "service and labour contract" with their white employer.  Work and mobility was controlled.  Social development was also inhibited by the apartheid regime, destroying the social fabric of society.
 
At independence, Namibia inherited not only the correctional ‘hardware’ (prison infrastructure) but also the South African Prisons Act 8 of 1959.  Even part of the apartheid legislation, this Act continued to be applied until 1998 with the promulgation of the Namibian Prison Act.
 
Prior to independence, prisons were instrumental to the implementation and enforcement of the apartheid policy. For example, training of prison staff was delivered in South Africa in three different centers on the basis of race.  While whites were trained to become managers, coloureds were trained to play an intermediary role of support staff in offices and blacks were trained to do custodial work.  Prison institutions were also categorized along racial lines.
 
Since 1990, Namibia has a Constitution based on the principles of a representative democracy reinforced with fundamental rights and freedoms.  Namibia has adopted the 1957 United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of Prisoners, as well as in principle the 1990 United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-Custodial Measures (Tokyo Rules).  Capital punishment was abolished at independence (Art. 6 of the Namibian Constitution reads: “No law may prescribe death as a competent sentence”) .  In 1995, the Ministry of Prisons and Correctional Services was created with in mind the rehabilitation of inmates.
 
Namibia is one of the best game countries in Africa. Early in the 1900s, people started to take the protection of wildlife seriously and game reserves, like the 20.000 sq km Etosha National Park, were established. Today a total of about 120.000 sq km, some 15% of the entire country, fall under nature conservation, not to mention the many private nature and game reserves.
 
The typical African savannah animals like elephant, giraffe, rhino, zebra, wildebeest, numerous antelope species and predators like lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena, and wild dog can be found in the central part of Namibia, also in the Etosha Pan, which is part of it.
In the more humid north (the Caprivi in particular) there are also buffaloes and in the rivers and swamps, hippopotami and crocodiles.
In the arid desert and semi-desert south the variety is much smaller. Here the oryx antelope is dominant which has become perfectly adapted to the climate. Springbok, kudu, ostrich, baboon, mountain zebra and leopard are also found here. In the north-western part of Namibia, Kaokoveld and Damaraland up to the Skeleton Coast, desert elephants and a few lions that have adapted to the harsh desert conditions, can be found.
 
In Namibia so far, 620 bird species have been recorded, most of them also breeding in the country. Some species are endemic, i.e. only live in the south-western part of Africa. The number of insect species is estimated at 20.000. Also among the reptiles some of the species - like the transparent Palmato Gecko - are endemic. And in Namibia, all the southern African snake species can be found, some of them poisonous like the Puffadder, Black Mamba, Green Boomslang, Cape Cobra and Spitting Cobra.