Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

The SADC Land and Agrarian Reform Initiative: The case of Namibia
For Community Technology Development Trust
December 2006
Willem Odendaal
African Institute of Agrarian Studies

Acknowledgements: FANRPAN acknowledges the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (NEPRU) as the source of this document:

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Land Area and Geographical Location

The Republic of Namibia is situated in the south-western corner of Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean to the west, South Africa to the south, Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and Zambia and Zimbabwe to the north-east. Namibia has a landmass of approximately 824 000 km², of which 114 500 km² (13.9% of total area) are national parks, 21 600 km² (2.5%) are a restricted ‘Diamond Area’, 469 100 km² (57.0%) are title deed in freehold land and 218 300 km² (26.5 %) are non-title deed in communal land. The latter two, freehold and communal land, totalling 687 400 km² or 83.5% of the country’s landmass, are considered to be available for agricultural land use.2

Namibia as a whole has a dry climate with an annual rainfall ranging from 650 mm in the far north-east to less than 50 mm in the south-west. Based on rainfall and evaporation to determine the number of days favourable for plant growth, the country was divided into 11 growing-period zones, starting with No. 1 in the northwest and ending with No. 11 in the Namib Desert area. The national parks, Diamond Area and non-title deed (communal) land in effect all belong to the Government.3

  1. Willem Odendaal works in the Legal Assistance Centre on the Land, Environment and Development Project.
  2. Republic of Namibia, The Draft National Land Use Policy, “Annexure A: Applicable Legislation, Policies and Regulations on Land Use Planning”, Ministry of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, 2002, at 2.
  3. Ibid.

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