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Namibia

Namibia was a German, British, and South African colony until its independence in 1990. Since then it is a stable parliamentary democracy. Germany and Namibia are now engaged in bi-lateral discussions concerning the colonial past and the Herero and Nama genocide. The economy is based on agriculture, mining, and tourism. With an area twice that of California, but a population of only 2.3 Million it is the least populated country on earth. This is mainly due to the Namib, one of the world’s oldest and driest deserts. Namibia is number 125 out 188 on the list of countries on the human development index. From 2010-2015 the Namibian economy registered an average growth rate of 4.3 percent. However, with an unemployment rate of 29.9 percent, poverty incidence of 26.9 percent, and HIV prevalence of 16.9 percent, a large portion of the Namibian population remains vulnerable. Fortunately, the Namibian government has a strong focus on strengthening education on all levels.

View of the Milky Way

The southern sky, visible from Namibia, provides an even more spectacular sight of the heavens than on the northern hemisphere. This is not only due to the exceptionally dark skies in Namibia, but also due to the fact that the center of the Milky Way, which is hardly visible from the US or Europe, passes right overhead there. The Milky Way consists of several hundred billion stars in our galaxy that rotate around the super massive black hole in its center. The Gamsberg is at a height, covered by a dry, tenuous and clean atmosphere, that is still low enough for humans to not be affected by oxygen deprivation. Hence, Namibia is one of the best places in the world to observe the Milky Way with the naked eye.