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Beer, politics and identity -- the chequered history behind Namibian brewing success

By Paul Nugent, Professor of Comparative African History (School of History, Classics and Archaeology) & African Studies (School of Social and Political Science), University of Edinburgh
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A concise history of the beer industry in Namibia written by history scholar Tycho Van der Hoog begins with the pithy observation by American singer-songwriter Frank Zappa to the effect that every nation worth its salt needs an airline and its own beer.

As it happens, the first no longer holds true, while beer remains a marker of national and, for that matter, subnational identities.

The brewing industry is today regarded as a source…


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