Namibia – a vast land with polite people
The Republic of Namibia is a country in southern Africa and shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It has a land mass equal to Spain and Germany combined, with a population of about 2 million.
Namibia became a German protectorate in 1884 which lasted until the end of the First World War. It gained independence from South Africa in 1990 and enjoys high political, economic and social stability. In 2013, global business and financial news provider, Bloomberg, named Namibia the top emerging market economy in Africa, and the 13th best in the world.
Men have always been considered more senior and are shown respect by women in all positions. Now that women are starting to hold positions of authority, this is changing but the practice of women keeping quiet and passive in the presence of men is still very common.
Namibians are aware that women from other countries are different and therefore understand when they act differently. However, when visiting Namibia women should consider the ways local women are expected to behave and act accordingly. Women tend to dress conservatively with long skirts and covered shoulders.
Bargaining is expected and common in most cases. You should remain calm and not appear as if you are desperate for this business deal; acting as though you can get a similar deal elsewhere will bring prices down.
It is considered rude not to greet people, even strangers on the street. Namibians are polite, if indirect, communicators and it is not uncommon for them to tell visitors what they want to hear which may not reflect reality.
Share your Namibian business experiences.
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