Namibia

  1. 'Dwarf' giraffes found in the wild

    A giraffe at a game reserve in South Africa
    Image caption: They are said to be half the size of an average giraffe (pictured)

    A team of scientists say they have found the first cases of "dwarf" giraffes in Africa - who are half the average size.

    Two male giraffes found in separate populations in Namibia and Uganda represent the first documented examples of "dwarf" giraffes, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.

    The pair have shorter legs than other giraffes of a similar age.

    Scientists spotted them during photographic surveys to determine numbers and distribution of giraffes throughout Africa.

    "Maybe there is some development aberration that results in differences in bone and cartilage growth," said Michael Brown from the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.

    He said the two were over a year old and had survived past the critical stage when they would be vulnerable to predators.

  2. Namibia postpones reopening of schools

    The Namibian government has announced new dates for the reopening of schools.

    Pupils were scheduled to resume face to face learning on 11 January but will now reopen on 26 January.

    Education Minister Anna Nghipondoka said teachers will be expected in schools on 14 January as opposed to 6 January.

    Ms Nghipondoka said the new dates were proposed in consultation with the presidency, the office of the prime minister, the ministry of health, the Namibia National Teachers' Union, the national advisory committee on education and other stakeholders.

    The minister said the government had given guidelines to teachers to prepare in advance and prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    Parents are expected to buy face masks for their children and provide them with information on how to wear them.

  3. The GDR's Namibian children

    Video content

    Video caption: At Christmas 1979 hundreds of Namibian children were taken to East Germany

    At Christmas 1979 hundreds of Namibian children were taken to East Germany to escape the war in their home country. They would stay there for almost 11 years.

  4. Video content

    Video caption: The African women that made 2020 their year

    The women of Africa have been dominating this past year and in this video, we show just some of that.

  5. 'Ugliest orchid in the world' found in Madagascar

    An orchid (Gastrodia agnicellus) is seen in this handout photo taken in Madagascar

    A plant described as "the ugliest orchid in the world" is among the 156 new species identified and named by London's Royal Botanic Gardens and its partners.

    The Gastrodia agnicellus was found in a forest in Madagascar and its 11mm flowers "are small, brown and rather ugly", researchers say.

    The plants are normally known for their beauty.

    "The orchid depends on fungi for nutrition and has no leaves or any other photosynthetic tissue," they add in a statement.

    Among other newly named plants was a "a strange shrub encountered by botanist Wessel Swanepoel in the semi-desert of southern Namibia".

    After investigation, researchers found that "the plant’s DNA fitted the cabbage order, but none of the known families in this order".

    The plant actually turned out to be part of a new genus and new family of plants and it has been called Tiganophyton karasense.

    Tiganophyton translates as "frying pan plant" because of the shape of its leaves.

  6. Namibia tightens Covid-19 restrictions

    Namibia's President Hage Geingob has reduced the number of people allowed to attend public gatherings from 200 to 50 for indoors and 100 for outdoors as Covid-19 cases in the country increase.

    Bars and restaurants in the country will now close at 22:00 local time and owners have been asked to ensure tables are two metres apart.

    The new restrictions take effect from Wednesday at midnight and will remain in place for 14 days.

    Public transport drivers and passengers have also been asked to have their masks on throughout their journeys.

    Namibia has 16,913 confirmed coronavirus cases including 164 deaths.

    As the festive season approaches, some governments have tightened restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

  7. Malawi archbishop dies during treatment in Namibia

    Malawian Archbishop Tarcisius Ziyaye, the head of the Lilongwe Catholic archdiocese, has died at a hospital in Namibia where he was receiving treatment.

    The Episcopal Conference of Malawi said in a statement that the Archbishop died on Monday morning.

    It did not indicate the cause of death.

    View more on twitter

    The clergyman was appointed Archibishop of Lilongwe in 2013.

    He had in August delivered a donation of ventilators made by Pope Francis to a hospital run by the Catholic church on the outskirts of the capital, Lilongwe.

  8. Namibian diplomat's children 'killed in Ethiopia'

    A leading Namibian newspaper has shared a statement from the country's deputy prime minister saying "the spouse of a diplomat" stationed in Ethiopia "is reported to have murdered her two young children and attempted to kill the third child".

    The third child is being treated in hospital, according to the statement from Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah that has been shared by The Namibian newspaper.

    In the statement Mr Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is also the minister of international relations, asks Namibians to give the family privacy as they "absorb the sad and shocking news".

    The statement does not indicate whether any arrests have been made.

  9. Namibia's founding father contracts coronavirus

    Sam Nujoma in 2019
    Image caption: Sam Nujoma led Namibia from 1990 to 2005

    The first president of Namibia is "showing signs of improvement" during his treatment for coronavirus, the current President Hage Geingob has announced.

    Ex-leader Sam Nujoma was admitted to hospital on Sunday and is in a "stable condition", President Geingob said in a statement, adding:

    Quote Message: I wish to reassure the Namibian people that there is no cause for concern at the moment... I wish the founding president a prompt recovery."

