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Africa :: Malawi
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Malawi
  • Introduction :: MALAWI

  • Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964. After three decades of one-party rule under President Hastings Kamuzu BANDA, the country held multiparty presidential and parliamentary elections in 1994, under a provisional constitution that came into full effect the following year. President Bingu wa MUTHARIKA, elected in May 2004 after a failed attempt by the previous president to amend the constitution to permit another term, struggled to assert his authority against his predecessor and subsequently started his own party, the Democratic Progressive Party in 2005. MUTHARIKA was reelected to a second term in May 2009. He oversaw some economic improvement in his first term, but was accused of economic mismanagement and poor governance in his second term. He died abruptly in April 2012 and was succeeded by vice president, Joyce BANDA, who had earlier started her own party, the People's Party. MUTHARIKA’s brother, Peter MUTHARIKA, defeated BANDA in the May 2014 election. Population growth, increasing pressure on agricultural lands, corruption, and the scourge of HIV/AIDS pose major problems for Malawi.
  • Geography :: MALAWI

  • Southern Africa, east of Zambia, west and north of Mozambique
    13 30 S, 34 00 E
    Africa
    total: 118,484 sq km
    land: 94,080 sq km
    water: 24,404 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 100
    slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
    total: 2,857 km
    border countries (3): Mozambique 1,498 km, Tanzania 512 km, Zambia 847 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    none (landlocked)
    sub-tropical; rainy season (November to May); dry season (May to November)
    narrow elongated plateau with rolling plains, rounded hills, some mountains
    lowest point: junction of the Shire River and international boundary with Mozambique 37 m
    highest point: Sapitwa (Mount Mlanje) 3,002 m
    limestone, arable land, hydropower, unexploited deposits of uranium, coal, and bauxite
    agricultural land: 59.2%
    arable land 38.2%; permanent crops 1.4%; permanent pasture 19.6%
    forest: 34%
    other: 6.8% (2011 est.)
    735 sq km (2006)
    17.28 cu km (2011)
    total: 1.36 cu km/yr (11%/4%/86%)
    per capita: 99.86 cu m/yr (2005)
    NA
    deforestation; land degradation; water pollution from agricultural runoff, sewage, industrial wastes; siltation of spawning grounds endangers fish populations
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
    landlocked; Lake Nyasa, some 580 km long, is the country's most prominent physical feature; it contains more fish species than any other lake on earth
  • People and Society :: MALAWI

  • noun: Malawian(s)
    adjective: Malawian
    Chewa 32.6%, Lomwe 17.6%, Yao 13.5%, Ngoni 11.5%, Tumbuka 8.8%, Nyanja 5.8%, Sena 3.6%, Tonga 2.1%, Ngonde 1%, other 3.5%
    English (official), Chichewa (common), Chinyanja, Chiyao, Chitumbuka, Chilomwe, Chinkhonde, Chingoni, Chisena, Chitonga, Chinyakyusa, Chilambya
    Christian 82.6%, Muslim 13%, other 1.9%, none 2.5% (2008 est.)
    17,964,697
    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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    0-14 years: 46.73% (male 4,175,706/female 4,218,955)
    15-24 years: 20.38% (male 1,820,047/female 1,841,331)
    25-54 years: 27.14% (male 2,418,126/female 2,457,419)
    55-64 years: 3.06% (male 262,067/female 287,637)
    65 years and over: 2.69% (male 213,735/female 269,674) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 94.5%
    youth dependency ratio: 87.9%
    elderly dependency ratio: 6.7%
    potential support ratio: 14.9% (2015 est.)
    total: 16.3 years
    male: 16.2 years
    female: 16.4 years (2014 est.)
    3.32% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    41.56 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    8.41 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    urban population: 16.3% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 3.77% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    LILONGWE (capital) 905,000; Blantyre-Limbe 808,000 (2015)
    at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    total: 46.26 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 53.07 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 39.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    total population: 60.66 years
    male: 58.67 years
    female: 62.69 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    5.6 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    46.1% (2010)
    8.3% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    0.02 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
    1.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    improved:
    urban: 94.6% of population
    rural: 83.2% of population
    total: 85% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 5.4% of population
    rural: 16.8% of population
    total: 15% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 22.3% of population
    rural: 8% of population
    total: 10.3% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 77.7% of population
    rural: 92% of population
    total: 89.7% of population (2012 est.)
    10.25% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    1.022 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    47,800 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis
    animal contact disease: rabies (2013)
    4.3% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    13.8% (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    5.4% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 65.8%
    male: 73%
    female: 58.6% (2015 est.)
    total: 11 years
    male: 11 years
    female: 11 years (2011)
    total number: 993,318
    percentage: 26% (2006 est.)
  • Government :: MALAWI

