The scope of the mission was the overall performance of the VS and other institutions and sectors that comprise the VS of Namibia, including the Central Veterinary Laboratory as well as the interaction of the VS with its stakeholders.
The Republic of Namibia is a large and sparsely populated country located on Africa´s south‐west coast. It shares 4,000 kilometres of borders with South Africa to the south, Botswana to the east, Zambia and Zimbabwe to the north‐east and Angola to the north. Its western boundary is the South Atlantic Ocean. Namibia has a population of two million inhabitants, on a total land area of 835,000 square kilometres. After German control, the country was occupied and annexed by South Africa, and won independence only in 1990, after a war of independence, which had lasted for a quarter of a century. Namibia´s economy is heavily dependent on mineral exports. Although half of the population depend on subsistence agriculture for their livelihood, about 50% of the cereal requirements must be imported. Agriculture is responsible for around 11% of the Gross Domestic Product. A relatively high per capita GDP for the region hides the very unequal income distributions. During the mission, a significant difference between rich commercial (mainly of European origin) farmers and poor communal (mainly of African origin) farmers was noted. In general it could be said that these two farming types were separated by the Veterinary Cordon Fence, which splits the country into a FMD and CBPP free southern and an FMD and northern zone which is CBPP infected and contains an FMD buffer and infected zone. Namibia consists of 13 regions, and has Windhoek as its capital, which is also the seat of the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) and the Central Laboratory (CVL), as well as some of the most important stakeholder associations for the VS. A census from the end of 2006 showed a total of 2.4 million cattle, 2.6 million sheep and 2 million goats as the most numerous domestic species. The poultry and swine populations in Namibia are small. Namibia also has a huge wildlife population from antelopes and elephants to lions and zebras, which live free but in usually large extensive fenced‐in commercial farms and national parks.
Veterinary Services: Namibia has very competent Veterinary Services characterized by extremely well trained professionals. Most veterinarians have advanced degrees from various institutions abroad. Unfortunately, the Veterinary Services have too many vacant positions, mostly due to an insufficient number of professionals in the country and the fact that Namibia does not have its own veterinary school.
A potential problem in terms of sustainable professional staffing of the VS could be the eventual departure of several of their veterinarians with advanced degrees, as