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Sub-Saharan Africa


Namibia ranks 106 out of 162 countries in the Gender Inequality Index, where a high rank equals high equality. Women should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.


Namibia has a Workplace Index score of 5.4, a Marketplace Index score of 5.1 and a Community and Environment Index score of 4.3 in the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, where countries receive scores between 0 and 10. A score closer to 0 reflects a need for basic children’s rights due diligence, while a higher score reflects a need for enhanced or heightened due diligence. Children should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though. 

Persons with Disabilities

Due to differences in data collection and definitions it is difficult to compare countries on disability prevalence rates. Persons with disabilities should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

According to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, Namibia is a country of great diversity. Ovambos comprise about half of the population. San hunter-gatherers and Nama pastoralists have lived in Namibia since prehistoric times, joined at an early but unknown date by the Damara, also originally hunter-gatherers. All speak distinctive languages featuring click sounds. The Topnaars or !Gaonin are a few hundred surviving members of the Nama-speaking Hurinin and !Naranin tribes who originally inhabited parts of coastal Namibia. Namibia’s whites are predominantly Afrikaans-speaking but include English-, Portuguese-and German-speakers, the last-named being the only significant such community in Africa and retaining a strong sense of identity. As in South Africa, whites retain a highly privileged position following their loss of political power. The collection of ethnically disaggregated data is prohibited, so exact figures on community size are unavailable. However, the government does collect data on language and its sample in the 2011 census consisted of speakers of Oshiwambo languages (48.8 %), Nama/Damara (11.4 %), Afrikaans (10.5 %), Otjiherero languages (8.5 %), Kavango languages (8.4 %), Caprivi languages (4.8 %), English (3.5 %), German (0.9 %), San languages (0.8 %), Setswana (0.3 %) and others. Independent assessments of the indigenous population have also been undertaken and include Nama (80,000 – 100,000), San (27,000 – 36,000), Himba (25,000; plural Ovahimba), Ovazemba, Ovatjimba and Ovatwa. They together comprise around 8 % of the population. The Namibian government has not officially recognized the rights of indigenous peoples or other minorities within the constitution or legislation. Nor has it recognized the individual identities of these communities, instead referring to San, Himba, Ovatue, Ovatjimba and Ovazemba collectively as ‘marginalized communities’. 

Migrant Workers​

According to the ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers, migrant workers as a proportion of all workers is 3 % in the subregion Sub-Saharan Africa.

Persons in Armed Conflict

Namibia ranks 109 out of 179 countries in the Fragile States Index, where a high rank equals high fragility. For monthly crisis updates, check out CrisisWatch

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