Namibia received independence in 1990 from South Africa under the leadership of Sam Nujoma the founder president of SWAPO. The factors are as follows;

  • USA played an instrumental role in the collapse of the racist control over Namibia for example in 1966 USA terminated South African control as a mandate colony for Namibia. Also USA through the international court of justice pressurized South Africa to grant independence which was achieved in 1990.
  • The role of USSR cannot be under estimated for example if extended military and financial support to SWAPO, it also allowed the Cuban troops to train SWAPO guerillas this definitely led to the independence of Namibia in 1990.
  • The assistance extended by African countries Angola, Algeria, this gave moral determination to the nationalists in Namibia to struggle for their independence.
  • The employment of the full scale guerilla war based on the hit and run tactics weakened the South African administration in Namibia. As the war became more expensive by 1990 it was very clear that independence was to be achieved.

  • The ambitious leaders within Namibia like Sam Nujoma especially from the Ovamboland who mobilized the masses from all walks of life, gave clear leadership, this then put pressure on South African government to grant independence.
  • The creation of liberated zones, SWAPO like other liberation movements created the liberated zones where they cultivated their own food ,putting up schools, health centers among others then embarked on liberation of the masses this attracted support of the masses which eased the independence struggle for Namibia.
  • The role of OAU through its liberation committee gave military and financial support to SWAPO to fight against South Africa. This acted as a spring board in the defeat of South Africa in 1990.
  • The acquisition of external bases by SWAPO in the neighbouring countries like Angola, other independent countries easily sent their support to the guerrillas which all worked to destabilize the South Africa administration.

  • The end of cold war, in 1990 after the collapse of the eastern block, western powers started forcing South Africa to water down its colonialism in South Africa for the buffer zones had become unnecessary. This explains why South Africa granted independence in 1990.
  • The break down of the triumvalent especially after the Lisbon coup of 1974, later in 1980 Ian Smith’s reign also reached an end yet voerwed of South Africa had been replaced therefore this was a clear signal that colonialism over Namibia was to come to an end.
  • The contribution of the common wealth cannot be under estimated, it expelled South Africa officially in 1957, it imposed economic sanctions on her, and this made South Africa unpopular. This then lead to the independence to Namibia.
  • The cultural isolation of South Africa for example, the international Olympic committee banned South Africa from participating in any Olympics and to have any contact with other countries in sports. This isolation made South Africa uncomfortable and by 1990, it was willing to give up Namibia.

  • The role of women cannot be under estimated who acted as spies and helped the guerrillas to attack the South Africans at the weakest points and this helped SWAPO to attain the independence of Namibia by 1990


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