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However, Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands remained under South African control until 1994.
Namibia has a population of 2.1 million people and a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy.
In the later 20th century, uprisings and demands for political representation by native African political activists seeking independence resulted in the UN assuming direct responsibility over the territory in 1966, but South Africa maintained de facto rule.
In 1973 the UN recognised the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) as the official representative of the Namibian people; the party is dominated by the Ovambo, who are a large majority in the territory.
In 1878 the Cape of Good Hope had annexed the port of Walvis Bay and the offshore Penguin Islands; these became an integral part of the new Union of South Africa at its creation in 1910.
In 1884, the German Empire established rule over most of the territory as a protectorate (Schutzgebiet).
Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence.Agriculture, herding, tourism and the mining industry – including mining for gem diamonds, uranium, gold, silver, and base metals – form the basis of its economy.