    Mr Nujoma led Namibia for 15 years, after independence from South Africa's apartheid government in 1990.

  10. Namibia's president mourns legislator

    Namibia's President Hage Geingob has sent condolences to the family of MP Mandela Kapere.

    Mr Kapere was a former Executive Chairperson of the Namibia National Youth Council.

    The cause of his death has not been reported.

    The president described the legislator as an "illustrious youth leader".

    He tweeted that the late Kapere had played an important role of shaping the youth leadership in Namibia:

    View more on twitter
  11. Adolf Hitler elected in Namibia

    The German newspaper Bild has been speaking to a man called Adolf Hitler Uunona who has been elected as a local councillor for Namibia's governing Swapo party.

    The politician, who normally goes by the name Adolf Uunona, got 85% of the votes in last month's election in Ompundja, a small town in the far north of the country.

    View more on twitter

    In the candidates' list, Hitler was reduced to an initial:

    List of candidates

    But the official results list his full name:

    Results announcement

    Namibia is a former German colony and there are still reminders of that time in some placenames. There is also a small German-speaking minority.

    "My father named me after this man. He probably didn't understand what Adolf Hitler stood for," Mr Uunona told Bild.

    "It was a very normal name for me as a child. It was not until I was growing up that I realised that this man wanted to subjugate the whole world. I have nothing to do with any of these things.”

    The German occupation of Namibia, which ended after World War One and pre-dated Hitler's rise to power, has bitter memories for the people there.

    Between 1904 and 1908, German colonial forces killed more than 80% of Namibia's Nama and Herero populations in what historians now call "the forgotten genocide".

    Watch more:

  12. Namibia auctioning 170 elephants over drought

    African elephant (Loxodonta africana) mother and baby enjoying a mud bath after it rained in the Huanib River Valley in northern Damaraland/Kaokoland, Namibia.
    Image caption: This is the not the first time Namibia is auctioning animals, including elephants

    Drought and human-wildlife conflict is forcing Namibia to auction off 170 “high-value” elephants.

    “Due to drought and an increase in elephant numbers, coupled with human-elephant conflict incidents, a need has been identified to reduce these populations,” an advert in the state-owned New Era newspaper on Wednesday noted.

    The advert placed by the environment ministry has invited tenders with specific requirements, including meeting international standards and a permit for exporting the animals where required.

    Interested parties have up to 29 January to make an offer.

    Last year, the country authorised the sale of at least 1,000 wild animals that were at risk of dying of starvation as pastures in the country’s parks dried up.

    The animals that were up for sale included elephants, buffaloes, giraffes and impala, and were also meant to generate $1.1m (£820,000) for conservation.

  13. Mystery of mass 'die-off' of seal pups in Namibia

    Video content

    Video caption: Scientists are trying to find out why thousands of seal pups have been born dead

    Scientists are trying to find out why thousands of seal pups have been born dead at Pelican Point in Namibia. They've also found a number of dying adult females.

  14. Thousands of seal pups found dead in Namibia

    Conservationists in Namibia say more than 7,000 dead seals have washed ashore in the past few days.

    Most of them are pups which have been born prematurely.

    Naude Dreyer of Ocean Conservation Namibia told the BBC's Newsday that the most likely cause is a lack of food as female seals have been known to abort their babies when they are malnourished.

    Quote Message: The most likely cause is food resources we are going through some really strange climatic changes at the moment it could be the warm currents that bring in the fish.

    He added that fish stocks had decreased at Pelican Point, a popular tourist destination known for its seals and dolphins.

    Other reasons could be toxins or disease.

    Thousands of other seals have washed up alive, but conservationists say many are so weak it will be difficult to save them.

    Quote Message: Its tragic walking around the beaches and seeing these mothers we don't really have formal rehabilitation facilities in Namibia and when they get to that point where they are malnourished its difficult to bring try and them back."

    Here is Mr Dreyer's full interview on BBC's Newsday:

    Video content

    Video caption: Conservation groups are trying to find out the reason why
  15. Thousands of seal pups found dead in Namibia

    Video content

    Video caption: Conservation groups are trying to find out the reason why

    Conservation groups are trying to find out the reason why.

  16. Namibia to respond to gender-based violence petition

    Demonstrators hold placards protesting against gender-based violence
    Image caption: Several protesters were arrested during the demonstrations but were later released

    Namibia's government will next week "give feedback" to the gender-based violence petition presented by demonstrators, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has said.

    Protesters marched in the capital, Windhoek, over the weekend demanding, among other things, that a state of emergency be declared to fight gender-based violence.

    The prime minister said the government was "working around the clock to review the demands and assess the key areas that we intend to respond to, including enhancing the policy, legal and institutional safeguards".

    Several protesters were arrested during the demonstrations for defying restrictions imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus but were later released and the charges dropped.

    The country has one of the highest levels of reported rapes in the world while more than 200 cases of domestic violence are registered each month in Windhoek.