  • conventional long form: Republic of Malawi
    conventional short form: Malawi
    local long form: Dziko la Malawi
    local short form: Malawi
    former: British Central African Protectorate, Nyasaland Protectorate, Nyasaland
    multiparty democracy
    name: Lilongwe
    geographic coordinates: 13 58 S, 33 47 E
    time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    28 districts; Balaka, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Chitipa, Dedza, Dowa, Karonga, Kasungu, Likoma, Lilongwe, Machinga, Mangochi, Mchinji, Mulanje, Mwanza, Mzimba, Neno, Ntcheu, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Nsanje, Ntchisi, Phalombe, Rumphi, Salima, Thyolo, Zomba
    6 July 1964 (from the UK)
    Independence Day (Republic Day), 6 July (1964)
    previous 1953 (preindependence), 1966; latest drafted January to May 1994, approved 16 May 1994, entered into force 18 May 1995; amended several times, last in 2013 (2013)
    mixed legal system of English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Appeal
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Arthur Peter MUTHARIKA (since 31 May 2014); Vice President Saulos CHILIMA (since 31 May 2014); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Arthur Peter MUTHARIKA (since 31 May 2014); Vice President Saulos CHILIMA (since 31 May 2014)
    cabinet: 26-32-member Cabinet named by the president
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 20 May 2014 (next to be held in May 2019)
    election results: Peter MUTHARIKA elected president; percent of vote - Peter MUTHARIKA 36.4%, Lazarus CHAKWERA 27.8%, Joyce BANDA 20.2%, Atupele MULUZI 13.7%, other 1.9%
    description: unicameral National Assembly (193 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 20-22 May 2014 (next to be held in May 2019)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - DPP 50, MCP 48, PP 26, UDF 14, other 2, independent 52; note - voting in one electoral constituency to be rescheduled due to death of candidate
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of Appeal (consists of the chief justice and at least 3 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly; other judges appointed by the president upon recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, which regulates judicial officers; judges serve until age 65
    subordinate courts: High Court; magistrate courts; Industrial Relations Court; district and city traditional or local courts
    Alliance for Democracy or AFORD [Godfrey SHAWA]
    Chipani Cha Fuko or CCP [Davis KATSONGA PHIRI]
    Democratic Progressive Party or DPP [Peter MUTHARIKA]
    Malawi Congress Party or MCP [Lazarus CHAKWERA]
    People's Party or PP [Joyce BANDA]
    United Democratic Front or UDF [Atupele MULUZI]
    Council for NGOs in Malawi or CONGOMA (human rights, democracy, and development)
    Human Rights Consultative Committee or HRCC (human rights)
    Malawi Economic Justice Network or MEJN (pro economic growth, development, government accountability)
    Malawi Law Society (an umbrella organization of all lawyers in Malawi)
    Public Affairs Committee or PAC (promotes democracy, development, peace and unity)
    ACP, AfDB, AU, C, CD, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Necton Darlington MHURA (since 18 May 2015)
    chancery: 2408 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 721-0270
    FAX: [1] (202) 721-0288
    chief of mission: Ambassador Virginia E. PALMER (since 5 February 2015)
    embassy: 16 Jomo Kenyatta Road, Lilongwe 3
    mailing address: P. O. Box 30016, Lilongwe 3, Malawi
    telephone: [265] (1) 773-166
    FAX: [265] (1) 770-471
    three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and green with a radiant, rising, red sun centered on the black band; black represents the native peoples, red the blood shed in their struggle for freedom, and green the color of nature; the rising sun represents the hope of freedom for the continent of Africa
    lion; national colors: black, red, green
    name: "Mulungu dalitsa Malawi" (Oh God Bless Our Land of Malawi)
    lyrics/music: Michael-Fredrick Paul SAUKA
    note: adopted 1964
  • Economy :: MALAWI

