Malawian, adj., n.
/meuh lah"wee/, n.
1. Formerly, Nyasaland. a republic in SE Africa, on the W and S shores of Lake Malawi: formerly a British protectorate and part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland; gained independence July 6, 1964; a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. 9,609,081; 49,177 sq. mi. (127,368 sq. km). Cap.: Lilongwe.
2. Lake. Formerly, Nyasa. a lake in SE Africa, between Malawi, Tanzania, and Mozambique. 11,000 sq. mi. (28,500 sq. km).

* * *


Introduction Malawi -
Background: Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964. After three decades of one- party rule, the country held multiparty elections in 1994 under a provisional constitution, which took full effect the following year. National multiparty elections were held again in 1999. Geography Malawi
Location: Southern Africa, east of Zambia
Geographic coordinates: 13 30 S, 34 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 118,480 sq km water: 24,400 sq km land: 94,080 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
Land boundaries: total: 2,881 km border countries: Mozambique 1,569 km, Tanzania 475 km, Zambia 837 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: sub-tropical; rainy season (November to May); dry season (May to November)
Terrain: narrow elongated plateau with rolling plains, rounded hills, some mountains
Elevation extremes: lowest point: junction of the Shire River and international boundary with Mozambique 37 m highest point: Sapitwa (Mount Mlanje) 3,002 m
Natural resources: limestone, arable land, hydropower, unexploited deposits of uranium, coal, and bauxite
Land use: arable land: 19.93% permanent crops: 1.33% other: 78.74% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 280 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: NA Environment - current issues: deforestation; land degradation; water pollution from agricultural runoff, sewage, industrial wastes; siltation of spawning grounds endangers fish populations Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note: landlocked; Lake Nyasa, some 580 km long, is the country's most prominent physical feature People Malawi -
Population: 10,701,824 note: 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 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 44% (male 2,358,730; female 2,347,017) 15-64 years: 53.2% (male 2,810,478; female 2,884,601) 65 years and over: 2.8% (male 120,761; female 180,237) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.39% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 37.13 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 23.2 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/ female total population: 0.98 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 119.96 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 36.59 years female: 37.15 years (2002 est.) male: 36.05 years
Total fertility rate: 5.04 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 15.96% (1999 est.) HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 800,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 70,000 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Malawian(s) adjective: Malawian
Ethnic groups: Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, Ngonde, Asian, European
Religions: Protestant 55%, Roman Catholic 20%, Muslim 20%, indigenous beliefs 3%, other 2%
Languages: English (official), Chichewa (official), other languages important regionally
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 58% male: 72.8% female: 43.4% (1999 est.) Government Malawi -
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Malawi conventional short form: Malawi former: British Central African Protectorate, Nyasaland Protectorate, Nyasaland
Government type: multiparty democracy
Capital: Lilongwe Administrative divisions: 27 districts; Balaka, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Chitipa, Dedza, Dowa, Karonga, Kasungu, Likoma, Lilongwe, Machinga (Kasupe), Mangochi, Mchinji, Mulanje, Mwanza, Mzimba, Ntcheu, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Nsanje, Ntchisi, Phalombe, Rumphi, Salima, Thyolo, Zomba
Independence: 6 July 1964 (from UK)
National holiday: Independence Day (Republic Day), 6 July (1964)
Constitution: 18 May 1994
Legal system: based on English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Appeal; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Bakili MULUZI (since 21 May 1994); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President Bakili MULUZI (since 21 May 1994); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government cabinet: 38-member Cabinet named by the president elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 15 June 1999 (next to be held NA 2004) election results: Bakili MULUZI reelected president; percent of vote - Bakili MULUZI (UDF) 51.4%, Gwandaguluwe CHAKUAMBA (MCP-AFORD) 44.3%
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (193 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) elections: last held 15 June 1999 (next to be held NA 2004) election results: percent of vote by party - UDF 48%, MCP 34%, AFORD 15%, others 3%; seats by party - UDF 96, MCP 61, AFORD 30, others 6
Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Appeal; High Court (chief justice appointed by the president, puisne judges appointed on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission); magistrate's courts Political parties and leaders: Alliance for Democracy or AFORD [Chakufwa CHIHANA, president]; Malawi Congress Party or MCP [Gwanda CHAKUAMBA, president, John TEMBO, vice president]; Malawi Democratic Party or MDP [Kampelo KALUA, president]; United Democratic Front or UDF [Bakili MULUZI] - governing party Political pressure groups and National Democratic Alliance [Brown
leaders: MPINGANJIRA] International organization ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77,
participation: IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MONUC, NAM, OAU, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIK, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Paul Tony Steven KANDIERO FAX: [1] (202) 265-0976 telephone: [1] (202) 797-1007 chancery: 2408 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Roger
US: A. MEECE embassy: Area 40, Plot 24, Kenyatta Road mailing address: P. O. Box 30016, Lilongwe 3, Malawi telephone: [265] 773 166 FAX: [265] 770 471
Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and green with a radiant, rising, red sun centered in the black band
Government - note: the executive exerts considerable influence over the legislature Economy Malawi
Economy - overview: Landlocked Malawi ranks among the world's least developed countries. The economy is predominately agricultural, with about 90% of the population living in rural areas. Agriculture accounts for 40% of GDP and 88% of export revenues. The economy depends on substantial inflows of economic assistance from the IMF, the World Bank, and individual donor nations. In late 2000, Malawi was approved for relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program. The government faces strong challenges, e.g., to fully develop a market economy, to improve educational facilities, to face up to environmental problems, and to deal with the rapidly growing problem of HIV/AIDS. The performance of the tobacco sector is key to short-term growth.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $7 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.7% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $660 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 40% industry: 19% services: 41% (2000 est.) Population below poverty line: 54% (FY90/91 est.) Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA% Inflation rate (consumer prices): 28.6% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 4.5 million (2001 est.) Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 86% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate: NA%
Budget: revenues: $490 million expenditures: $523 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY99/00 est.)
Industries: tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement, consumer goods Industrial production growth rate: 2.5% (2001 est.) Electricity - production: 825 million kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 3.03% hydro: 96.97% other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 767.25 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (tapioca), sorghum, pulses; cattle, goats, groundnuts, Macadamia nuts
Exports: $415.5 million (f.o.b., 2001)
Exports - commodities: tobacco, tea, sugar, cotton, coffee, peanuts, wood products, apparel
Exports - partners: South Africa 18%, Germany 13%, US 13%, UK 10%, Japan 7%, Netherlands 3% (2000)
Imports: $463.6 million (f.o.b., 2001)
Imports - commodities: food, petroleum products, semimanufactures, consumer goods, transportation equipment
Imports - partners: South Africa 40%, UK 11%, Zimbabwe 7%, Japan 5%, Germany 2%, US 1.8%, Zambia (2000)
Debt - external: $2.8 billion (2001 est.) Economic aid - recipient: $427 million (1999)
Currency: Malawian kwacha (MWK)
Currency code: MWK
Exchange rates: Malawian kwachas per US dollar - 67.3111 (December 2001), 72.1973 (2001), 59.5438 (2000), 44.0881 (1999), 31.0727 (1998), 16.4442 (1997)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June Communications Malawi - Telephones - main lines in use: 38,000 (1999) Telephones - mobile cellular: 49,000 (2000)
Telephone system: general assessment: NA domestic: system employs open-wire lines, microwave radio relay links, and radiotelephone communications stations international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean) Radio broadcast stations: AM 9, FM 5 (plus 15 repeater stations), shortwave 2 (plus a third station held in standby status) (2001)
Radios: 2.6 million (1997) Television broadcast stations: 1 (2001)
Televisions: NA
Internet country code: .mw Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 7 (2001)
Internet users: 15,000 (2000) Transportation Malawi -
Railways: total: 797 km narrow gauge: 797 km 1.067-m gauge (2001)
Highways: total: 14,594 km paved: 2,773 km unpaved: 11,821 km (2001)
Waterways: 144 km note: on Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and Shire Riverall
Ports and harbors: Chipoka, Monkey Bay, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Chilumba
Airports: 44 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 6 over 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2001) Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 38 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 14 under 914 m: 23 (2001) Military Malawi -
Military branches: Army (including Air Wing and Naval Detachment), Police (including paramilitary Mobile Force Unit) Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 2,535,207 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 1,301,625 (2002
service: est.) Military expenditures - dollar $9.5 million (FY00/01)
figure: Military expenditures - percent of 0.76% (FY00/01)
GDP: Transnational Issues Malawi - Disputes - international: Malawi and Tanzania maintain a largely dormant dispute over the boundary in Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and current location of historical boundary in meandering Songwe River

* * *

officially Republic of Malawi formerly Nyasaland

Country, South Africa.

