Namibia Country Profile (1991)

    This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
                         September, 1991

          (Source Report of a Study by the ICA -The Current
          Status and Development Potential of the Co-operative
          Sector in Namibia- pp.1-7)

                    Namibia: Country Profile

Land Area                :    824,000
Population               :    1.66 million (1988)
Climate                  :    Semi-arid and sub-tropical
Languages                :    English (official); Afrikaans;
                              German; Kwanyama; Ndonga;
                              Herero; Nama.
Date of Independence     :    21st March, 1990
Form of Government       :    Republic
Population Growth Rate   :    3% per annum
Literacy Rate            :    40%
Unemployment Rate        :    30%
Currency                 :    South African Rand
                              1 US$ = 2.50 Rands (Jan.1991)
Inflation Rate           :    13.6% (March, 1990)

GDP per capita 1989
at Current prices        :    R.3070
GDP Growth 1989 (Real)   :    0.2%

GDP by Sector at Factor Cost (1989 Current Prices)

                                   Million        % of GDP
                                   --------       ---------
Agriculture and Fishing              489.5         11.3
Mining and Quarrying               1,258.7         29.1
Manufacturing                        210.3          4.8
Electricity and Water                 77.2          1.8
Construction (Contractors)           111.3          2.6
Wholesale, Retail, Catering and
Accommodation                        532.8         12.3
Transport and Communication          265.0          6.1
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate
and Business Services                311.2          7.2
Community, Social and
Personal Services                     85.1          2.0
General Government                   855.7         19.8
Other Producers                      129.4          3.0
                                   ---------    ---------
Total                              4,326.2        100.0
                                   ---------    ---------

Principal Exports (1989):
                                   Million        % of Total
                                   ---------      -----------
Agricultural Exports                 293.7          11.0
Fish Exports                          64.9           2.4
Mineral Exports                    2,026.8          75.9
Manufacturers                        134.5           5.0
All Others                           151.7           5.7
                                   ---------      ----------
Total Exports                      2,671.6         100.0
                                   ---------      ---------


CCN       Council of Churches in Namibia

COPAC     Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Co-

CUM       Credit Union Movement

HIVOS     Humanistic Institute for Co-operation with
          Developing Countries.

HRD       Human Resource Development

ICA       International Co-operative Alliance

ILO       International Labour Office

IMLT      Institute for Management and Leadership Training

FNDC      First National Development Corporation

JWBDF     JU/WA Bushman Development Foundation

KAF       Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

MOA       Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural

NCCA      Namibian Community Co-operative Alliance

NDT       National Development Trust

NGO       Non-Governmental Organisation

NJCS      National Job Creation Service

SCC       Swedish Co-operative Centre

SWAPO     South-West African Peoples' Organisation

UNDP      United Nations Development Programme

                         I. Introduction

Already prior to the independence of Namibia, discussions
between South-West African People's Organization (SWAPO),
Swedish Co-operative Centre (SCC) and International Co-
operative Alliance (ICA), concerning co-operative development
in Namibia, were held. Later during 1990 an Assistance
Programme to provide the framework for initiating successful
co-operative development was agreed upon between the ICA and
the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and
Rural Development; the Programme is sponsored by the SCC. The
Programme consists of the following three components:

i.   Exploratory Mission: the purpose of the Mission would be
     to study the current co-operative situation and the co-
     operative development potential in Namibia;

ii.  Policy Dialogue: the objective of which would be
     formulation of a co-operative development policy and
     strategy for the promotion and growth of co-operatives in

iii. Consultation with Development Organizations: the purpose
     of the consultation would be to inform the Development
     Organizations of the current status of the co-operative
     sector, its development potential, the priorities, the
     co-operative development policy and strategy of the
     government, and to seek collaboration, in a co-ordinated
     way, of the development organizations in promoting co-
     operative development. The Consultation would be held in
     Namibia under the joint auspices of the ICA and the
     Government of Namibia.

