Kavango Region

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Kavango Region
Former Region
Location of the Kavango Region in Namibia
Location of the Kavango Region in Namibia
 • Total48,742 km2 (18,819 sq mi)
 • Total222,500
 • Density4.6/km2 (12/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (CAT)

Kavango (before 1998: Okavango)[3] was one of the thirteen regions of Namibia until it was split into the Kavango East and Kavango West Regions in 2013. Its capital was Rundu.

In the north, Kavango bordered the Cuando Cubango Province of Angola, and in the southeast the North-West District of Botswana. Domestically, it bordered the following regions:

Because of its rather higher rainfall than most other parts of Namibia, this region had agricultural potential for the cultivation of a variety of crops, as well as for organised forestry and agro-forestry, which stimulated furniture making and related industries.


The region was subdivided into nine electoral constituencies: Mpungu, Kahenge, Kapako, Rundu Rural West, Rundu Urban, Rundu Rural East, Mashare, Ndiyona, and Mukwe.

Ambrosius Haingura, a prominent SWAPO organizer during the Namibian War of Independence, served as the region's first Regional Governor from 1993 to 1995.[4] Maurus Nekaro, the Governor of Kavango Region from December 2010, died in office on March 4, 2013.[5] Samuel Mbambo was appointed as Kavango's last Governor in April 2013.[6]

The Fourth Delimitation Commission of Namibia, responsible for recommending on the country's administrative divisions suggested in August 2013 to split the Kavango Region into two. The president Hifikepunye Pohamba enacted the recommendations. As a result, the new Regions of Kavango East and Kavango West have been created.[7]


The region was characterised by an extremely uneven population distribution. The interior is very sparsely inhabited, while the northernmost strip, especially along the Kavango River, has a high population concentration. Largest urban settlements were the capital Rundu and the towns of Nkurenkuru and Divundu.

Economy and infrastructure[edit]

Kavango was the region with the highest poverty level in Namibia, more than 50% of the population were classified as poor.[8] According to the 2012 Namibia Labour Force Survey, unemployment in the Kavango Region is 29.8%.[9] Economic activities included farming and tourism. Subsistence fishing also played a role in the nutrition of the people residing near the Kavango River.

Kavango had 323 schools with a total of 77,314 pupils.[10]


There was a particular dearth of north-south roads in the Region, apart from the Rundu-Grootfontein main road. Rundu has a small airstrip to accommodate medium-sized tourist or cargo aircraft in daylight only. The poor condition of the roads and the long distances had a negative effect on tourism; this situation was improved by the completion of the Trans–Caprivi Highway. A major highway connecting Rundu to western Kavango and the Ohangwena Region is under construction.


  1. ^ "Namibia's Population by Region". Election Watch. Institute for Public Policy Research (1): 3. 2013.
  2. ^ Smit, Nico (12 April 2012). "Namibia's population hits 2,1 million". The Namibian.
  3. ^ "Composition of the Delimitation Commissions and the major decisions made from 1990 to present". Election Watch. Institute for Public Policy Research (1): 2. 2013.
  4. ^ Shiremo, Shampapi (19 November 2010). "Cde Ambrosius Haingura: A great campaigner for equality and freedom". New Era. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  5. ^ "Former dissident, post-1989 politician Battěk dies". Namibian Sun. 2013-03-05. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
  6. ^ Immanuel, Shinovene (22 April 2013). "Pohamba continues to pave way for Geingob". The Namibian.
  7. ^ Nakale, Albertina (9 August 2013). "President divides Kavango into two". New Era. allafrica.com. Archived from the original on 9 August 2013.
  8. ^ Heita, Desie (29 November 2012). "Namibian women, poorest of the poor". New Era.
  9. ^ Duddy, Jo Maré (11 April 2013). "Unemployment rate still alarmingly high". The Namibian. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013.
  10. ^ Miyanicwe, Clemans; Kahiurika, Ndanki (27 November 2013). "School counsellors overstretched". The Namibian. p. 1.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 17°55′S 19°45′E / 17.917°S 19.750°E / -17.917; 19.750