Area: 45,747 sq mi (118,484 sq km). Population (2002 est.): 10,520,000. Capitals: Lilongwe and Blantyre (judicial). Almost the entire population consists of Bantu-speaking black Africans. Languages: English (official), Chewa, Lomwe. Religions: Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Islam, traditional religions. Currency: kwacha. Malawi's terrain is characterized by dramatic highlands and extensive lakes, with forests occupying about two-fifths of the total land area. The Great Rift Valley runs north-south and contains Lake Malawi. Agriculture employs four-fifths of the workforce; staple crops include corn, peanuts, beans, and peas, and cash crops include tobacco, tea, sugarcane, and cotton. Coal mining and the quarrying of limestone also contribute to the economy. Major industrial products are sugar, beer, cigarettes, soap, chemicals, and textiles. Malawi is a republic with one legislative house; its head of state and government is the president. Inhabited since 8000 BC, the region was settled by Bantu-speaking peoples between the 1st and 4th centuries AD. They established separate states, and с 1480 they founded the Maravi Confederacy, which encompassed most of central and southern Malawi. In northern Malawi the Ngonde people established a kingdom с 1600, and in the 18th century the Chikulamayembe state was founded. The slave trade flourished during the 18th–19th centuries, the same era in which Islam and Christianity arrived in the region. Britain established colonial authority in 1891, creating the Nyasaland Districts Protectorate. It became the British Central Africa Protectorate in 1893 and Nyasaland in 1907. The colonies of Northern and Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland formed a federation (1951–53), which was dissolved in 1963. The next year Malawi achieved independence as a member of the British Commonwealth. In 1966 it became a republic, with Hastings Banda as president. In 1971 he was designated president for life, and he ruled for three decades before being defeated in multiparty presidential elections in 1994. A new constitution was adopted in 1995.

* * *

▪ 2009

118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi)
(2008 est.): 13,932,000
Lilongwe; judiciary meets in Blantyre
Head of state and government:
President Bingu wa Mutharika

      At the beginning of 2008, heavy rains and floods, which destroyed homes and crops in the 14 affected districts in Malawi, also aroused fears of food shortages. The government's assurances that there were adequate reserves from previous years failed to silence criticisms of the export in 2007 of 300,000 metric tons of corn (maize) to Zimbabwe. The food-shortage fears, however, eventually proved unfounded. The government's distribution of subsidized seed and fertilizers was so effective that it even became possible to export some of the surplus grain.

      There was concern, nevertheless, over the harassment of several journalists by police in March and the arrest in May of four opposition officials accused of having plotted to overthrow Pres. Bingu wa Mutharika. The situation became sufficiently strained for the country's Roman Catholic bishops to issue a pastoral letter on May 11, calling upon all involved to create a peaceful atmosphere in order to ensure that the next elections would be free and fair.

      The signing on May 12 of a memorandum of understanding with China was accompanied by a promise of generous Chinese aid; there were some misgivings, however, concerning Chinese business practices. Also offering assistance were the EU (in May) and the Commonwealth Business Council (in July).

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2008

118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi)
(2007 est.): 13,603,000
Lilongwe; judiciary meets in Blantyre
Head of state and government:
President Bingu wa Mutharika

      A bumper corn (maize) harvest for the second year in succession helped Malawi's recovery in 2007 from long periods of drought and made it possible in May to supply Zimbabwe with $120 million of the cereal. In August an additional 10,000 tons were provided for drought-stricken Lesotho and Swaziland. Small farmers (who made up a large proportion of the Malawi population) were not so fortunate, and the government encouraged them to form cooperatives.

      In April the granting of a mining license to a subsidiary of an Australian company to develop uranium deposits to the west of Lake Malawi was viewed as a positive economic development. The mining operation was expected to create employment and become an important export earner, but critics were concerned about its impact on the environment and public health. A month later a new economic and technical cooperation agreement was reached with South Africa to encourage further investment in Malawi.

      A High Court judgment on June 15 authorized the speaker of the legislature to expel from that body any members who changed their party affiliation. The opposition, which had refused to approve the budget, had pressed for this action because of the large number of MPs who had defected to Pres. Bingu wa Mutharika's Democratic Progressive Party. Following strong pressure from civil bodies and the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, the opposition approved the budget, but President Mutharika prorogued the legislature; this action created an uproar from the opposition, which claimed that he had reneged on a promise to attend to the membership issue as part of an agreement to accept the budget.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2007

118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi)
(2006 est.): 13,014,000
Lilongwe; judiciary meets in Blantyre
Head of state and government:
President Bingu wa Mutharika

      The crippling drought of 2005 in Malawi continued in 2006 to create widespread food shortages, which inflated the price of maize (corn), the staple food of most of the population, to unaffordable levels. By September, however, an excellent harvest had greatly eased the situation.

      Nevertheless, the drought heralded a year of problems on other fronts for Pres. Bingu wa Mutharika, whose unpopularity remained undiminished with the United Democratic Front (UDF), from which he had split soon after his election. On February 9 Mutharika claimed that Vice Pres. Cassim Chilumpha, a UDF member, had effectively resigned by failing to carry out his duties. Chilumpha appealed to the courts and was reinstated, but he was arrested on April 28 and charged with plotting to assassinate the president.

      Mutharika, meanwhile, persevered with his anticorruption campaign, and a number of important people were arrested. His opponents accused him of witch-hunting. In July former president Bakili Muluzi was arrested on corruption charges, which were quickly dropped. Mutharika then suspended the head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau for not having followed the correct procedure in presenting the case and dismissed the director of public prosecutions. This bickering between the opposing factions delayed action on a number of issues and held up approval of the budget.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2006

118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi)
(2005 est.): 12,707,000
Lilongwe; judiciary meets in Blantyre
Head of state and government:
President Bingu wa Mutharika

      In February 2005, Pres. Bingu wa Mutharika resigned from Malawi's ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) to form the Democratic Progressive Party. He said that he had done so to preserve the integrity of his office in light of the corruption among members of his government. The UDF called for the impeachment of the president for quitting the party that had sponsored him. Debate on the proposal was adjourned after the unexpected death of the speaker of the parliament on June 27. Nevertheless, demonstrations for and against impeachment grew more violent, leading to the suspension of the parliament on October 24 and the arrest of three UDF members of the parliament who were among the fiercest critics of the president.

      Early in the year an IMF team praised the government for its control of public spending and the president for his campaign against corruption. Opposition in the parliament to the contents of the budget delayed its approval, however, until local protest and UN pressure persuaded the government to make concessions that averted the prospect of a holdup in securing debt relief. In October the donor community expressed its concern over the impact of the impeachment proceedings on a country suffering from an acute food crisis, an intervention that opposition leaders regarded as an unwelcome interference in Malawi's internal affairs.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2005

118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi)
(2004 est.): 11,907,000
Lilongwe; judiciary meets in Blantyre
Head of state and government:
Presidents Bakili Muluzi and, from May 24, Bingu na Mutharika

      On Jan. 1, 2004, Malawi's Vice Pres. Justin Malewezi caused a stir by resigning from the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) and joining an opposition party. Victory for the UDF in the spring parliamentary elections was not a foregone conclusion because of widespread discontent over official corruption, the government's inadequate handling of the economy, and its failure to deal with the problem of HIV/AIDS.

