Africa Notes: Namibia Becomes a Nation: Could It Be a Model? - March 1990
March 20, 1990
Namibia's independence on March 21 ends more than a century of white rule (three decades as a German colony, and governance by South Africa since World War 1) , 24 years of domestic military conflict, and an astonishingly brief 11 months of electoral campaigning and constitutional planning. As Africa's last colony becomes the continent's 52nd nation and whites transfer power to blacks, Namibia could become a new model for cross-color cooperation in southern Africa.
Sam Nujoma, who will be sworn in as Namibia's first president by UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, led the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) in its long guerrilla war against South African rule. Although his government will be dominated by SWAPO adherents, it will include several distinguished whites and a few non-SWAPO Africans.