Country Reports

Namibia Country Report

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Risk Level

Very High


Executive Summary

The ruling South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) won a reduced majority in the November 2019 elections, falling just one seat short of a crucial two-thirds majority, which has previously allowed the party to change the constitution. In 2014, in the National Assembly elections, SWAPO won 80% of the vote, and its candidate for president, Hage Geingob, won 87% of the vote. In 2019, SWAPO achieved 65% of the vote and Geingob 56%. Some protests may follow in the wake of the elections, given media reports linking Geingob to alleged corruption and money-laundering in the Namibian fishing industry, allegations that he strongly denies.Following the confirmation of six cases of COVID-19, the government imposed a lockdown on 28 March 2020, allowing only essential services workers to leave their homes. A gradual lifting of restrictions, allowing for some sectors of the economy, including mining and construction, to gradually resume activities, began on 5 May, and it is likely, given the country's relatively low infection rate, that all sectors will be allowed to function by the end of May. The Namibian economy is driven by exports of diamonds which constitute 25% of all exports, as well as other minerals including uranium and lead. Namibia continues to be heavily dependent on its biggest trading partner South Africa, with which it does a little more than 21% of its trade. We forecast South Africa's economic growth to remain at 1.4% for 2019, with Namibia forecast to achieve 1.3% growth following a contraction of 0.2% in 2018. This is driven largely by proceeds from the Southern African Customs Union. A moderate reduction in diamond mining output owing to the depletion of a Namdeb operation in 2019 means the sector is unlikely to make a significant contribution to overall growth performance.
Last update: June 17, 2020

Operational Outlook

Namibia promotes foreign investment but is increasing focus on local participation, particularly in the extractive sector. A proposed New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework – which proposes 25% of company shares be held by previously disadvantaged Namibians – has drawn calls for further consultation, highlighting possible revisions and policy uncertainty. However, Namibia's preferred approach would hope to remedy economic inequality without radical economic transformation or expropriation without compensation. Still, the government is facing pressure to speed up land reform, citing lacklustre performance in meeting 2022 goals of transferring 43% of national arable land to disadvantaged citizens.

Last update: May 22, 2018



A number of disaffected locals live in the Caprivi Strip and some support for an independent region (renamed from Caprivi to Zambezi) remains, but a return to armed conflict is unlikely given government efforts to increase spending in the region and the presence of the security forces. The Caprivi Liberation Army (CLA) secessionist group has been inactive mostly since an August 1999 attack on the town of Katima Mulilo, although the insecurity became the subject of a long-running trial.

Last update: December 3, 2019


Crime, violent and petty, is a growing problem in Namibia, particularly in urban areas, especially the capital, Windhoek. The most common criminal offences are opportunist crimes, such as pick-pocketing, purse snatching, and vehicle theft. Windhoek City Police pointed to a jump in recent years, with increases noted in crimes such as murder, assault, rape, and robbery. Transnational organised criminals also operate in Namibia, covering crimes ranging from car theft to rising wildlife poaching. In 2016, the chief justice called for judicial system reform and enhanced regional co-operation to counteract increasing transnational organised crime.

Last update: December 3, 2019

War Risks

Namibia has had a number of territorial disputes, such as with Botswana (boundary and island disputes) and South Africa (Orange River border demarcation), but war with its neighbours remains unlikely. Some secessionist sentiment may remain for an independent Caprivi in northeastern Namibia, which has been renamed the Zambezi region, but the Caprivi Liberation Army (CLA) is considered dormant. Troops are unlikely to be deployed to quell internal protests.

Last update: December 3, 2019

Social Stability


Political violence or intimidation is an occasional problem in Namibia, such as in the run-up to elections in November 2019. However, generally such risks are minimal and outbreaks of violence are localised. Serious inter-ethnic and social unrest in Namibia is also rare; economic differentials and varying levels of political power point to potential future risk. Grievances over land and housing shortages and the slow pace of reform have increased protest and land grab/occupation risks, including of vacant municipal land in urban centres, which can be organised by local groups or national movements. Such incidents also raise risks of confrontations with the police.

Last update: December 3, 2019

Health Risk

Very high

Vaccinations required to enter the country

Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for all individuals traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever (YFV) transmission. The countries or parts of countries included in the endemic zones in Africa and South America are regarded as areas with risk of YFV transmission. Travelers on scheduled flights that originated outside the countries with risk of YFV transmission, but who have been in transit through these areas, are not required to possess a certificate provided that they remained at the airport or in the adjacent town during transit. All travelers whose flights originated in countries with risk of YFV transmission or who have been in transit through these countries on unscheduled flights are required to possess a certificate. The certificate is not required for children under one year of age, but such infants may be subject to surveillance.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information


Namibia's climate is subtropical in the north of the country and arid in the south. Summers in the Namib Desert are dry and often very hot during the day (40°C) and significantly colder at night (0°). In the winter, the desert is warmed by hot and dry easterly winds. In the central plateau region, low levels of humidity and warm winds contribute to pleasant conditions. During the summer months, temperatures are higher (30°C in January), as are levels of humidity. The coastal regions have a more temperate climate. The rainy season lasts from October until April, with rainfall heavier in the north.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +264
Emergency Services: 1 01 11
in Windhoek 
Fire Dept., Ambulance: (061) 270 21 43 or (061) 270 20 06


Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz


Last update: April 5, 2019