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Namibia was under the rule of the Republic of South Africa until it achieved independence in 1990, with the help of a civil war.

This book is an academic text that evaluates the state of the nation’s democracy. I don’t normally read political science works, so it’s been interesting for me to see how it’s done. There’s a different style of reading required for different disciplines, as strange as that may seem. It was an interesting challenge.

And the state of democracy in Namibia: not bad, could be better. Post-colonial transitions have been fraught in Africa, but many nations have been successful at maintaining political stability, peace, and economic growth. You just don’t hear about them as much. Namibia has a per-capital GDP of $11,400. However, Namibia’s population is about 2.5 million, which limits its interest to investors.

GDP growth is very much a function of population. We forget that sometimes. The U.S. doesn’t have nearly as many people as either China or India, but it does have the third largest population in the world. Japan, Germany, and France are populous nations. Even Canada has 35 million people spread out over its vast territory – 17 times more people than Namibia.

This is one of the challenges of investing in emerging markets: there are nations that would be attractive if only they were larger. If too much money floods in, then they’ll be subject to a bubble that will be nasty when it bursts.