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In this article we highlight facts about minority and indigenous people’s of Namibia. 

Highlights

  • Namibia is one of the world’s largest producer of diamond and uranium and also has a large natural gas and oil deposits;
  • Namibia is home to some of the largest indigenous communities in Africa such as the Himba and San peoples;
  • Approximately half of all the land in Namibia is community land;
  • Upon attaining independence in 1990, the government laid claim on all communal land in Namibia. Basically, the Constitution took away people’s right to claim ancestral lands;

“Communal lands of San and certain other indigenous groups, including the Himba, are under a continuous threat of encroachment by large or more powerful groups who move into lands, raising fences to demarcate areas in which to graze their cattle, despite the fact that the erection of fences within communal land areas is prohibited under the Communal Land Reform Act,” UN SRIP

Article 21(h) of the Constitution of Namibia allows any citizen to reside on land in any part of the country.

The Himba People

Photo: Himba People. credit: internet grab

The Himba people are located in the Northern part of Namibia and they are known worldwide for their red bodies and as a result numerous travel publications have splashed their images on their front pages. They practice pastoralism along the Kunene River in Namibia.

Photo: Himba people are patriarchal and polygamous in nature more especially if they own a lot of livestock. Credit: Daily Mail 

The San People

Photo: San on a Farm. Credit: Wikimedia commons

The San people are found of the Eastern boarder of Namibia. They are also equally well known across the world just as the Himba people. It is estimated that there are between 27,000 to 38,000 San people in Namibia.

San people

It is shocking to learn that the San people have the right to manage resources but not to own them. For instance in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy, they manage the wildlife and plants but not the land.

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