Republic of Malaŵi

Dziko la Malaŵi (Chichewa)
Charu cha Malaŵi (Chitumbuka)
Motto: "Unity and Freedom"
Anthem: Mulungu dalitsani Malaŵi  (Chichewa)
(English: "O God Bless Our Land of Malawi")[1]
Malawi on the globe (Zambia centered).svg
and largest city
13°57′S 33°42′E / 13°57′S 33°42′E / -13.950; 33.700
Official languagesEnglish,[2] Chichewa[2]
Recognised regional languages
Ethnic groups
(2018 Census[3])
GovernmentUnitary presidential constitutional republic
• President
Peter Mutharika
Everton Chimulirenji
LegislatureNational Assembly
• from the United Kingdom
6 July 1964
• republic
6 July 1966
• Current constitution
18 May 1994
• Total
118,484 km2 (45,747 sq mi) (98th)
• Water (%)
• 2018 estimate
Increase 18,143,217[4][5] (64th)
• 2018 census
• Density
153.1/km2 (396.5/sq mi) (56th)
GDP (PPP)2019 estimate
• Total
$25.037 billion
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
• Total
$7.436 billion
• Per capita
Gini (2010)43.9[7]
HDI (2018)Increase 0.485[8]
low · 172nd
CurrencyKwacha (D) (MWK)
Time zoneUTC+2 (CAT)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+265[9]
ISO 3166 codeMW
* Population estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.
  • Information is drawn from the CIA World Factbook unless otherwise noted.

Malawi (i/, i/ or i/; Chichewa[maláβi] or [maláwi][10]), officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. Malawi spans over 118,484 km2 (45,747 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 18,143,217 (as of July 2018). Lake Malawi takes up about a third of Malawi's area.[11] Its capital is Lilongwe, which is also Malawi's largest city; the second largest is Blantyre, the third largest is Mzuzu and the fourth largest is its old capital Zomba. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. The country is nicknamed "The Warm Heart of Africa" because of the friendliness of the people.[12]

The part of Africa now known as Malawi was settled by migrating Bantu groups around the 10th century. Centuries later in 1891 the area was colonised by the British. In 1953 Malawi, then known as Nyasaland, a protectorate of the United Kingdom, became a protectorate within the semi-independent Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The Federation was dissolved in 1963. In 1964 the protectorate over Nyasaland was ended and Nyasaland became an independent country under Queen Elizabeth II with the new name Malawi. Two years later it became a republic. Upon gaining independence it became a totalitarian one-party state under the presidency of Hastings Banda, who remained president until 1994.[13][14][15] Malawi now has a democratic, multi-party government headed by an elected president, currently Peter Mutharika. The country has a Malawian Defence Force that includes an army, a navy and an air wing. Malawi's foreign policy is pro-Western and includes positive diplomatic relations with most countries and participation in several international organisations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the African Union (AU).

Malawi is among the world's least-developed countries. The economy is heavily based in agriculture, with a largely rural population. The Malawian government depends heavily on outside aid to meet development needs, although this need (and the aid offered) has decreased since 2000. The Malawian government faces challenges in building and expanding the economy, improving education, healthcare, environmental protection, and becoming financially independent amidst widespread unemployment. Since 2005, Malawi has developed several programs that focus on these issues, and the country's outlook appears to be improving, with a rise in the economy, education and healthcare seen in 2007 and 2008.

Malawi has a low life expectancy and high infant mortality. There is a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, which is a drain on the labour force and government expenditures. There is a diverse population of native peoples, Asians and Europeans, with several languages spoken and an array of religious beliefs. Although there was periodic regional conflict fuelled in part by ethnic divisions in the past, by 2008 it had diminished considerably and the concept of a Malawian nationality had reemerged.


The area of Africa now known as Malawi had a very small population of hunter-gatherers before waves of Bantu peoples began emigrating from the north around the 10th century.[citation needed] Although most of the Bantu peoples continued south, some remained and founded ethnic groups based on common ancestry.[16] By 1500 AD, the tribes had established the Kingdom of Maravi that reached from north of what is now Nkhotakota to the Zambezi River and from Lake Malawi to the Luangwa River in what is now Zambia.[17]

Soon after 1600, with the area mostly united under one native ruler, native tribesmen began encountering, trading with and making alliances with Portuguese traders and members of the military. By 1700, however, the empire had broken up into areas controlled by many individual ethnic groups.[18] The Arab slave trade reached its height in the mid- 1800s, when approximately 20,000 people were enslaved and considered to be carried yearly from Nkhotakota to Kilwa where they were sold.[19]

Missionary and explorer David Livingstone reached Lake Malawi (then Lake Nyasa) in 1859 and identified the Shire Highlands south of the lake as an area suitable for European settlement. As the result of Livingstone's visit, several Anglican and Presbyterian missions were established in the area in the 1860s and 1870s, the African Lakes Company Limited was established in 1878 to set up a trade and transport concern working closely with the missions, and a small mission and trading settlement was established at Blantyre in 1876 and a British Consul took up residence there in 1883. The Portuguese government was also interested in the area so, to prevent Portuguese occupation, the British government sent Harry Johnston as British consul with instructions to make treaties with local rulers beyond Portuguese jurisdiction.[20]

