The dollar is the official currency of the Republic of Namibia, a nation on the southwest coast of Africa. The country was a territory of South Africa until winning its war of independence in 1990. The dollar, introduced in 1993, is the first currency of Namibia. The Namibian dollar is subdivided into 100 cents and is issued by the Bank of Namibia, the nation’s central bank. Due to the country’s history with South Africa, the Namibian dollar is pegged to the South African rand, which is also accepted as legal tender.
The Namibian dollar was introduced in 1993, largely to inspire Namibian nationalism. After gaining independence from South Africa, Namibia became a member of the Common Monetary Area, but gave up its membership when the dollar was introduced. The Namibian dollar is circulated through both coins and banknotes. Coins are minted in denominations of 5, 10 and 50 cents as well as in denomination of 1 and 5 dollars. Banknotes are printed in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 dollars.
The Bank of Namibia was established just prior to the issuance of the Namibian dollar in 1993. It is the central bank of the country and has sole authority to issue currency in the country. The duties of the bank include developing the economy, ensuring the growth of the economy, promoting the stability of the dollar and supervising commercial banks.
Namibia has a modern infrastructure and banking system that includes such conveniences as online and mobile banking. However, only four commercial banks are authorised to operate in the country. The greatest downside in the economy of Namibia is a very high unemployment rate, which is over 29 percent for those actively seeking jobs. Taking the entire able-bodied population into account, more than 50 percent of Namibians are unemployed. Poverty is also high in Namibia. It is estimated that nearly half the population lives below the internationally accepted poverty line. In order to curb population, the government announced in 2010 that all unskilled and semi-skilled labour in the country must be conducted by Namibian nationals. The economy of Namibia relies on its natural resources. Mining accounts for 25 percent of the country’s revenue. Important resources include large deposits of gem-quality diamonds, gold, tin, copper, zinc and tungsten. Other important economic sectors in Namibia are tourism and agriculture.