Namibia, then known as South-West Africa, was proclaimed a German protectorate by Otto von Bismarck in 1884. The conquest of German South-West Africa by South Africa forces during World War I resulted in its subsequent administration by South Africa under a 1920 League of Nations mandate. On 19 April 1960 the South-West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) was formed as a liberation movement.

In 1966, the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), SWAPO’s military wing, waged a guerilla struggle that effectively culminated in South African forces capitulating to end its illegal occupation of Namibia in 1988, in accordance with a United Nations peace plan for the entire region. In 1989, the implementation of United Nations Resolution 435 calling for free and fair elections under the supervision of the United Nations Transitional Assistance Group (UNTAG), resulted in SWAPO coming to power, after 106 years of colonialism and a protracted struggle for national liberation.

Namibia attained its hard-won independence on 21 March 1990 with Dr Sam Nujoma becoming the Founding President of an independent and sovereign state, the Republic of Namibia. President Nujoma stepped down in 2005 after serving three terms. A smooth democratic hand-over of power ensued when Hifikepunye Pohamba was elected President in November 2004 following a landslide electoral victory.
On 21 March 2010, President Hifikepunye Pohamba was sworn-in for a second term after scoring 75.25% of the presidential vote in the November 2009 elections. The SWAPO-Party retained its two-thirds majority in parliament, garnering 74.29% of the National Assembly vote. The next elections will be held in 2014.