2024 May 16 – The Namibian: Zambezi residents want Caprivi name back

Namibian report residents Zambezi region demanding name region changed Caprivi colonial era

“Zambezi residents want Caprivi name back

By Lugeretzia Kooper and Envaalde Matheus

16 May 2024

Some traditional leaders and residents of the Zambezi region want the border line with the Kavango regions reinstated, and call for the name of the region to revert to Caprivi.

They raised their concerns at the regional public consultations by the fifth Boundaries Delimitation and Demarcation Commission earlier this week.

Citing a lack of consultation when the name of the region was changed in 2013, they said they want the region’s name to be changed back to Caprivi as a matter of cultural identity.


Zambezi resident Diaz Silubanga said he identifies himself as Caprivian, just like the Herero’s pride themselves on their identity.

“If I cannot be called a Caprivian, then it means I have lost my identity. Whatever agenda is associated with the Caprivi name is not on me, as I’m a proud Caprivian and Namibian. Therefore, it should not be disconnected from me,” he said.




Editor’s note:
The strip of land was named after Georg Leo Graf von Caprivi, the German Chancellor from 1890 – 1894. Caprivi led the negotiations with Great Britain for the ‘Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty’ of 1890. In this treaty the German Empire renounced its claim to Zanzibar, the island off the coast of its colony of German East Africa (now Tanzania), and to other territories in East Africa.

Great Britain ceded the island of Heligoland off the German coast in the North Sea. The British also relinquished the strip of land (today’s Zambezi region) that lay north of their protectorate of Bechuanaland (today Botswana). The reason was to give the colony of German South West Africa (1884 – 1915) access to the Zambezi. However, the waterway to East Africa that the Germans wanted to make use of proved to be impassable due to the Victoria Falls and other falls. For more details, see the Wikipedia articles on the Caprivi Strip, on Betchuanaland and on the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty (last checked in May 2024).

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