History of Namibia
The Country was discovered by Bartholomeus Diaz in 1487, but it remained virtually unexplored until 1840 when German missionaries arrived in these lands and decided to venture into the interior of the country.
In 1884, the German protectorate was established, and it was administered with so much hardness, that many uprisings on the part of the natives took place.
In 1907, an order of the Governor bordered areas for the natives, prohibiting them to possess herds, with the purpose to make them wage-earners from the European settlers.
After World War I, the League of Nations gave mandate to South Africa to administer the region; the mandate’s revocation by the UN in 1966 and the appointment of a Council that should have administered the Country until independence, scheduled for 1968, remained a dead letter because of the opposition of South Africa.
Meanwhile, the Marxist-inspired nationalist movement of the South West Africa People's Organization, the SWAPO, founded in 1959, passed to armed actions, with the support of various African countries.
After the failure of the Windhoek Constitutional Conference in 1976-77, that provided the establishment of a multiracial interim government, in December 1978, the National Assembly elections were held, outside the control of the UN and boycotted by SWAPO, this assigned the great majority of seats to the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance, the ADT, openly supported by the Pretoria government.
In January 1983 South Africa, through its General Administration, regained, on the other hand, the direct control of the region, dissolving the National Assembly.
In the second half of the 1980s the policy of détente between the superpowers helped to create the conditions for the fulfillment of the resolution for the independence of Namibia, voted by the United Nations in 1978.
Essential element was the inclusion of the Namibian issue in a regional pacification project negotiated between Angola, Cuba and South Africa, with the consequent withdrawal of South African and Cuban occupation forces from the neighbouring Angola.
After the announcement of the ceasefire, on the 8th of August 1988, the following December, 22 in New York the agreement was signed allowing, under International control, the conduct of free elections in November 1989 and then the proclamation of independence on March 21, 1990.
These consultations saw the affirmation of SWAPO that, together with the ADT forces, formed a Government of National Unity.
Sam Nujoma, leader of SWAPO, was elected President of the Republic.
Among the problems that the new president had to face, in addition to an institutional development and an economic adjustment program, there was the situation of the Walvis Bay enclave, the only deep-water port between Luanda and Cape Town and, for this reason, of an important strategic and commercial value.
Remaining under South Africa control, Walvis Bay was the subject of an urgent negotiation, that had its first outlet in 1992, with the decision of a common management between Namibia and its powerful neighbor.
Meanwhile, in September 1993, the Country emphasized its complete autonomy by adopting a new currency, the Namibian Dollar, in replacement of the old South African Rand.
The question of Walvis Bay found its solution in the context of the profound renewal of South Africa, that, in 1994, restored the harbour to the full sovereignty of Namibia.
Even the elections of 1994 and 1999 confirmed the previous presidential and legislative results, ensuring the political framework stability of a country that, although it came last to the full sovereignty, is emerging as one of the most peaceful of the African continent.
The failure of an agrarian reform program led, in 2002, to a new Government; the presidential elections of November 2004 were won by Hifikepunye Pohamba, dauphin of the outgoing Head of State, Nujoma. He was reconfirmed, then, in the elections of November 2009.
However, the problems due to a poor management of the State are constantly increasing, such as those related to corruption and International drug dealing.