1897 British Central Africa stamp issued by the United Kingdom

In 1889, a British protectorate was proclaimed over the Shire Highlands, which was extended in 1891 to include the whole of present-day Malawi as the British Central Africa Protectorate.[21] In 1907, the protectorate was renamed Nyasaland, a name it retained for the remainder of its time under British rule.[22] In a prime example of what is sometimes called the "Thin White Line" of colonial authority in Africa, the colonial government of Nyasaland was formed in 1891. The administrators were given a budget of £10,000 (1891 nominal value) per year, which was enough to employ ten European civilians, two military officers, seventy Punjab Sikhs and eighty-five Zanzibar porters. These few employees were then expected to administer and police a territory of around 94,000 square kilometres with between one and two million people.[23]

In 1944, the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC) was formed by the Africans of Nyasaland to promote local interests to the British government.[24] In 1953, Britain linked Nyasaland with Northern and Southern Rhodesia in what was the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, often called the Central African Federation (CAF),[22] for mainly political reasons.[25] Even though the Federation was semi-independent, the linking provoked opposition from African nationalists, and the NAC gained popular support. An influential opponent of the CAF was Dr. Hastings Banda, a European-trained doctor working in Ghana who was persuaded to return to Nyasaland in 1958 to assist the nationalist cause. Banda was elected president of the NAC and worked to mobilise nationalist sentiment before being jailed by colonial authorities in 1959. He was released in 1960 and asked to help draft a new constitution for Nyasaland, with a clause granting Africans the majority in the colony's Legislative Council.[16]

Malawi's first Prime Minister and later the first President, Hastings Banda (left), with Tanzania's President Julius Nyerere

In 1961, Banda's Malawi Congress Party (MCP) gained a majority in the Legislative Council elections and Banda became Prime Minister in 1963. The Federation was dissolved in 1963, and on 6 July 1964, Nyasaland became independent from British rule and renamed itself Malawi, and that is commemorated as the nation's Independence Day, a public holiday.[26] Under a new constitution, Malawi became a republic with Banda as its first president. The new document also formally made Malawi a one-party state with the MCP as the only legal party. In 1971, Banda was declared president-for-life. For almost 30 years, Banda presided over a rigidly totalitarian regime, which ensured that Malawi did not suffer armed conflict.[27] Opposition parties, including the Malawi Freedom Movement of Orton Chirwa and the Socialist League of Malawi, were founded in exile.

Malawi's economy while Banda was president was often cited as an example of how a poor, landlocked, heavily populated, mineral-poor country could achieve progress in both agriculture and industrial development.[28] While in office, and using his control of the country, Banda constructed a business empire that eventually produced one-third of the country's GDP and employed 10% of the wage-earning workforce.[29] This burgeoning elite was symbolised by the building of a top boarding school called Kamuzu Academy (Eton of Africa). In Banda's own words "I do not want my boys and girls to do what I had to do—to leave their homes and their families and go away from Malawi to get an education".

Under pressure for increased political freedom, Banda agreed to a referendum in 1993, where the populace voted for a multi-party democracy. In late 1993 a presidential council was formed, the life presidency was abolished and a new constitution was put into place, effectively ending the MCP's rule.[27] In 1994 the first multi-party elections were held in Malawi, and Banda was defeated by Bakili Muluzi (a former Secretary General of the MCP and former Banda Cabinet Minister). Re-elected in 1999, Muluzi remained president until 2004, when Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika was elected. Although the political environment was described as "challenging", it was stated in 2009 that a multi-party system still existed in Malawi.[30] Multiparty parliamentary and presidential elections were held for the fourth time in Malawi in May 2009, and President Mutharika was successfully re-elected, despite charges of election fraud from his rival.[31]

President Mutharika was seen by some as increasingly autocratic and dismissive of human rights,[32] and in July 2011 protests over high costs of living, devolving foreign relations, poor governance and a lack of foreign exchange reserves erupted.[33] The protests left 18 people dead and at least 44 others suffering from gunshot wounds.[34] In April 2012, Mutharika died of a heart attack; the presidential title was taken over by former Vice-President Joyce Banda.[35]

In 2014 Joyce Banda lost elections (coming third) and was replaced by Arthur Peter Mutharika, the brother of ex-President Mutharika.[36]

