U.S. President Donald Trump erroneously referred to the southern African nation of Namibia as “Nambia” Wednesday in a speech to African leaders at a luncheon in New York.
“Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient,” Trump was heard saying—though the White House transcript of his remarks did make it clear that he meant Namibia. The gaffe inspired jokes and memes all day on Twitter, including direct comparisons with Trump’s infamous “covfefe” tweet of May this year.
Located on the southwestern edge of the continent, Namibia is one of the world’s younger countries, having been established in 1990. Here are a few reasons to get its name right.
1. It’s one of the world’s main producers of diamonds
Although it only accounts for a fraction of the world’s diamond output in weight terms, Namibia ranks among the top diamond producers in terms of value per unit weight. In 2013, Namibian diamonds were valued at $805 per carat, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
As land-based mines face gradual exhaustion after a century of digging, traders have increasingly turned to the Namibian coast for new sources. Mining firms extracted $600 million worth of the gemstone along Namibia’s coast in 2016, and offshore mining now accounts for 90% of the country’s diamond-related revenues, the Washington Post reports.
2. Environmental protection is part of its constitution
The protection of biodiversity and natural resources is listed as one of the aims of Namibia’s state policies under Article 95 of its constitution, which states that “maintenance of ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biological diversity of Namibia and utilization of living natural resources on a sustainable basis” are among its governing principles. It claims to be the first country in Africa to mandate environmental protection in its constitution.
About 17% of Namibia’s land mass — including almost the entirety of its Atlantic coastline — is listed as a protected area, according to its Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
3. It’s one of the world’s least densely populated places
With under 2.5 million people spread across over 824,000 square kilometers, Namibia has one of the world’s sparsest population densities, with just 3.0 people per square kilometer, according to its latest census. Its capital, Windhoek, has a population of just over 325,000 people.
4. It’s one of the last places in Africa that gained independence
Namibia has enjoyed much stability since its independence in 1990, according to the BBC. The area now known as Namibia was first established in the late 1880s, when Germany annexed it as South West Africa. South Africa would later take over the region during the First World War, then govern it under a League of Nations mandate.
Namibia became independent in 1990, following almost 25 years of bush war between pro-independence fighters and South Africa.
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