Post-colonial Namibia

At independence, the National Archives of Namibia was taken over by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture. As legal basis, a revision of the previous act, the Archives Act (Act 12 of 1992) was passed by Parliament.

Independence brought an extension of the public service, because a sovereign nation needs to exercise many more functions than a colony, and therefore more records to supervise and to take over. At the same time, the Archives was overwhelmed by transfers of records from terminated pre-independence government offices, in particular from the former apartheid Bantustan administrations which were dissolved according to the new Namibia’s constitution.

Despite their apartheid character, these Bantustans had existed and shaped the realities of life in Namibia, and their records were therefore important. After independence two other acts were added to the responsibilities of the National Archives.

The first was the Namibia Library and Information Service Act tasked with collecting and archiving official (government) publications, and the Film Commission Act tasked with archiving audiovisual productions from Namibia.

These acts together with the Achieves act collaborate to acquire private accessions from various donors and government records of exceptional value accessible to the public at no monetary cost. Between (2001-2010) a special project co-funded by the Republic of Namibia and Federal Republic of Germany with additional input from the Government of Finland collected more information on the Namibian struggle against colonialism and apartheid under the Archives of Anti-colonial Resistance and the Liberation Struggle (AACRLS) project.

This venture also collected many materials from abroad, including the Namibian exile experience and the international solidarity and support movement.