  • Landlocked Malawi ranks among the world's most densely populated and least developed countries. The country’s economic performance has historically been constrained by policy inconsistency, macroeconomic instability, limited connectivity to the region and the world, and poor health and education outcomes that limit labor productivity. The economy is predominately agricultural with about 80% of the population living in rural areas. Agriculture accounts for about one-third of GDP and 90% of export revenues. The performance of the tobacco sector is key to short-term growth as tobacco accounts for more than half of exports.
    The economy depends on substantial inflows of economic assistance from the IMF, the World Bank, and individual donor nations. In 2006, Malawi was approved for relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries program. Between 2005 and 2009 Malawi’s government exhibited improved financial discipline under the guidance of Finance Minister Goodall GONDWE and signed a three year IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility worth $56 million. The government announced infrastructure projects that could yield improvements, such as a new oil pipeline for better fuel access, and the potential for a waterway link through Mozambican rivers to the ocean for better transportation options.
    Since 2009, however, Malawi has experienced some setbacks, including a general shortage of foreign exchange, which has damaged its ability to pay for imports, and fuel shortages that hinder transportation and productivity. In October 2013, the African Development Bank, the IMF, several European countries, and the US indefinitely froze $150 million in direct budgetary support in response to a high level corruption scandal, called “Cashgate,” citing a lack of trust in the government’s financial management system and civil service. Most of the frozen donor funds—which accounted for 40% of the budget—have been channeled through non-governmental organizations in the country. The government has failed to address barriers to investment such as unreliable power, water shortages, poor telecommunications infrastructure, and the high costs of services. Investment had fallen continuously for several years, but rose 4 percentage points in 2014 to 17% of GDP.
    The government faces many challenges, including developing a market economy, improving educational facilities, addressing environmental problems, dealing with HIV/AIDS, and satisfying foreign donors on anti-corruption efforts.
    $13.73 billion (2014 est.)
    $12.98 billion (2013 est.)
    $12.34 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 152
    $4.263 billion (2014 est.)
    5.7% (2014 est.)
    5.2% (2013 est.)
    1.9% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    $800 (2014 est.)
    $700 (2013 est.)
    $700 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 227
    10.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    14.2% of GDP (2013 est.)
    13.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    household consumption: 95%
    government consumption: 11%
    investment in fixed capital: 16.5%
    investment in inventories: 6.6%
    exports of goods and services: 28.1%
    imports of goods and services: -57.1%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 30.1%
    industry: 18.5%
    services: 51.3% (2014 est.)
    tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (manioc, tapioca), sorghum, pulses, groundnuts, Macadamia nuts; cattle, goats
    tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement, consumer goods
    -1.7% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    5.747 million (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    agriculture: 90%
    industry and services: 10% (2003 est.)
    NA%
    53% (2004 est.)
    lowest 10%: 3%
    highest 10%: 31.9% (2004)
    39 (2004)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    revenues: $1.264 billion
    expenditures: $1.573 billion (2014 est.)
    28.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    -7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    48% of GDP (2014 est.)
    49.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    1 July - 30 June
    23.8% (2014 est.)
    27.3% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 221
    15% (31 December 2009)
    15% (31 December 2008)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    44% (31 December 2014 est.)
    46% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    $578.5 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $454.7 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    $1.481 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    $1.176 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $969.2 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    $753.6 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    $1.384 billion (31 December 2011)
    $1.363 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    -$216 million (2014 est.)
    -$958.4 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    $1.332 billion (2014 est.)
    $1.374 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    tobacco 53%, tea, sugar, cotton, coffee, peanuts, wood products, apparel (2010 est.)
    Canada 12.4%, Zimbabwe 9.4%, South Africa 6.7%, US 6.4%, Russia 6.3%, Zambia 6.1%, Germany 6.1%, South Korea 4.3% (2013)
    $2.498 billion (2014 est.)
    $2.52 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    food, petroleum products, semi-manufactures, consumer goods, transportation equipment
    South Africa 25.1%, China 12.7%, India 12%, Zambia 11.7%, Tanzania 4.8% (2013)
    $469.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $435.9 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    $1.729 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.487 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    $NA
    $NA
    Malawian kwachas (MWK) per US dollar -
    412.1 (2014 est.)
    364.41 (2013 est.)
    249.11 (2012 est.)
    156.93 (2011 est.)
    150.49 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: MALAWI

