Why did the Germans occupy Namibia?

Why did the Germans occupy Namibia?

Namibia is primarily peopled by the Bantu tribe of Ovambo
and Herero. The Ovambo settled in Eastern Namibia while the Herero settled west of the Ovambo.




Other peoples are the Nama – who belonged to Khoikhoi and settled in the drier grasslands of Namibia. The Damara, Iswan, and Bushmen were other inhabitants.

Namibia came under German rule in 1884.From the very beginning, German rule was not liked by the Africans who went on rebelling.

However, after the defeat of Germens in the First World War, Namibia was declared a mandated territory by the League of Nations. South Africa was requested to administer Namibia on the behalf of the League of Nations.




This was done by the Treaty of Versailles 1919 to punish German for causing war.

Why did the Germans occupy Namibia?

  • Namibia was occupied by Germans starting in 1884.
  • Need for raw materials to feed the home industries.
  • Need for a new market for the surplus goods manufactured in German as the result of the Industrial Revolution.
  • Need to settle the unemployed Germans who had been made jobless by the Industrial Revolution.
  • The role Otto Von Bismarck and his aggressive imperialism
  • The unification of German in 1871
  • It was a period of scramble and partition so Germany could not be left out of the game
  • The Berlin conference an its idea of effect control.




  • The request by the German Rhenish missionary society was another factor. These missionaries the King Prussia for protection hence the colonization of the area.
  • The need by the Germans to spread Christianity to the Africa
  • The fear that other countries like Britain would take over Namibia if they need did it first.
  • The role played by Germany Africa society formed in 1870 and German colonial society of 1881 that encouraged the acquiring of colonies.
  • They wanted to invest surplus capital in Namibia.
  • The discovery of minerals attracted Germans in Namibia. They wanted to share the minerals that had been discovered.
  • The pressure from Germany traders who wanted to protect their businesses. In fact they threatened not to back Bismarck in election if he never occupied Namibia




  • They claimed to have come to civilize Africans in Namibia.
  • The desire by the Germans to stop slave trade.
  • The reports given European missionaries about Namibia also attracted the German to occupy Namibia

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