The New Student's Reference Work/German Southwest Africa

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The New Student's Reference Work (1914)
German Southwest Africa
See also German South-West Africa on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.


German Southwest Africa is bounded on the north by Portuguese West Africa; on the east by Rhodesia and the Bechuana countries; on the south by Cape Colony; and on the west by the Atlantic, with the exception of Walfish Bay, about midway the coast, which belongs to Cape Colony.  It contains 322,450 square miles, with a population of 100,000, largely Bantus and Damaras.  The coast is held by the German Colonial Company for Southwest Africa, with the seat of administration at Windhoek.  The territory is divided into Damaraland on the north and Namaland on the south.  The barrenness of the east and south is being somewhat successfully relieved by artesian-well irrigation.  A new harbor has been built at Swakopmund, a narrow-gauge railway connects this port with the capital, Windhoek, 237 miles inland and another runs from Swakopmund to Tsumeb (359 miles).  Swakopmund, Karibib, Okahandja and Windhoek are connected both by telegraph and telephone.  There is a cable to Europe.  Agriculture is practiced chiefly in the form of market-gardening, but there are extensive pastoral interests.  Cotton-cultivation has begun, and grape-growing and tobacco-raising are tried.  The imports are chiefly provisions, textiles and iron-manufactures; the exports chiefly animals on the hoof, guano and animal-products.  Copper is mined, and diamonds and gold have been found.  Trade is almost wholly with Germany.  The colony is far from self-supporting, and the natives rebel frequently, putting the government to enormous expense.