      In the event, which took place on May 20, Bingu wa Mutharika, the UDF presidential candidate, was victorious but polled fewer than 40% of the votes cast. The UDF fared badly in general, winning only 49 of the 193 seats in the National Assembly and having to face a challenge by opposition parties that claimed that the run-up to the elections had been unfairly conducted. The UDF received quick and unexpected reinforcements, however, when three opposition parties agreed to a merger and were joined by at least 26 independent delegates.

      The continuing steep rise in the price of essentials such as corn (maize) meal, meat, charcoal, and house rents, unaccompanied by any commensurate rise in wages, and the overall shortage of food were only some of the serious problems faced by the new government.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2004

118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi)
(2003 est.): 11,651,000
Lilongwe; judiciary meets in Blantyre
Head of state and government:
President Bakili Muluzi

      After Pres. Bakili Muluzi decided in March 2003 to abandon his plan to change the constitution so that he could stand for a third term of office in the May 2004 presidential election, there was an immediate offer from donors to finance half the cost of the election process. Muluzi insisted that he had taken the decision to encourage the renewal of aid by external agencies that, wrongly in his view, were trying to impose an alien form of democracy on his country. He also said that he was trying to avoid internal discord and to maintain the peace and stability that had characterized Malawi since it became independent.

      Suspicions were aroused when Bingu wa Mutharika, an economist who had worked for the UN and the World Bank, was nominated as the ruling party's candidate for the presidency. Mutharika had no political power base inside Malawi, and since Muluzi intended to remain as chairman of the party, there were fears that the president planned to control affairs from the wings. Muluzi maintained that he had endorsed Mutharika only after his name had emerged from cabinet discussions. Nevertheless, on April 2 Muluzi dissolved his cabinet but denied that the action was in answer to dissent over Mutharika's nomination among its members.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2003

118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi)
(2002 est.): 10,520,000
Lilongwe; judiciary meets in Blantyre
Head of state and government:
President Bakili Muluzi

      In February 2002, with hundreds of people dying of starvation as a result of floods followed by a season of drought, the government of Malawi made an international appeal for food aid. Responding to accusations of mismanagement and corruption, the government claimed that it had sold off reserves of corn (maize) on the advice of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), though there was no trace of the proceeds of the sale. Disclaiming responsibility for the action, the IMF announced in May that it would withhold $47 million in aid until the government cut overspending and introduced a new budget. Denmark, normally a consistent donor, also suspended aid, having been further dismayed by an attempt by Pres. Bakili Muluzi to amend the constitution in order to allow himself to stand for election for a third term of office. On June 3 the High Court ruled that Muluzi had no authority to ban demonstrations against his proposal, and a private member's bill promoting the president's plan failed in the National Assembly on July 4, but this did not stop Muluzi's campaign.

      Apparently bowing to external and internal pressures, the government issued a budget statement aimed at living within its means, but food aid agencies still estimated that more than three million people in the country would need food aid until March 2003.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2002

118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi)
(2001 est.): 10,491,000
Lilongwe (legislative, ministerial, and financial), Blantyre (executive and judicial)
Head of state and government:
President Bakili Muluzi

      In February 2001 Judge Edward Twea sentenced John Chikakwiya, mayor of Blantyre and a prominent member of the ruling United Democratic Front, together with three senior policemen, to two weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months. Chikakwiya had ordered the teargassing of a legal and peaceful gathering of the National Democratic Alliance, deliberately disregarding a court ruling that barred him from disrupting opposition party meetings.

      On February 21 four government officials were arrested—followed by two more the following day—and charged with having embezzled funds from the Ministry of Education. Also on February 22 former cabinet member Cassim Chilumpha was arrested and charged with corrupt practices during the campaign that led up to the elections in June 1999. On March 26 six people were charged with treason as a result of their alleged involvement in a plot to overthrow the government.

      After this internal cleansing the government took part in the replacement of the Organization of African Unity by a new African Union at a July meeting in Lusaka, Zambia. The following month Malawi joined with six other East African governments to create the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) in an attempt to counter the high premiums demanded by foreign companies that considered Africa a high-risk area. In December the ATI signed an agreement with Gerling, the world's third largest credit insurance group, which offered protection to companies trading to and within Africa against nonpayment by buyers.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2001

118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi)
(2000 est.): 10,386,000
Lilongwe (legislative, ministerial, and financial), Blantyre (executive and judicial)
Head of state and government:
President Bakili Muluzi

      Malawi was applauded by outside observers for promptly providing two of its three helicopters to assist in rescue operations in neighbouring Mozambique, where floods devastated southern districts in February 2000.

      That month a court case was brought against the government by the opposition, which claimed that the 1999 elections had been rigged. The opposition appeared to have the support of an independent monitoring group, which in its report accused the government of serious procedural shortcomings, including media manipulation and conducting of a disinformation operation. The makeup of a new cabinet appointed on March 1 prompted the opposition to criticize Pres. Bakili Muluzi for favouring appointees from the south of the country, where he had greater support.

      In October, however, the president dismissed the entire cabinet after a Public Accounts Committee report implicated that ministers and members of parliament were involved in large-scale corruption. Meanwhile, women's rights activists accused male members of main political parties of intimidating women interested in standing for election as councillors in the November 21 local government elections.

      In August the Australian company Paladin Resources announced that it had started preliminary development work on Malawi's first uranium mine. It was hoped that mining would begin in 2003.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2000

118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi)
(1999 est.): 10,000,000
A capital is not designated in the 1994 constitution. Current government operations are divided between Lilongwe (ministerial and financial), Blantyre (executive and judicial), and Zomba (legislative).
Head of state and government:
President Bakili Muluzi

      The presidential and legislative elections, scheduled to take place in May 1999, were twice postponed on procedural grounds. When voting eventually took place on June 15, ethnic allegiances proved to be the dominant factor. Pres. Bakili Muluzi's United Democratic Front (UDF) won 76 seats in the south of the country, 16 in the centre, and only 1 in the north. The leading opposition party, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), which won 66 seats, was primarily successful in the centre of the country, while the MCP's coalition partner, the Alliance for Democracy, won all but one of its 29 seats in the north.

      Muluzi won a very narrow victory over his nearest opponent, Gwanda Chakuamba, in the presidential election. Chakuamba immediately challenged the result, and violence broke out in the north, where mosques and shops owned by UDF supporters were looted. In an attempt at conciliation, Muluzi appointed ministers to his Cabinet from all parts of the country, and he also sought to respond to criticisms of the excessive size of his previous Cabinet by reducing the new membership from 32 to 28.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 1999

      Area: 118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi)

      Population (1998 est.): 9,840,000

      Capital: A capital is not designated in the 1994 constitution. Current government operations are divided between Lilongwe (ministerial and financial), Blantyre (executive and judicial), and Zomba (legislative)

      Head of state and government: President Bakili Muluzi

      The burial, on Dec. 3, 1997, of former president Hastings Banda in a new cemetery for presidents at Lilongwe was a significant event not only for his own country but for all of sub-Saharan Africa as yet another of the old-style single-minded figures who had led their countries to political independence was ushered from the scene. The visit to Malawi of U.K. Secretary for International Development Clare Short in early January 1998 was indicative of a less-flamboyant era. Her aim was to demonstrate Britain's commitment to assisting the world's least-developed countries through closer partnership.

      On March 30 Pres. Bakili Muluzi reshuffled his Cabinet. One of the most significant changes was the transfer of responsibility for finance from Vice Pres. Justin Malawezi to Cassim Chilumpha, previously minister of justice and attorney general. Edda Chitalo, one of only two women in the 22-member Cabinet, assumed responsibility for the newly designated portfolio of human resources management and development. In preparation for the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled to be held in 1999, the National Assembly passed a law on June 5 giving increased powers and a greater measure of independence to the electoral commission.


