General Information about Malawi

The official name is the Republic of Malawi.

Located in southeast Africa. The area is 118.5 thousand km2, the population is 10.7 million people. (2002). The official languages are English and Chicheva. The capital is the city of Lilongwe (473 thousand people, 2002). Public holiday – Independence Day July 6 (since 1964). The monetary unit is the Malawian kwacha (equal to 100 tambals).

Member of the UN (since 1964), AU (since 1965), etc. Member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Geography of Malawi

It is located between 33° and 36° east longitude and 9° and 17° south latitude. Has no access to the sea. The length from north to south is 840 km, from west to east – from 80 to 160 km. It borders in the north and northeast with Tanzania, in the west with Zambia, in the southwest, south and southeast with Mozambique. Relief: alpine plateaus and highlands with the highest point – Mount Sapitva (3000 m). 20% of the territory is occupied by Lake Malawi, from which the only Shire River (a tributary of the Zambezi) flows. There are deposits of coal (38 million tons), bituminous coal (more than 20 million), bauxite (60 million), apatite (1.5 million), monazite (78 thousand), strontium (78 thousand), kyanite (1 million tons), uranium ore, copper, lead, titanium, strontium. In the north – mountain red soils, in the rest of the territory – brown-red laterized soils. The climate is equatorial monsoon with rainy summers (November-April) and dry winters (May-October). Average monthly air temperatures from +10-19°С to +23-27°С. Savannas and savanna forests, tropical deciduous forests and mountain steppes predominate. The animal world is typical for savannas – buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, rhinos, antelopes, lions, leopards, etc.

Population of Malawi

According to Countryaah, the average annual growth rate in 2000–02 was 1.86%. Average density 90 people. per 1 km2. Birth rate 37%, mortality 23%, infant mortality 23 people. per 1000 newborns. The average life expectancy is 37 years (men – 36.5 years; women – 37.5 years). Sex and age structure: 0-14 years – 44% (ratio of men and women 1); 15-64 years – 53% (0.97); 65 years and older – 3% (0.67). The ratio of men and women in the entire population is 0.98. Among the adult population, 42% are illiterate (men – 27%, women – 57%). 99% of the population belongs to the Bantu peoples: Malawi, Lomwe, Ngoni.

55% of the population are Protestants, 20% are Catholics, 20% are Muslims, 3% adhere to traditional beliefs.

History of Malawi

From con. 15th c. and up to the 18th century. in the area of ​​\u200b\u200bLake Nyasa there was an association of Malawi tribes. The first penetration of Europeans (Portuguese) into the territory of Malawi dates back to the 16th century. In the 19th century they were replaced by the British, Protestant and Catholic missions began to be created. In 1890 Malawi was captured by Great Britain. In 1891, the British government proclaimed its protectorate over the territory, which became known as Nyasaland. This status was maintained until 1964. The beginning of the national liberation movement dates back to 1944, when the first political party, the African Congress of Nyasaland, was created, on the basis of which the Malawi Congress Party (PCP) arose in 1959. From 1953–63 the country was part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. In 1963, Nyasaland received internal self-government, and on July 6 independence was proclaimed. From 1964 to 1994, the PKM headed by H.K. Banda was in power. From 1966 to 1993 a one-party system operated in the country. The nationwide referendum held in June 1993 called for the introduction of a multi-party system. On May 16, 1994, the National Assembly adopted the Constitution, which established a new political system in the country. In May 1994, the parliamentary elections, held for the first time on a multi-party basis, were won by the United Democratic Front (84 seats), the PKM (55) and the Alliance for Democracy (36). According to the constitution, the leader of the party that wins the majority of seats in parliament becomes the president of the country. Thus, B. Muluzi took the presidency, which he retained even after the elections in 1999. In the spring of 2003, one of the leaders of the United Party (founded in 1997), Bingu wa Mutharika, was announced as Muluzi’s successor.

People of Malawi