Having obtain its independence 21 years ago in 1990, Namibia which is situated on Africa’s south-western seaboard with neighboring countries Angola ,Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. With an annual population growth of 1.9% in 2009, it is estimated that the population is now currently at 2.1 million (see World Bank 2009). Namibia has a stable economy that according to the United Nations Development Programmed (UNDP, 2003) is second in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of per capita expenditure in the health sector.
Namibia being a “middle income” country is faced like most developing countries with the rising problem of poverty. It is estimated that about 38% of the population live in severe poverty (Poverty Bulletin, 2005, p.9). According to the poverty reduction strategy for Namibia (1998, p.1) Namibia is among the most dualistic countries in the world both geographically and economically. Most of the population is situated in the northern regions of the country, where majority of the people depend on agriculture as a means to sustain their lives. Poverty in Namibia, is a very serious phenomenon that affects the economy severely, thus it is important to understanding all the factors that play a role in alleviating this phenomenon .finding the causes and ways to measure poverty can lead to obtaining effective policy actions .poverty can be defined in different ways with different dimensions included in these definitions. According to Newaka (2007, p.ii) relative and extreme poverty are present in Namibia with rural areas experiencing more poverty than urban areas.
After, chapter two will deal with the concept of poverty in Namibia. Poverty in rural and urban areas in Namibia will be addressed in chapter3 .chapter4 discusses the causes of poverty along with the measurements of poverty. Chapter 5 looks into development and poverty in Namibia as well as the trend of poverty over the years. Policy actions by Namibia will be covered in chapter 6 the conclusion will form chapter 7
1.2 Objective of the research
The general objective of the study is to examine and evaluate the extent of poverty in Namibia. This paper will attempt to analyze the distribution of poor households in Namibia by region, using data obtained from the Namibian 2003/2004 household income and expenditure survey. It will also try to use secondary data extracted from the research paper, Poverty trends between 1993 and 2004 in Namibia by S.T.T. Newaka (2007) to analyze the proportion of extreme and relative poverty for Namibian households as well as for rural and urban areas. Newaka (2007)used the head-count index .it is calculated with the following formula :“H=q/n, where H is the proportion of total population per coverage deemed to be poor ,q represents the number of people who are poor by the definition of the poverty line(s),while n is the population size.”(Newaka,2007,p.ii). The paper will also evaluate the human development indicators for the years 1980 – 2010 as provide by the United Nations Development Programme. For poverty to be successfully reduced, policy actions have to be implemented, this paper will overview some of these policies put in place by the government of Namibia to eradicate poverty.
1.3 Relevance of the topic
Poverty is a prominent feature of the Namibian society and this paper is relevant because it will try to give an insight on the major players in fighting this problem, human development will also be considered in this paper. Considering that poverty is reflected by various factors, this research will try to answer some of the following questions:
• Why the poverty gap between rural and urban areas in Namibia is a cause of concern?
• How the improvement of health care and education can contribute to reducing poverty?
• Is Namibia achieving its goals of the millennium development goals?
• What are the policy actions placed by the government of...