▪ 1998

      Area: 118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 9,609,000

      Capital: A capital is not designated in the 1994 constitution. Current government operations are divided between Lilongwe (ministerial and financial), Blantyre (executive and judicial), and Zomba (legislative)

      Head of state and government: President Bakili Muluzi

      The campaign to reduce Malawi's dependence on external aid and to increase foreign investment remained among the government's top priorities. At the same time, the marked improvement in the management of the economy since the change of government in 1994 resulted in a sharp decline in inflation and interest rates, and this encouraged foreign donors to offer aid totaling $319 million for 1997. Pres. Bakili Muluzi, nevertheless, remained conscious of the fact that 64% of the population lived in poverty.

      In an attempt to reduce the impact of heavy transportation costs caused by landlocked Malawi's remoteness from the sea, the government tried to encourage the processing of more products near their point of origin. Meanwhile, the privatization of tobacco production, Malawi's biggest export earner, continued to be a priority.

      On April 3 the leading opposition party, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), announced that it would end its 10-month boycott of the national legislature. The boycott had been imposed after the MCP accused the ruling United Democratic Front of trying to persuade MCP legislators to shift their party allegiance in order to protect its majority, but President Muluzi agreed to introduce a constitutional amendment that would prevent such political chicanery. In November former president Hastings Kamuzu Banda died. OBITUARIES.) (Banda, Hastings Kamuzu )

      This article updates Malawi, history of (Malaŵi).

▪ 1997

      A republic and member of the Commonwealth, Malawi is a landlocked state in eastern Africa. Area: 118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 9,453,000. A capital is not designated in the 1994 constitution. Current government operations are divided between Lilongwe (ministerial and financial), Blantyre (executive and judicial), and Zomba (legislative). Monetary unit: Malawi kwacha, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of 15.31 kwacha to U.S. $1 (24.11 kwacha = £1 sterling). President in 1996, Bakili Muluzi.

      Following his acquittal on Dec. 23, 1995, on a charge of murdering four opposition politicians in 1983, former president Hastings Banda apologized in January to the people of Malawi for any suffering they might have experienced under his regime. He disclaimed any personal responsibility, however, attributing the misdeeds to selfish individuals in the government.

      On May 2 Pres. Bakili Muluzi took the opportunity provided by the resignation of his second vice president, Chakunfwa Chihana, to reshuffle his Cabinet. He did not immediately fill the post vacated by Chihana but appointed 10 new members of the Cabinet and switched 9 other portfolios, leaving only 6 posts unchanged.

      In January Malawi entered an agreement with the 11 other members of the Southern African Development Community to work toward the creation of a free-trade area and to encourage foreign private investors. In line with this pledge, the minister of finance, economic planning and development announced that all laws that discriminated against non-Malawians who were involved in business ventures in rural areas would be repealed. (KENNETH INGHAM)

      This article updates Malawi, history of (Malaŵi).

▪ 1996

      A republic and member of the Commonwealth, Malawi is a landlocked state in eastern Africa. Area: 118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi). Pop. (1995 est.): 9,939,000. Cap.: Lilongwe. Monetary unit: Malawi kwacha, with (Oct. 6, 1995) a free rate of 15.26 kwacha to U.S. $1 (24.13 kwacha = £1 sterling). President in 1995, Bakili Muluzi.

      For its recognition of the need for a strong and comprehensive adjustment program to arrest the country's economic and financial deterioration, Malawi received a vote of confidence by the International Monetary Fund at the end of 1994. Finance Minister Aleke Banda promised in his budget on March 24, 1995, that there would be cuts in government spending and a review of civil service staffing levels, together with additional taxes on electricity, cars, and luxury imports, but the government also stressed that responsibility for economic recovery rested upon the whole population.

      For the public in general, however, concern for economic regeneration was overshadowed by the arrest early in January of former president Hastings Kamuzu Banda, his chief aide, John Tembo, and three senior policemen on charges of murdering three former Cabinet ministers and a member of the National Assembly in 1983. Related charges brought against Tembo's niece and Banda's "official hostess," Cecilia Kadzamira, who was arrested on March 31, were later dropped on technical grounds. Pending trial, the former president was held under house arrest because of his age and poor health, and the trial itself was postponed on a number of occasions when Banda's lawyers pleaded that he was unfit to appear in court. In May the trial judge accepted medical advice to that effect but ruled that the trial should go ahead in Banda's absence.

      Talk of an attempted coup, following the fatal shooting in April of Gen. Manken Chigawa, the Army commander, was dismissed as speculation by Pres. Bakili Muluzi. The general's death, he said, was the work of armed robbers.

      The reputation of the government for upholding the freedom of the press, recently reinforced by a commendation from Johann P. Fritz, director of the International Press Institute, was challenged by local journalists. In August they accused the authorities of censoring the state-controlled radio and intimidating journalists working for independent newspapers. The government did not immediately respond to the charges. (KENNETH INGHAM)

      This updates the article Malawi, history of (Malaŵi).

▪ 1995

      A republic and member of the Commonwealth, Malawi is a landlocked state in eastern Africa. Area: 118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi). Pop. (1994 est.): 9,732,000. Cap.: Lilongwe. Monetary unit: Malawi kwacha, with (Oct. 7, 1994) a free rate of 13.50 kwacha to U.S. $1 (21.48 kwacha = £1 sterling). Presidents in 1994, Hastings Kamuzu Banda and, from May 21, Bakili Muluzi.

      On May 17, 1994, Malawi held its first multiparty elections for the office of president and for membership in the National Assembly. All citizens of the country who had reached the age of 18 by voting day were entitled to register as electors, and in spite of the fact that both the UN observer group and Malawi's own electoral commission reported intimidation, violence, bribery, and confiscation of registration cards—most of this attributed to the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP)—the UN group agreed that the freedom of the elections was not threatened. An attempt by the MCP to prevent Bakili Muluzi, the leader of the main opposition party, the United Democratic Front (UDF), from running for election as president because he had served a six-month prison sentence for petty theft was unsuccessful. Muluzi was duly elected president, ousting Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who had been stripped of his title of president for life in 1993.

      The UDF failed to gain an overall majority in the assembly elections, winning 84 out of a total of 177 seats. Voting for the three main parties was almost entirely on a regional basis because of the absence of any marked differences in their economic or social policies. The Alliance for Democracy (Aford) won all 33 seats in the north and had a total of 36; the MCP held the rural seats in the central region and, though it lost some urban constituencies to its rivals, mustered 55 seats. Banda announced his retirement from politics in September, leaving the leadership of the MCP to Gwanda Chakuamba. An attempt to form a coalition between the UDF and Aford was unsuccessful because the ruling party would not accede to Aford's demands.

      A more serious and immediate problem facing Malawi was a shortage of food. A severe drought early in the year had devastated crops and raised the spectre that one-third of the country's nine million inhabitants would be without sufficient food. Even so, the government was slow to respond. There was, moreover, no assurance that the government would be able to raise the $10 million it said was needed to buy food from Zimbabwe. All told, an estimated 183,000 metric tons of corn (maize) were needed to avert starvation, approximately half of which was promised by the World Food Programme.


      This updates the article Malawi, history of (Malaŵi).

▪ 1994

      A republic and member of the Commonwealth, Malawi is a landlocked state in eastern Africa. Area: 118,484 sq km (45,747 sq mi). Pop. (1993 est.): 10,581,000 (including about 1.1 million Mozambican refugees). Cap.: Lilongwe (legislature meets in Zomba). Monetary unit: Malawi kwacha, with (Oct. 4, 1993) a free rate of 4.35 kwacha to U.S. $1 (6.60 kwacha = £ 1 sterling). President in 1993, Hastings Kamuzu Banda.

      After numerous hesitations, due to opposition parties' distrust of the government and fears of intimidation, the Malawi electorate overwhelmingly voted on June 14, 1993, for the introduction of a multiparty political system. The referendum had been postponed from March in order to give monitoring organizations time to ensure a fair vote. Would-be reformers feared that they might be cheated out of victory because Pres. Hastings Kamuzu Banda refused to share power with opposition parties. Banda's power gradually eroded, however, and in October a presidential council headed by Gwanda Chakuamba took over the government while Banda, a nonagenarian, was recovering from brain surgery in a South African hospital. In a special meeting of the National Assembly on November 17 to prepare for democratic elections, Banda was declared no longer "president for life" and lost his privilege of nominating deputies to the assembly. In December Banda declared himself fully recovered and fit to lead his party into the May 1994 elections.

