Sneha Girap

Windhoek

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Country  Namibia
Area  1,982 sq mi
Region  Khomas Region
Founded  18 October 1890
Mayor  Agnes Kafula
Population  322,500
Colleges and Universities  University of Namibia, International University of Management
Points of interest  Daan Viljoen Game Reserve, Heroes Acre, Christ Church - Windhoek, Alte Feste, Tintenpalast

Windhoek ( VINT-huuk; German:  Windhuk ; Khoekhoe: ; Otjiherero: ) is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia. It is located in central Namibia in the Khomas Highland plateau area, at around 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) above sea level. The population of Windhoek in 2012 was 322,500 and grows continually due to an influx from all over Namibia.

Contents

Map of Windhoek

The town developed at the site of a permanent spring known to the indigenous pastoral communities. It developed rapidly after Jonker Afrikaner, Captain of the Orlam settled here in 1840 and built a stone church for his community. However, in the decades thereafter multiple wars and hostilities led to the neglect and destruction of the new settlement such that Windhoek was founded a second time in 1890 by Imperial German army Major Curt von François.

Windhoek the one of the best cities in subsaharan africa


Windhoek is the social, economic, political, and cultural centre of the country. Nearly every Namibian national enterprise, governmental body, educational and cultural institution is headquartered there.

Windhoek one of africas cleanest cities


History

The City of Windhoek is traditionally known by two names: ?Ai?Gams, (Khoekhoe: hot springs) and Otjomuise (Otjiherero: place of steam). Both traditional names reference the hot springs near todays city centre.

Windhoek in the past, History of Windhoek

Theories vary on how the place got its modern name of Windhoek. Most believe it is derived from the Afrikaans word Wind-Hoek (wind corner). Another theory suggests that Captain Jonker Afrikaner named Windhoek after the Winterhoek Mountains at Tulbagh in South Africa, where his ancestors had lived. The first mention of the name Windhoek occurred in a letter from Jonker Afrikaner to Joseph Tindall, dated 12 August 1844.

Geography

It sits on a sloping plain on the northern side of the Khomas Hochland (Khomas Highlands) in the Windhoek Basin valley which extends in north-southern direction for about 80 kilometres (50 mi) towards the city of Okahandja. The mean altitude of Windhoek is 1,657 metres (5,436 ft).

Expanding the town area has – apart from financial restrictions – proven to be challenging due to its geographical location. In southern, eastern and western directions Windhoek is surrounded by rocky, mountainous areas which make land development costly. The southern side is not suitable for industrial development because of the presence of underground aquifers. This leaves the vast Brakwater area north of town the only feasible place for Windhoeks expansion.

Nevertheless, Windhoeks City Council has plans of dramatically expanding the citys boundaries such that the town area will cover 5,133.4 square kilometres (1,982.0 sq mi). This will make Windhoek the third-largest city in the world by area, after Tianjin and Istanbul, although the population density is only 63 inhabitants per square kilometre.

Economy

The city is the administrative, commercial, and industrial center of Namibia. A 1992/93 study estimated that Windhoek provides over half of Namibias non-agricultural employment, with its national share of employment in utilities being 96%, in transport and communication 94%, finance and business services 82%. Due to its relative size Windhoek is, even more than many other national capital cities, the social, economic, and cultural centre of the country. Nearly every national enterprise is headquartered here. The University of Namibia is, too, as are the countrys only theatre, all ministry head offices, and all major media and financial entities. The governmental budget of the city of Windhoek nearly equals those of all other Namibian local authorities combined. Air Namibia has its main office in the Trans Namib Building in Windhoek. Several shopping malls were built in the post-independence era, including Maerua Mall, and Wernhil Park Mall.

Culture

In public life Afrikaans and to a lesser extent German are still used as the lingua franca even though the government only uses the English language.

References

Windhoek Wikipedia 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