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World > Africa > Namibia > People (Notes)

Namibia - People (Notes)


PEOPLE
Namibians are of diverse ethnic origins. The principal groups are the Ovambo, Kavango, Herero/Himba, Damara, mixed race ('colored' and Rehoboth Baster), white (Afrikaner, German, and Portuguese), Nama, Caprivian, San, and Tswana.

The Ovambo make up about half of Namibia's people. The Ovambo, Kavango, and East Caprivian peoples, who occupy the relatively well-watered and wooded northern part of the country, are settled farmers and herders. Historically, these groups had little contact with the Nama, Damara, and Herero, who roamed the central part of the country vying for control of sparse pastureland. German colonial rule destroyed the war-making ability of the tribes but did not erase their identities or traditional organization. People from the more populous north have settled throughout the country in recent decades as a result of urbanization, industrialization, and the demand for labor.

Missionary work during the 1800s drew many Namibians to Christianity. While most Namibian Christians are Lutheran, there also are Roman Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, Jewish, African Methodist Episcopal, and Dutch Reformed Christians represented.

Education and services have been extended in varying degrees to most rural areas in recent years. The estimated adult literacy rate of Namibians was relatively high at 81% as of 2003. However, although the national literacy rate is estimated to be 81%, it is important to note that the number of Namibians who are functionally literate and have the skills that the labor market needs is significantly fewer.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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