      In April, Minister of Finance Louis Chimango presented his budget and bemoaned the effects of the prolonged drought and the withholding of development aid by donor countries pressuring the government to accept a multiparty system. He was more optimistic about the economic outlook, however, and steady rain meant that the threat of food shortages had been removed. (KENNETH INGHAM)

      This updates the article Malawi, history of (Malaŵi).

* * *

officially  Republic of Malaŵi , formerly  Nyasaland 
Malawi, flag of landlocked country in southeastern Africa. A country of spectacular highlands and extensive lakes, it occupies a narrow, curving strip of land along the East African Rift Valley. Stretching about 520 miles (840 kilometres) from north to south, it has a width varying from 5 to 100 miles and is bordered by Tanzania to the north, Mozambique to the east and south, and Zambia to the west. Lake Nyasa (known in Malaŵi as Lake Malaŵi) accounts for more than one-fifth of the country's total area. In 1975 the capital was moved from Zomba in the south to Lilongwe in a more central location.

      Most of Malaŵi's population engages in cash-crop and subsistence agriculture. The country's exports consist of the produce of both small landholdings and large tea and tobacco estates. Malaŵi has successfully attracted foreign capital investment, has made great strides in the exploitation of its natural resources, and is one of the few African countries to regularly produce food surpluses. Yet its population suffers from chronic malnutrition, high rates of infant mortality, and grinding poverty—a paradox often attributed to an agricultural system that favours large estate owners.

The land


      While Malaŵi's (Malaŵi) landscape is highly varied, four basic regions can be identified: the East African (East African Rift System) (or Great) Rift Valley, the central plateaus, the highlands, and the isolated mountains. The East African Rift Valley—by far the dominant feature of the country—is a gigantic troughlike depression running through the country from north to south and containing Lake Malaŵi (Nyasa, Lake) (north and central) and the Shire River valley (south). The lake's littoral, situated along the western and southern shores and ranging from 5 to 15 miles in width, covers about 8 percent of the total land area and is dotted with swamps and lagoons. The Shire valley stretches some 250 miles from the southern end of Lake Malaŵi at Mangochi to Nsanje at the Mozambique border and contains Lake Malombe at its northern end. The plateaus of central (Central Region Plateau) Malaŵi rise to an altitude of 2,500 to 4,500 feet (760 to 1,370 metres) and lie just west of the Lake Malaŵi littoral; the plateaus cover about three-quarters of the total land area. The highland areas are mainly isolated tracts that rise as much as 8,000 feet above sea level. They comprise the Nyika (Nyika Plateau), Viphya (Viphya Mountains), and Dowa Highlands and Dedza-Kirk (Kirk Range) Mountain Range in the north and west and the Shire Highlands in the south. The isolated massifs of Mulanje (Mulanje Mountains) (9,849 feet) and Zomba (Zomba Massif) (6,841 feet) represent the fourth physical region. Surmounting the Shire Highlands, they descend rapidly in the east to the Lake Chilwa–Phalombe plain.

Drainage and soils
      The major drainage system is that of Lake Malaŵi, which covers some 11,430 square miles and extends beyond the Malaŵi border. It is fed by the North and South Rukuru, Dwangwa, Lilongwe, and Bua rivers. The Shire River, the lake's only outlet, flows through adjacent Lake Malombe and receives several tributaries before joining the Zambezi River in Mozambique. A second drainage system is that of Lake Chilwa (Chilwa, Lake), the rivers of which flow from the Lake Chilwa–Phalombe plain and the adjacent highlands.

      Soils, composed primarily of red earths, with brown soils and yellow gritty clays on the plateaus, are distributed in a complex pattern. Alluvial soils occur on the lakeshores and in the Shire valley, while other soil types include hydromorphic (excessively moist) soils, black clays, and sandy dunes on the lakeshore.

      There are two main seasons—the dry season from May to October and the wet season from November to April. Temperatures vary seasonally as well, and they tend to decrease on average with increasing altitude. Nsanje (Port Herald), in the Shire River valley, has a mean July temperature of 69° F (21° C) and an October mean of 84° F (29° C), while Dedza, which lies at an altitude of more than 5,000 feet, has a July mean of 57° F (14° C) and an October mean of 69° F (21° C). On the Nyika Plateau and on the upper levels of the Mulanje Massif, frosts are not uncommon in July. Annual rainfall is highest over parts of the northern highlands and on the Sapitwa peak of Mulanje Mountain, where it is about 90 inches (2,300 millimetres); it is lowest in the lower Shire valley, where it ranges from 25 to 35 inches (650 to 900 millimetres).

Plant and animal life
      The natural vegetation pattern reflects the country's diversity in altitude, soils, and climate. Savanna (grassy parkland) occurs in the dry lowland areas. Open woodland with bark cloth trees, or miombo (leguminous trees unsuitable for timber), is widespread on the infertile plateaus and escarpments. Woodland, with species of acacia tree, covers isolated, more fertile plateau sites and river margins; grass-covered, broad depressions, called madambo (singular: dambo), dot the plateaus; grassland and evergreen forest are found in conjunction on the highlands and on the Mulanje and Zomba massifs.

      Malaŵi's natural vegetation, however, has been altered significantly by human activities. Swamp vegetation has given way to agricultural species as swamps have been drained and cultivated. Much of the original woodland has been cleared, and, at the same time, forests of softwoods have been planted in the highland areas. High population density and intensive cultivation of the Shire Highlands have also hindered natural succession there, while wells have been sunk and rivers dammed to irrigate the dry grasslands for agriculture.

      Game animals abound only in the game reserves, where antelope, buffalo, elephants, leopards, lions, rhinoceroses, and zebras occur; hippopotamuses live in Lake Malaŵi. The lakes and rivers contain more than 200 species and 13 families of fish. The most common and commercially significant fish include the endemic tilapia, or chambo (nest-building freshwater fish); catfish, or mlamba; and minnows, or matemba.

Settlement patterns
      Malaŵi is the most densely populated country in southern Africa, but ironically it is also one of the least urbanized, with 9 out of 10 people living in rural locations. A rural village—called a mudzi—is usually small. Organized around the extended family, it is limited by the amount of water and arable land available in the vicinity. On the plateaus, which support the bulk of the population, the most common village sites are at the margins of madambo, which are usually contiguous with streams or rivers and are characterized by woodland, grassland, and fertile alluvial soils. In highland areas, scattered villages are located near perennial mountain streams and pockets of arable land. The larger settlements of the Lake Malaŵi littoral originated in the 19th century as collection points for slaves and later developed as lakeside ports. Improvements in communication and the sinking of wells in semiarid areas have permitted the establishment of new settlements in previously uninhabited areas. Architecture is also changing; the traditional round, mud-walled, grass-roofed hut is giving way to rectangular brick buildings with corrugated iron roofs.

      Urban development began in the colonial era with the arrival of missionaries, traders, and administrators and was further stimulated by the construction of the railway. The only true urban centres are Blantyre-Limbe (Blantyre), Zomba, Mzuzu, and Lilongwe. Although some district centres and missionary stations have an urban appearance, they are closely associated with the rural settlements surrounding them. Blantyre, Malaŵi's industrial and commercial centre, is situated in a depression on the Shire Highlands at an altitude of about 3,400 feet. Zomba, seat of the University of Malaŵi, lies at the foot of Zomba Mountain and is purely of administrative origin. Farther north is Lilongwe, Malaŵi's new capital, which is developing agricultural industries.

The people
      Nine major ethnic groups are historically associated with modern Malaŵi—the Chewa, Nyanja, Lomwe, Yao, Tumbuka, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, and Ngonde (Nyakyusa) (Nkonde). All the African languages spoken belong to the Bantu language family. Chichewa is the national language and English the official language, although English was understood by less than one-fifth of the population at independence. Chichewa is spoken by about two-thirds of the population. Other important languages are Chilomwe, Chiyao, and Chitumbuka.

