Namibia profile - Timeline


A chronology of key events:

1488 - Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias visits.

1886-90 - Present international boundaries established by German treaties with Portugal and Britain. Germany annexes the territory as South West Africa.

1892-1905 - Suppression of uprisings against German colonial occupation by Herero and Nama peoples. Possibly 60,000, or 80% of the Herero population, are killed, leaving some 15,000 starving refugees in an act that independent Namibia has deemed an act of genocide.

South African occupation

1915 - South Africa takes over territory during First World War.

1920 - League of Nations grants South Africa mandate to govern South West Africa (SWA).

1946 - United Nations refuses to allow South Africa to annex South West Africa. South Africa refuses to place SWA under UN trusteeship.

1958 - Herman Toivo Ya Toivo and others create the opposition Ovamboland People's Congress, which becomes the South West Africa People's Organisation (Swapo) in 1960.

1961 - UN General Assembly demands South Africa terminate the mandate and sets SWA's independence as an objective.

1966 - Swapo launches armed struggle against South African occupation.

1968 - South West Africa officially renamed Namibia by UN General Assembly.

1973 - UN General Assembly recognises Swapo as "sole legitimate representative" of Namibia's people.

1988 - South Africa agrees to Namibian independence in exchange for removal of Cuban troops from Angola.

1989 - UN-supervised elections for a Namibian Constituent Assembly. Swapo wins.


Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Independence celebrations: Namibia's new president Sam Nujoma shakes hands with President FW de Klerk of South Africa, which gave up rule over the territory

1990 March - Namibia becomes independent, with Sam Nujoma as first president.

1994 - South African exclave of Walvis Bay turned over to Namibia.

1998 - Hundreds of residents of the Caprivi Strip flee to Botswana, alleging persecution by the Namibian government.

1998 August - Namibia, Angola and Zimbabwe send troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo to support President Laurent Kabila against rebels.

1999 August - Emergency declared in Caprivi Strip following series of attacks by separatists.

1999 December - President Nujoma wins third presidential term.

1999 December - World Court rules in favour of Botswana in territorial dispute with Namibia over the tiny Chobe River island of Sedudu - known as Kasikili by Namibians.

2002 August - New prime minister, Theo-Ben Gurirab, says land reform is a priority. President Nujoma says white farmers must embrace the reform programme.

2004 May - Road bridge across Zambezi river between Namibia, Zambia opens amid hopes for boost to regional trade.

2004 August - Germany offers formal apology for colonial-era killings of tens of thousands of ethnic Hereros, but rules out compensation for victims' descendants.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Herero women prepare to vote in the 2004 presidential elections

2004 November - Hifikepunye Pohamba, President Nujoma's nominee, wins presidential elections.

2005 September - Government begins the expropriation of white-owned farms as part of a land-reform programme.

2006 June - National anti-polio vaccination campaign is launched following the death of at least 12 people from the disease.

2007 February - Chinese President Hu Jintao visits, signs aid and economic co-operation agreements.

2007 August - Ten men are found guilty of treason for leading a secessionist rebellion in the Caprivi region and are given long prison terms.

2009 November - Presidential and parliamentary polls. President Pohamba and his ruling Swapo party re-elected.

2011 February - High Court dismisses legal challenge by nine opposition parties claiming irregularities in the 2009 parliamentary election.

2011 July- Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali says Nambia has found a possible 11bn barrels of offshore oil reserves.

2011 October - Skulls of 20 Herero and Nama people repatriated from a museum in Germany to a welcome from hundreds of descendants.

2014 August - A protester is shot and killed by police during a rare occurrence of political violence.

2014 November - Hage Geingob is elected president, SWAPO wins parliamentary polls.

2018 February - Politicians and civil servants are banned from all foreign business travel to cut expenditure. The economy has been hard hit by a drop in uranium revenues.

2019 November - President Geingob wins re-election.

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