Exploratory Mission : Composition

The Exploratory Mission comprising the following three persons
carried out its study from 14th January to 8th February, 1991.

1.   Mr. J.M. Rana, Senior Development Adviser, International
     Co-operative Alliance, Geneva: - Team Leader

2.   Mr. B. Kadasia, Manager, Research, Planning and
     Consultancy Project, ICA Regional Office for East,
     Central and Southern Africa, Moshi : - Team member

3.   Mr. Lars Sylvan, Programme Officer, Swedish Co-operative
     Centre, Stockholm: - Team Member.

The Mission was constituted by the ICA in consultation with
the Government of Namibia.

The purpose of the Exploratory Mission was to assist the
Government of Namibia in formulating its Co-operative
Development Programme based on the authentic Concept of Co-
operatives, by reviewing the current status of co-operatives,
by identifying the potential of co-operative development, and
by recommending ways in which this potential can be realized.

The specific objectives were as follows:

A.   to make a review of the current status of the co-
     operative sector with special reference to rural areas;

B.   to review the present status of women's integration into
     the co-operative sector and make recommendations for
     increasing women's participation in co-operative

C.   to identify areas for future co-operative development and
     suggest their incorporation in the Development Plan of
     the country; and

D.   to identify priority needs of assistance to co-operatives
     for securing sound co-operative development.

The terms of reference of the Mission are given in Annex 1.
Annex 2 gives the programme followed by the Mission.

The following methods were adopted by the Mission for its

i.   Initial briefing sessions were held with Mr. Bruce
     Thordarson, Director of the ICA and Mr. B. Rothkegel,
     Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Government of

ii.  Data collection and study of relevant material.

iii. Field work was carried out for two and a half weeks,
     beginning from 14th January. The field work comprised
     discussions with the policy-making and executive
     personnel of the Ministry of Agriculture and other
     related ministries, and visits to selected co-operative
     organisations, informal groups, NGOs and some supporting
     institutions such as the Land Bank and the First National
     Development Corporation. The Mission visited the rural
     areas in Kavangoland, and Bushmanland in the North and
     Namaland in the South.

iv.  The Mission members had internal discussions among
     themselves for formulating conclusions and
     recommendations on 28th, 29th and 30th January, in the

v.   Preliminary recommendations were presented on 30th
     January in the afternoon by the Mission at a meeting
     attended by the Deputy Minister, the Permanent Secretary
     and other officials of the Ministry, representatives of
     the co-operatives and the NGOs, and the ILO Regional
     Adviser on Co-operatives. Valuable feedback was received
     by the Mission at this meeting.

i.   Due to non-availability of appropriate personnel, the
     Ministry could not supply a national counterpart to work
     with the Mission.

ii.  As a result the Mission had to spend considerable time in
     collecting preliminary information and data and also did
     not have a knowledgeable Namibian to work along with it.

iii. There is a paucity of data and research studies in
     Namibia due to the long colonial rule and the policy of
     apartheid followed by the colonial rulers.

iv.  Most co-operatives and informal groups are of very recent
     origin and hence have only limited experience of co-
     operative work. Most of these organizations were not able
     to furnish annual reports or statement of account.

v.   Two and a half weeks was rather a short time for field
     visits. Only a few selected rural areas, which were by no
     means representative, could be visited. Also the Mission
     could not meet with all the NGOs, more women's
     institutions, more individual farmers, and have a second
     round of discussions with some key individuals.

The Mission would like to express its special thanks to the
Minister, Deputy Minister and the Permanent Secretary of the
Ministry of Agriculture for sparing their time for discussion
and offering valuable guidelines. Thanks are also due to the
Registrar of Co-operative Societies and his colleagues for the
considerable help given by them in arranging visits and in
generally facilitating the Mission's work. The Registrar made
himself available for discussion whenever the Mission felt it
necessary. Thanks are also due to numerous individuals and
their organizations for sparing their time and shaving their
material with the Mission.