      Some two-thirds of the population are Christian, of which more than half are members of various Protestant denominations and the remainder Roman Catholic. Muslims constitute almost one-fifth of the population, and traditional beliefs are adhered to by nearly everyone else.

      The population is growing at a rate well above average for sub-Saharan Africa. The birth rate is one of the highest on the continent, but the death rate is also high, and life expectancy—at 47 years—is significantly below average for a southern African country. With nearly one-half the population younger than age 15, high birth and population-growth rates should continue in the 21st century. By the early 1990s the problem of high population growth was compounded further by the then decade-long influx of refugees from Mozambique—estimated to number about one million—fleeing the civil war in that country.

The economy
      The backbone of the Malaŵi economy is agriculture, which regularly accounts for one-third of the gross domestic product and 90 percent of export earnings and which employs more than 80 percent of the working population. Since the mid-1960s, however, the sector has become increasingly concentrated on three cash crops—tobacco, tea, and sugar—and increasingly dependent on the market demand for these commodities. The small industrial sector is geared largely to processing agricultural products, with some limited manufacturing of import substitutes.

      The government has sought to strengthen the agricultural sector by encouraging integrated land use, higher crop yields, and irrigation schemes. In pursuit of these goals, several large-scale integrated rural development programs, covering one-fifth of the country's land area, have been put into operation. These projects include extension services; credit and marketing facilities; physical infrastructures such as roads, buildings, and water supplies; health centres; afforestation units; and crop storage and protection facilities. Outside the main program areas, advisory services and educational programs are available, and the Malaŵi Young Pioneers, a national youth movement, trains more than 2,000 young men and women yearly in techniques of rural development.

      Both higher incomes in the rural areas and continued public expenditure are factors that government planners hope will increase the purchasing power of the public as a whole and thus provide a stimulus for further industrial development. The government continues to promote the establishment of import-substitute industries, in hopes of reducing reliance on expensive imported goods, strengthening the balance-of-payments situation, and, at the same time, increasing employment opportunities.

      Most of Malaŵi's mineral deposits are neither extensive enough for commercial exploitation nor easily accessible. Some small-scale mining of coal takes place at Livingstonia and Rumphi in the north, and quarrying of limestone for cement production is also important. Exploration and assessment studies continue on other minerals such as apatite, located south of Lake Chilwa; bauxite, on the Mulanje Massif; kyanite, on the Dedza-Kirk Range; vermiculite, south of Lake Malaŵi near Ntcheu; and rare-earth minerals, at Mount Kangankunde northwest of Zomba. Deposits of asbestos, uranium, and graphite are known to exist as well.

      More than half of Malaŵi's total land area is potentially arable, though only about one-fourth of it is cultivated regularly. Forests and woodlands cover nearly half of the country, and almost 4,000 square miles are in state-controlled forest reserves.

      The lakes and rivers of Malaŵi are estimated to provide more than 60 percent of the country's animal protein intake. Lake Malaŵi, in particular, is a rich source of fish within easy access for most of the country's population.

      Malaŵi's water resources are plentiful, although some rural areas are inadequately supplied. Treated water for the major cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe is supplied by the Walker's Ferry Scheme and the Kamuzu Dam, respectively. Most of the rivers are seasonal, but a few large ones, particularly the Shire River along its middle course, have a considerable irrigation and electricity-generating potential. The total hydroelectric potential of the country is estimated to be about 1,200 megawatts, of which more than 500 megawatts can be generated on the Shire River alone. Present power demands, which represent only about 10 percent of potential capacity, are met by the Nkula Falls (two plants) and Tedzani Falls hydroelectric schemes and by diesel plants.

Agriculture, fishing, and forestry
      The most important agricultural export products are tobacco, tea, sugar, and peanuts (groundnuts). Tea is grown on plantations on the Shire Highlands by the largest proportion of the country's salaried labour force. Tobacco, by far the most important export, is raised largely on the central plateau on large estates. Corn (maize) is the principal food crop and is typically grown with beans, peas, and peanuts throughout the country by virtually all smallholders. Other important crops are cotton, cassava, coffee, and rice. Although the major share of commercial crop production and nearly one-fifth of all cultivated acreage is on large estates, most farms are small, averaging less than 3 acres (1.2 hectares). Smallholder cash crops are purchased and marketed by the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation; a few cooperative societies purchase and market produce.

      Lake Malaŵi is the major source of Malaŵi's fishing industry, but Lakes Chilwa and Malombe and the Shire River also contribute significantly to the annual catch. The industry supplies mainly a local market, but some fish are exported to neighbouring countries.

      Since the early 1970s the government has sponsored the development of several large timber and pulpwood plantations aimed at making the country self-sufficient in construction grades of timber. Pine and eucalyptus have also been planted extensively in the northern Viphya Mountains to supply a large pulp and paper project in the region. Sawn poles, posts, and manufactured wooden items are produced largely for the domestic market, although some forest products are exported.

      Development of the country's industrial base was accorded high priority at independence, and Malaŵi now satisfies much of its domestic need for products such as cotton textiles, canned foodstuffs, beer, edible oils, soaps, sugar, radios, hoes, and shoes, all of which previously had to be imported. The main demand for electric power is in the industrial areas of the south near Blantyre, where electricity consumption has steadily multiplied; the industrial area of Lilongwe; the vast sugar estates of Sucoma and Dwangwa; and the pulpwood scheme of Viphya.

      Exploitation of bauxite, Malaŵi's most economically important mineral reserve, will depend on an increased hydroelectric capacity to meet the demand of bauxite smelting for abundant cheap electric power. Only such an energy supply could offset the heavy costs of transporting the ore from its remote location to be processed into alumina and then of transporting the alumina to the coast for export.

Trade and finance
      About two-thirds of Malaŵi's foreign-exchange earnings are derived from exports of tobacco, of which Malaŵi is the second largest producer in Africa (after Zimbabwe). The main purchaser of its tobacco—as well as of its second major export, tea—is the United Kingdom. Sugar and cotton are the country's other major exports. Diesel fuel and petroleum, fertilizers, consumer goods, machinery and transport equipment, and medical supplies are the main imports. South Africa, Japan, the United States, Germany, and The Netherlands are Malaŵi's other major trading partners.

      There are two commercial banks—the National Bank of Malaŵi and the Commercial Bank of Malaŵi. The Reserve Bank of Malaŵi is the central bank of the country. Other financial institutions include the Post Office Savings Bank, the New Building Society, and finance houses. Among the several insurance companies, only one is locally based.

      Soon after independence, the government developed an economic policy that was stringently anti-inflationary, arising from the need to reduce the deficit in public expenditure and to maintain the level of foreign-exchange reserves. In budgetary policies maximum restraint, consistent with development needs and planned reduction of grants-in-aid from the United Kingdom, was exercised.

      The main emphasis continues to be directed toward agricultural export production and the completion of investment projects, while at the same time maintaining a favourable balance of trade. Malaŵi's development strategy emphasizes concern for the public sector only insofar as it does not interfere with the private sector. Developmental priority is given to transport, agriculture, education, and housing.

      A small annual tax is payable by all men over 18 years of age unless they are liable to other taxes. Employees pay an income tax. Local companies pay taxes at a fixed rate of chargeable income, and companies incorporated outside Malaŵi pay a small additional tax.

      There is no sizable industrial labour force. Some 20 trade unions and employer associations are connected with such enterprises as the tea plantations, the building and construction industry, road transport, and railways. The Ministry of Labour plays a significant role in maintaining good relations between employers and employees.

      Malaŵi has road connections to Chipata on the Zambian border; to Harare, Zimbabwe, via Mwanza and Tete; and to several points on the Mozambique border. The backbone of the road system is represented by a road running from Blantyre in the south to Lilongwe in the west. A lakeshore highway runs roughly parallel to the inland highway from Mangochi to Karonga.

