Today marks the Independence Day of Namibia. It commemorates the day in 1990 when the country gained independence from South African mandate. The country’s first president was Sam Nujoma who won in the electoral process witnessed and observed by representatives from 147 states, including 20 heads of states and Nelson Mandela.
Independence Day in Namibia is a widely observed public holiday in the country and is thus, celebrated in a grand fashion. Namibians take time off from work to watch and participate in colorful parades, street dances, and sports events in the country’s capital and largest city of Windhoek and in other major cities and towns across the country. Government leaders make time to join their constituents and participate in these events.
Namibia is in the continent of Africa. It shares land borders with South Africa in the south, Angola and Zambia in the north, and Botswana, and Zimbabwe in the east. The western portion of this African country serves as a gateway to the Atlantic Ocean.
History reveals that Namibia was an independent country before it was colonized by the Germans in the latter part of the 19th century. The collapse of the German government after the First World War allowed South Africa to administer Namibia (then known as South West Africa). Towards 1919, the country was administered as a League of Nations mandate territory. The transition toward independence of Namibia began in 1978 after the UN Security Council passed UN Resolution 435. The attempts to persuade South Africa to agree to the implementation of the plan were not successful until 1988. The full transition was implemented in 1989 and lasted till March 1990. The USSR and the USA were official observers of the process. The country officially became independent on March 21, 1990.
Namibia is known for its diverse wildlife, which include a significant population of cheetah. Its Namib Sand Sea that was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List in 2013, is considered “the only coastal desert in the world that includes extensive dune fields influenced by fog.” Other magnificent places to see in the country include: the Alte Feste, which is a fortress and museum in Windhoek; the Daan Viljoen Game Reserve, a game reserve near the capital; and the Schwerinsburg, the biggest of three castles in Windhoek, which today serves as the private residence of the Italian ambassador in Namibia.
We congratulate the people and government of Namibia led by President Hage Geingob, and Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, on the occasion of its Independence Day Anniversary.