Other Languages
Acèh: Malawi
Afrikaans: Malawi
Alemannisch: Malawi
አማርኛ: ማላዊ
العربية: مالاوي
aragonés: Malawi
arpetan: Malavi
asturianu: Malaui
Avañe'ẽ: Maláui
azərbaycanca: Malavi
تۆرکجه: مالاوی
Bali: Malawi
bamanankan: Malawi
বাংলা: মালাউই
Banjar: Malawi
Bân-lâm-gú: Malawi
башҡортса: Малави
беларуская: Малаві
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Малаві
भोजपुरी: मलावी
Bikol Central: Malawi
български: Малави
བོད་ཡིག: མ་ལ་ཝི།
bosanski: Malavi
brezhoneg: Malawi
буряад: Малави
català: Malawi
Чӑвашла: Малави
Cebuano: Malawi
čeština: Malawi
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Malawi
Chi-Chewa: Malaŵi
chiShona: Malawi
chiTumbuka: Malawi
Cymraeg: Malawi
dansk: Malawi
davvisámegiella: Malawi
Deutsch: Malawi
ދިވެހިބަސް: މަލާވީ
dolnoserbski: Malawi
डोटेली: मलावी
eesti: Malawi
Ελληνικά: Μαλάουι
español: Malaui
Esperanto: Malavio
estremeñu: Malaui
euskara: Malawi
eʋegbe: Malawi
فارسی: مالاوی
Fiji Hindi: Malawi
føroyskt: Malavi
français: Malawi
Frysk: Malawy
Gaeilge: An Mhaláiv
Gaelg: Malawi
Gagauz: Malavi
Gàidhlig: Malabhaidh
galego: Malaui
Gĩkũyũ: Malawi
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Malawi
한국어: 말라위
Hausa: Malawi
հայերեն: Մալավի
हिन्दी: मलावी
hornjoserbsce: Malawi
hrvatski: Malavi
Ido: Malawi
Igbo: Malawi
Ilokano: Malawi
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: মালাবি
Bahasa Indonesia: Malawi
interlingua: Malawi
Interlingue: Malawi
Ирон: Малави
isiZulu: IMalawi
íslenska: Malaví
italiano: Malawi
עברית: מלאווי
Jawa: Malawi
Kabɩyɛ: Malawii
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಮಲಾವಿ
Kapampangan: Malawi
ქართული: მალავი
қазақша: Малави
kernowek: Malawi
Kinyarwanda: Malawi
Kiswahili: Malawi
Kongo: Malawi
Kreyòl ayisyen: Malawi
kurdî: Malawî
Кыргызча: Малави
latgaļu: Malaveja
Latina: Malavia
latviešu: Malāvija
Lëtzebuergesch: Malawi
лезги: Малави
lietuvių: Malavis
Ligure: Malawi
Limburgs: Malawi
lingála: Malawi
Lingua Franca Nova: Malaui
Livvinkarjala: Malavi
Luganda: Malawi
lumbaart: Malawi
magyar: Malawi
македонски: Малави
Malagasy: Malaoỳ
മലയാളം: മലാവി
Malti: Malawi
मराठी: मलावी
მარგალური: მალავი
مصرى: مالاوى
مازِرونی: مالاوی
Bahasa Melayu: Malawi
Minangkabau: Malawi
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Malawi
монгол: Малави
မြန်မာဘာသာ: မာလဝီနိုင်ငံ
Nāhuatl: Malahui
Nederlands: Malawi
नेपाली: मलावी
नेपाल भाषा: मलावी
日本語: マラウイ
нохчийн: Малави
Nordfriisk: Malaawi
Norfuk / Pitkern: Malaawi
norsk: Malawi
norsk nynorsk: Malawi
Novial: Malawi
occitan: Malawi
Oromoo: Maalaawwii
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Malavi
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਮਲਾਵੀ
पालि: मलावी
پنجابی: ملاوی
Papiamentu: Malawi
پښتو: مالاوي
Patois: Malaawi
Piemontèis: Malawi
Plattdüütsch: Malawi
polski: Malawi
português: Malawi
Qaraqalpaqsha: Malavi
qırımtatarca: Malavi
română: Malawi
Runa Simi: Malawi
русский: Малави
саха тыла: Малауи
Gagana Samoa: Malawi
संस्कृतम्: मलावी
Sängö: Malawïi
sardu: Malawi
Scots: Malawi
Seeltersk: Malawi
Sesotho: Malawi
Sesotho sa Leboa: Malawi
shqip: Malavi
sicilianu: Malaui
Simple English: Malawi
SiSwati: IMalawi
slovenčina: Malawi (štát)
slovenščina: Malavi
ślůnski: Malawi
Soomaaliga: Malaawi
کوردی: مالاوی
српски / srpski: Малави
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Malavi
Sunda: Malawi
suomi: Malawi
svenska: Malawi
Tagalog: Malawi
தமிழ்: மலாவி
Taqbaylit: Malawi
татарча/tatarça: Малави
తెలుగు: మలావి
ትግርኛ: ማላዊ
тоҷикӣ: Малави
Tsetsêhestâhese: Malawi
Türkçe: Malavi
Türkmençe: Malawi
Twi: Malawi
удмурт: Малави
українська: Малаві
اردو: ملاوی
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: مالاۋى
Vahcuengh: Malawi
vèneto: Malawi
vepsän kel’: Malavi
Tiếng Việt: Malawi
Volapük: Malaviyän
Võro: Malawi
文言: 馬拉威
Winaray: Malawi
Wolof: Malawi
吴语: 馬拉維
Xitsonga: Malawi
ייִדיש: מאלאווי
Yorùbá: Màláwì
粵語: 馬拉維
Zazaki: Malawi
Zeêuws: Malawi
žemaitėška: Malavis
中文: 马拉维
kriyòl gwiyannen: Malawi