      Of Malaŵi's two railway links to the sea, the first stretches more than 570 miles from Lilongwe eastward to the port of Beira on the Mozambique coast; an extension from Lilongwe to Mchinji, on the Zambia border, was completed in 1980. The second railroad joins the Salima-Blantyre line at Nkaya Junction to the south of Balaka and travels due east to link with the Mozambique Railways system at Cuamba, whence it continues to the port of Nacala. Increased guerrilla activity in Mozambique after 1981, including attacks on these rail lines, forced Malaŵi to seek alternative, much longer routes to the sea, first through South Africa and then through Tanzania, adding substantially to its freight transport costs. By the early 1990s, traffic had again resumed slowly through Mozambique as Malaŵian and Mozambican troops were more able to suppress rebel attacks.

      Of the rivers, only the Shire is partially navigable, all other streams being broken by rapids and cataracts. Lake Malaŵi has long been used as a means of inexpensive transportation. A passenger and cargo service that operates on the lake is linked to the Chipoka railway junction about 17 miles south of Salima. The main ports on the lake are Monkey Bay, Nkhotakota, Nkhata Bay, and Likoma Island.

      Air Malaŵi, the national airline, operates services from the main airport at Chileka, 11 miles from Blantyre, to several foreign countries and neighbouring African capitals.

Administration and social conditions

      Malaŵi's original constitution of 1966 was replaced with a provisional constitution in 1994, which was officially promulgated in 1995. It provides for a president, who is limited to serving no more than two five-year terms, and up to two vice-presidents, all of whom are elected by universal suffrage. The president serves as head of both state and government. The cabinet is appointed by the president. The legislature, the National Assembly, is unicameral; its members are also elected by universal suffrage and serve five-year terms. The 1995 constitution also provided for the creation of an upper legislative chamber, but it was not established by the target completion date in 1999; a proposal to cancel plans for the creation of such a chamber was passed by the National Assembly in 2001.

      The country is divided into 27 administrative districts. The local government system consists of district assemblies. The judiciary consists of magistrate's courts; the High Court, which has unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters; and the Supreme Court of Appeal, which hears appeals from the High Court.

      Malaŵi was a de facto one-party state from August 1961, when the first general elections were held, until 1966, when the constitution formally recognized the Malaŵi Congress Party as the sole political organization. The 1966 constitution was amended in 1993 to allow for a multiparty political system, and since then several other political parties have emerged, with the United Democratic Front (UDF) quickly becoming the most prominent.

Health and welfare
      Health facilities include two central hospitals, district hospitals, rural clinics, Zomba Mental Hospital, and Kochira Leprosarium. Common diseases include malaria, schistosomiasis, and trachoma. Malaŵi is also affected by a relatively high incidence of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), particularly in the urban areas, which threatens to tax the country's overburdened health-care system even more. Malaŵi has the highest infant mortality rate in southern African and one of the highest population-to-physician ratios in all of sub-Saharan Africa.

      An acute shortage of housing has existed for several years in urban areas. The Malaŵi Housing Corporation has launched several projects to build houses and develop traditional housing areas.

 Elementary education is not compulsory, and only about one-half of all eligible children attend primary school. Despite this low proportion, Malaŵi's primary schools feature one of the highest student-teacher ratios in Africa. Postprimary education comprises a four-year secondary-school course that can lead to a university education. The Malaŵi Correspondence College is available to students unable to attend regular secondary school. There are also institutions for teacher training and for technical and vocational training. The Kamuzu Academy at Mtunthama is a secondary school for gifted children. The University of Malaŵi, founded in 1964, has four constituent colleges.

Cultural life
      Though under the impact of modernization, Malaŵi's traditional culture is characterized by continuity as well as change, and the traditional life of the village has remained largely intact. One of the most distinctive features of Malaŵi culture is the enormous variety of traditional songs and dances (dance) that use the drum as the major musical instrument. Among the most notable of these dances are ingoma and gule wa mkulu for men and chimtali and visekese for women. There are various traditional arts and crafts, including sculpture in wood and ivory. There are two museums—the Museum of Malaŵi in Blantyre and a smaller one in Mangochi. While various cultural activities are organized by the Ministry of Youth and Culture, the University of Malaŵi Travelling Theatre, and other groups in Blantyre, the radio from Zomba and Lilongwe has proved to be the most effective means of bringing traditional and modern plays to the rural population.

Zimani David Kadzamira Ed.

      The paleontological record of human cultural artifacts in Malaŵi dates back more than 50,000 years, although known fossil remains of early Homo sapiens belong to the period between 8000 and 2000 BC. These prehistoric forebears have affinities to the San (Bushmen) of southern Africa and were probably ancestral to the Twa and Fula, whom Bantu-speaking peoples claimed to have found when they invaded the Malaŵi region between the 1st and 4th centuries AD. From then to about AD 1200, Bantu settlement patterns spread, as did ironworking and the slash-and-burn method of cultivation. The identity of these early Bantu-speaking inhabitants is uncertain. According to oral tradition, names such as Kalimanjira, Katanga, and Zimba are associated with them.

      With the arrival of another wave of Bantu-speaking peoples between the 13th and 15th centuries AD, the recorded history of the Malaŵi region began. These peoples migrated into the region from the north, and they interacted with and assimilated the earlier pre-Bantu and Bantu inhabitants. The descendants of these peoples maintained a rich oral history, and, from 1500, written records were kept in Portuguese and English.

      Among the notable accomplishments of the last group of Bantu immigrants was the creation of political states or the introduction of centralized systems of government. They established the Maravi Confederacy about 1480. During the 16th century, the confederacy encompassed the greater part of what is now central and southern Malaŵi, and, at the height of its influence in the 17th century, its system of government affected peoples in the adjacent areas of modern Zambia and Mozambique. North of the Maravi territory, the Ngonde (Nyakyusa) founded a kingdom about 1600. In the 18th century, a group of immigrants from the eastern side of Lake Malaŵi created the Chikulamayembe state to the south of the Ngonde.

      The precolonial period witnessed other important developments. In the 18th and 19th centuries, better and more productive agricultural practices were adopted. In some parts of the Malaŵi region, shifting cultivation of indigenous varieties of millet and sorghum began to give way to more intensive cultivation of crops with a higher carbohydrate content, such as corn, cassava, and rice.

      The independent growth of indigenous governments and improved economic systems was severely disturbed by the development of the slave trade in the late 18th century and by the arrival of foreign intruders in the late 19th century. The slave trade in Malaŵi increased dramatically between 1790 and 1860 because of the growing demand for slaves on Africa's east coast. Swahili-speaking people from the east coast and the Ngoni and Yao peoples entered the Malaŵi region between 1830 and 1860 as traders or as armed refugees fleeing the Zulu states to the south. All of them eventually created spheres of influence within which they became the dominant ruling class. The Swahili speakers and the Yao also played a major role in the slave trade.

      Islam (Islāmic world) spread into Malaŵi from the east coast. It was first introduced at Nkhotakota by the ruling Swahili-speaking slave traders, the Jumbe, in the 1860s. Traders returning from the coast in the 1870s and '80s brought Islam to the Yao of the Shire Highlands. Christianity was introduced in the 1860s by David Livingstone (Livingstone, David) and by other Scottish missionaries who came to Malaŵi after his death in 1873. Missionaries of the Dutch Reformed church of South Africa and the White Fathers of the Roman Catholic church arrived between 1880 and 1910.

      Christianity owed its success to the protection given to the missionaries by the colonial government, which the British (British Empire) established after occupying the Malaŵi region in the 1880s and '90s. British colonial authority was welcomed by the missionaries and some African societies but was strongly resisted by the Yao, Chewa, and others. In 1891 the British established the Nyasaland Districts Protectorate, which was called the British Central Africa Protectorate from 1893 and Nyasaland from 1907.

      Under the colonial regime, roads and railways were built, the cultivation of cash crops by European settlers was introduced, and inhumane practices were suppressed. On the other hand, the colonial administration did little to enhance the welfare of the African majority because of its commitment to the interests of the European settlers. It failed to develop African agriculture, and many able-bodied men migrated to neighbouring countries to seek employment. Furthermore, between 1951 and 1953 the colonial government decided to join the colonies of Southern and Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, against bitter opposition from their African inhabitants.

