South West Africa People’s Organisation

Political party

(Redirected from SWAPO)

The South West Africa People’s Organisation (/ˈswɑːp/, SWAPO; Afrikaans: Suidwes-Afrikaanse Volks Organisasie, SWAVO; German: Südwestafrikanische Volksorganisation, SWAVO), officially known as the SWAPO Party of Namibia is a political party in Namibia. Its official name is the SWAPO Party of Namibia. It has been the most powerful party in the country since the country became independent from South Africa in 1990. It was a former independence and populist movement in South West Africa and is the main belligerents in the South African Border War.

South West Africa People’s Organisation
LeaderHage Geingob
Secretary-GeneralSophia Shaningwa
Vice PresidentNetumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah
Vice Secretary-GeneralNangolo Mbumba
Executive DirectorAustin Samupwa
FoundersAndimba Toivo ya Toivo
Sam Nujoma
Jacob Kuhangua
Louis Nelengani
Lucas Nepela
Founded19 April 1960; 62 years ago (1960-04-19)
Preceded byOvamboland People's Organization
HeadquartersErf 2464
Hans-Dietrich Genscher Street
Khomas Region
NewspaperNamibia Today (1960-2015)
Think tankSWAPO Think Tank
Youth wingSWAPO Party Youth League
Women's wingSWAPO Women's Council
Elder's wingSWAPO Elder’s Council
Paramilitary wingPeople's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) (integrated into Namibian Defence Force)
IdeologySince 2017:
Socialism with Namibian characteristics[1][2][3]
Independence until 2017:
Social democracy[4][5]
Political positionLeft-wing
International affiliationSocialist International
African affiliationFormer Liberation Movements of Southern Africa
Seats in the National Assembly
63 / 96
Seats in the National Council
28 / 42
Regional Councillors
88 / 121
Local Councillors
277 / 378
Pan-African Parliament
4 / 5
Party flag
Flag of South West Africa People's Organisation.svg



SWAPO was founded on 19 April 1960. The leaders named the party to show that it represented all Namibians but the organisation is popular among Ovambo people of northern Namibia, who made up nearly half the total population of South West Africa.[8]

South West Africa

During 1962, SWAPO had became the dominant independence, anti-colonial organisation for the people in Namibia. SWAPO used guerrilla tactics to fight the colonial South African Defence Force. A major conflict broke out on 26 of August 1966, when a unit of the South African Police exchanged fire with SWAPO forces. This became the start of what became known in South Africa as the Border War.

The neighbouring country of Angola gained its independence on 11 November 1975 during the Portuguese Colonial war. The leftist Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) came to power as the dominant party of Angola. In March 1976, the MPLA offered SWAPO bases in Angola for launching attacks against the South African military.

Modern Namibia

Namibia gained its independence in 1990. SWAPO have since become the dominant political party of Namibia.[8]

Notable members

Election history

Presidential elections

ElectionParty candidateVotes%Result
1994Sam Nujoma370,45276.34%Elected  Y
1999414,09676.82%Elected  Y
2004Hifikepunye Pohamba625,60576.45%Elected  Y
2009611,24175.25%Elected  Y
2014Hage Geingob772,52886.73%Elected  Y
2019464,70356.3%Elected  Y

National Assembly elections

ElectionParty leaderVotes%Seats+/–PositionResult
1989Sam Nujoma384,56757.33%
41 / 72
  41  1stMajority government
53 / 72
  12  1stSupermajority government
55 / 78
  2  1stSupermajority government
55 / 78
   1stSupermajority government
2009Hifikepunye Pohamba611,24175.25%
54 / 72
  1  1stSupermajority government
77 / 96
  23  1stSupermajority government
2019Hage Geingob536,86165.45%
63 / 96
  14  1stMajority government

National Council elections

19 / 26
  19  1stSupermajority
21 / 26
  2  1stSupermajority
24 / 26
  3  1stSupermajority
24 / 26
40 / 42
  16  1stSupermajority
28 / 42
  12  1stSupermajority


  1. "Socialism with Namibian characteristics". Namibian Sun. 17 January 2019. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  2. "Will Swapo's Socialism Come to 'Mixed Economy' Namibia?". The Namibian. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  3. Iileka, Sakeus (9 November 2017). "Politburo approves sweeping changes". The Namibian. p. 1. Archived from the original on 12 November 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Tötemeyer, Gerhard (December 2007). "The Management of a Dominant Political Party system with particular reference to Namibia" (PDF). Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 February 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  5. Dauth, Timothy (17 January 1995). "From Liberation Organisations to Ruling Parties: The ANC and SWAPO in Transition". NamNet Digest, Vol. 95, no. 3. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  6. Seibeb, Henny (12 May 2017). "Social Movements, Party Politics And Democracy In Namibia". The Namibian. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  7. Soiri, Iina (May 1996). The Radical Motherhood: Namibian Women's Independence Struggle. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet Research Report, No 99. ISBN 9789171063809. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Matundu-Tjiparuro, Kae (19 April 2010). "The founder of Swapo". New Era (Namibia).