In 1999, Namibia signed a mutual defence pact with its northern neighbour Angola. This affected the Angolan Civil War that had been ongoing since Angola's independence in 1975. Namibia's ruling party SWAPO sought to support the ruling party MPLA in Angola against the rebel movement UNITA, whose stronghold is in southern Angola, bordering to Namibia. The defence pact allowed Angolan troops to use Namibian territory when attacking Jonas Savimbi's UNITA.
The alliance between SWAPO and MPLA was formed during the 1960s while both Angola and Namibia sought to overthrow colonial regimes (Portuguese Empire and Apartheid South Africa). The Namibian War of Independence coincided with the Angolan civil war for nearly 25 years. In Angola, the leftist movement MPLA was fighting the rightist movement UNITA, which was supported by South Africa. In Namibia, SWAPO, then being a rebel movement, was fighting for independence from South Africa. As MPLA and SWAPO shared a common ideological ground, and had a common enemy in South Africa, they came to cooperate.
The Angolan civil war resulted in a large number of Angolan refugees coming to Namibia. At its peak in 2001 there were over 30,000 Angolan refugees in Namibia. The calmer situation in Angola has made it possible for many of them to return to their home with the help of UNHCR, and in 2004 only 12,600 remained in Namibia.  Many of them reside in the Osire refugee camp near Otjiwarongo.
Namibians are the only nationality who can access Angola visa-free.
In 2016, Namibian exports to Angola amounted to US$99.6 million and Angolan exports to Namibia amounted to US$6.2 million. 
- William, Vincent. "Namibia: Situation Report" (PDF). United Nations High Commission on Refugees. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-26.
- "2004 UNHCR Statistical Yearbook - Namibia" (PDF). United Nations High Commission on Refugees. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-26.
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