      These negative features of colonial rule prompted the rise of a nationalist movement. From its humble beginnings during the period between the world wars, African nationalism gathered momentum in the early 1950s. Of special impetus was the imposition of the federation, which nationalists feared as an extension of colonial power. The full force of nationalism as an instrument of change became evident after 1958 under the leadership of Hastings Kamuzu Banda (Banda, Hastings Kamuzu). The federation was dissolved in 1963, and Malaŵi became independent as a member of the Commonwealth of Nations on July 6, 1964.

Zimani David Kadzamira Kings Mbacazwa G. Phiri Ed.
      Two years later, Malaŵi became a republic. Banda was elected president, eventually being made president for life in 1971. The 1966 constitution established a one-party state under the Malaŵi Congress Party (MCP), which in turn was controlled by Banda, who consistently suppressed any opposition for nearly 30 years. The MCP was known as a conservative, pro-Western regime which concentrated its attention on economic development. For more than 10 years, Malaŵi was able to prosper economically before being felled by a confluence of external factors. In an effort to improve the country's economic situation and broaden regional ties, in 1980 Malaŵi joined the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (Southern African Development Community)—a union of majority-ruled nations neighbouring the Republic of South Africa that wished to reduce their dependence on that country. Securing access to transportation routes to coastal ports and building better relationships with its neighbours were primary goals for Malaŵi; however, Banda refused to sever formal diplomatic ties with South Africa, a decision that was not popular with the other leaders in the region.

James Clyde Mitchell Kenneth Ingham Ed.
      Meanwhile, pressure for political change was building in Malaŵi. In 1992, public condemnation of the government's record on human rights issues from religious leaders and exiled opposition leaders generated antigovernment demonstrations and riots. Additional pressure from international donors, who withheld financial aid, eventually led to a referendum on democratic reform in 1993, in which Malaŵians voted overwhelmingly to change to a multiparty political system. Later that year the National Assembly stripped Banda of his “president for life” status. The first multiparty presidential election was held in 1994, and Banda lost to Bakili Muluzi, the leader of the main opposition party, the United Democratic Front (UDF).

      The country's new constitution, officially promulgated in 1995, provided the structure for transforming Malaŵi into a democratic society, and Muluzi's first term in office brought the country greater democracy and freedom of speech, assembly, and association—a stark contrast to life under Banda's regime. Muluzi also aimed to root out government corruption and reduce poverty and food shortages in the country, although his administration had limited success. Muluzi was reelected in 1999, but his opponent, Gwandaguluwe Chakuamba, challenged the results. The aftermath of the disputed election included demonstrations, violence, and looting. During Muluzi's second term, he drew domestic and international criticism for some of his actions, which were viewed as increasingly autocratic.

      Malaŵi's international standing was bolstered in 2000 when the country's small air force quickly responded to the flooding crisis in the neighbouring country of Mozambique, rescuing upwards of one thousand people. However, the country was not as quick to respond to a severe food shortage at home, first noted in the latter half of 2001. By February 2002, a famine had been declared and the government was scurrying to find enough food for its citizens. Unfortunately, much international aid was slow to arrive in the country—or withheld entirely—because of the belief that government mismanagement and corruption contributed to the food shortage. In particular, some government officials were accused of selling grain from the country's reserves at a profit to themselves prior to the onset of the famine.

      Muluzi was limited to two terms as president, despite his efforts to amend the constitution to allow further terms. In 2004 his handpicked successor, Bingu wa Mutharika of the UDF, was declared the winner of an election tainted by irregularity and criticized as unfair. Mutharika's administration quickly set out to improve government operations by eliminating corruption and streamlining spending. To that end, Mutharika dramatically reduced the number of ministerial positions in the cabinet and initiated an investigation of several prominent UDF party officials accused of corruption, leading to several arrests. His actions impressed international donors, who resumed the flow of foreign aid previously withheld in protest of the financial mismanagement and corruption of Muluzi's administration.

      By the mid-2000s, the country had been negatively affected by the AIDS crisis and the lack of such requisites as economically viable resources, an accessible and well-utilized educational system, and an adequate infrastructure—issues that continued to hamper economic and social progress. However, Mutharika's administration showed potential for leading Malaŵi on a path of meaningful political reform, which in turn promised to further attract much-needed foreign aid.


Additional Reading
Overviews of the country can be found in Harold D. Nelson et al., Area Handbook for Malawi (1975, reprinted 1987). Swanzie Agnew and Michael Stubbs (eds.), Malawi in Maps (1972); and Malaŵi Dept. of Surveys, The National Atlas of Malaŵi (1983?), present the country's physical characteristics and natural and human resources in cartographic form. Margaret Read, The Ngoni of Nyasaland (1956, reissued 1970); and T. Cullen Young, Notes on the History of the Tumbuka-Kamanga Peoples in the Northern Province of Nyasaland, 2nd ed. (1970), are ethnographic studies. Horst Dequin, Agricultural Development in Malawi (1969), is a historical study of the period between 1890 and 1967. Economic conditions and politics are discussed in Carolyn McMaster, Malawi: Foreign Policy and Development (1974); and T. David Williams, Malawi: The Politics of Despair (1978).Works chronicling the country's history are John G. Pike, Malawi: A Political and Economic History (1968); B.R. Rafael, A Short History of Malawi, 3rd ed. (1985); Owen J.M. Kalinga, A History of the Ngonde Kingdom of Malawi (1985); Bridglal Pachai, Malawi: The History of the Nation (1973), and Land and Politics in Malawi, 1875–1975 (1978); Bridglal Pachai (ed.), The Early History of Malawi (1972); John McCracken, Politics and Christianity in Malawi, 1875–1940: The Impact of the Livingstonia Mission in the Northern Province (1977); Roderick J. MacDonald (ed.), From Nyasaland to Malawi: Studies in Colonial History (1975); Ian Linden and Jane Linden, Catholics, Peasants, and Chewa Resistance in Nyasaland, 1889–1939 (1974); George Shepperson and Thomas Price, Independent African: John Chilembwe and the Origins, Setting, and Significance of the Nyasaland Native Rising of 1915 (1958, reissued 1987); and Philip Short, Banda (1974).Zimani David Kadzamira Kings Mbacazwa G. Phiri James Clyde Mitchell Kenneth Ingham Ed.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MALAWI — Depuis son indépendance en 1964, le Malawi n’a pas attiré souvent sur lui l’attention internationale: en effet, ce petit pays enclavé d’Afrique de l’Est a connu longtemps une stabilité politique et économique rare dans la région. Mais, au… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Malawi — es un país que se encuentra situado al este de África. Limita al oeste con Zambia, al oeste, sur y este con Mozambique y al norte con Tanzania. * * * Malawi, lago (Republic of Malawi) ► Estado de África sudoriental. Limita con Tanzania al N y E,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Malawi — [mä′lä wē΄] 1. country in SE Africa, on Lake Malawi: a former British protectorate, it became independent & a member of the Commonwealth in 1964; a republic since 1966: 45,747 sq mi (118,484 sq km); pop. 7,983,000; cap. Lilongwe 2. Lake lake in… …   English World dictionary

  • malawi — adjetivo,sustantivo masculino y femenino 1. De Malawi, en África …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • Malawi — Malawi, s. Anthropophagie, S. 572 …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Malawi — Not to be confused with Mallavi or Mallawi. Republic of Malawi Chalo cha Malawi, Dziko la Malaŵi …   Wikipedia

  • Malawi — Dziko la Malaŵi (Chichewa) Republic of Malawi (englisch) Republik Malawi …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Malaŵi — Dziko la Malaŵi (Chichewa) Republic of Malawi (englisch) Republik Malawi Flagge …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Malawi — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Malawi (homonymie). Republic of Malawi (en) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Malawi — <p></p> <p></p> Introduction ::Malawi <p></p> Background: <p></p> Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964. After three decades of… …   The World Factbook

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”