  • 2.069 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    1.924 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    301,000 kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    0.3% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    99.7% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    13,040 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    6,059 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    1.91 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
  • Communications :: MALAWI

  • total subscriptions: 64,200
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    total: 5.1 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 30 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    general assessment: rudimentary; privatization of Malawi Telecommunications (MTL), a necessary step in bringing improvement to telecommunications services, completed in 2006
    domestic: limited fixed-line subscribership of about 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular services are expanding but network coverage is limited and is based around the main urban areas; mobile-cellular subscribership about 25 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 265; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Atlantic Ocean) (2010)
    radio is the main broadcast medium; privately owned Zodiac radio has the widest national broadcasting reach, followed by state-run radio; about a dozen private and community radio stations broadcast in cities and towns around the country; the largest TV network is government-owned, but two private TV networks now broadcast in urban areas and more plan to begin broadcasting in 2014; relays of multiple international broadcasters are available (2014)
    AM 9, FM 5 (plus 15 repeater stations), shortwave 2 (plus one shortwave station on standby) (2001)
    1 (2001)
    .mw
    total: 387,500
    percent of population: 2.2% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
  • Transportation :: MALAWI

  • 32 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    total: 7
    over 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
    914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2013)
    total: 25
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 11
    under 914 m:
    13 (2013)
    total: 767 km
    narrow gauge: 767 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    total: 15,450 km
    paved: 6,951 km
    unpaved: 8,499 km (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    700 km (on Lake Nyasa [Lake Malawi] and Shire River) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    lake port(s): Chipoka, Monkey Bay, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Chilumba (Lake Nyasa)
  • Military :: MALAWI

  • Malawi Defense Forces (MDF): Army (includes Air Wing, Marine Unit) (2012)
    18 years of age for voluntary military service; high school equivalent required for enlisted recruits and college equivalent for officer recruits; initial engagement is 7 years for enlisted personnel and 10 years for officers (2014)
    males age 16-49: 3,514,809 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 2,132,909
    females age 16-49: 2,043,925 (2010 est.)
    male: 183,683
    female: 183,028 (2010 est.)
    0.93% of GDP (2012)
    0.79% of GDP (2011)
    0.93% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 104
  • Transnational Issues :: MALAWI

  • dispute with Tanzania over the boundary in Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and the meandering Songwe River; Malawi contends that the entire lake up to the Tanzanian shoreline is its territory, while Tanzania claims the border is in the center of the lake; the conflict was reignited in 2012 when Malawi awarded a license to a British company for oil exploration in the lake
    IDPs: 107,000 (floods in 2015) (2015)
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