After more than one hundred years of German and South African colonial rule, the tripartite agreement signed between Angola, Cuba and South Africa on 22 December 1988 has finally cleared the way to independence in Namibia. The implementation of UN Resolution 435 from April 1989 is planned to lead to the UN-supervised election by proportional representation of a Constituent Assembly in November. During 1990 the assembly should adopt, by two-thirds majority vote, a constitution for Namibia which will determine the organisation and powers of all levels of government.
The new Government in Namibia will inherit a country of inhospitable terrain and an economy with a substantial natural resource endowment but characterised by extremely uneven development and dependence upon South Africa. This Briefing Paper considers the economic choices which await an independent Namibia.