Republic of Malawi
short form: Malawi
former: British Central African Protectorate, Nyasaland Protectorate, Nyasaland.
ISO Country Code: mw
Local Time = UTC +2h
Country Calling Code: +265
Capital City: Lilongwe (pop. 600 000)
Blantyre (the country’s commercial capital), Zomba, Mzuzu
Type: multi-party democracy.
Independence: July 6, 1964.
Constitution: May 18, 1995.
Location: Southeastern Africa
Area: 118,484 sq. km. (45,747 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Plateaus, highlands, and valleys. Lake Malawi (formerly referred to as Lake Nyasa) comprises about 20% of total area.
Climate: Predominately sub-tropical; two main seasons, cold-dry and hot-wet. The hot-wet season is from November to April.
Nationality: Noun and adjective–Malawian(s)
Population: 13.1 million (2008)
GNI per capita PPP: $ 596 (year)
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), regional dialects, i.e., Chitumbuka, Chiyao, Chilomwe.
Literacy: total population 58%.
Natural resources: Limestone, uranium (potential), coal, bauxite, phosphates, graphite, granite, black granite, aquamarine, tourmaline, rubies, sapphires, rare earths.
Agriculture products: Tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (tapioca), sorghum, pulses; groundnuts, Macadamia nuts; cattle, goats.
Industries: Tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement, consumer goods.
Exports partners: South Africa 23.3%, USA13.4%, Germany 11.3%, Egypt 5.7%, Portugal4.8%, Japan 4.5%, Netherlands 4.1% (2003)
Imports partners: South Africa 53.7%, India4.9%, Tanzania 3.9% (2003)
Currency: Kwacha (MWK)
Malawis’ predominantly rural population is comprised of various tribes that migrated from other parts of Africa. According to its gross national income (GNI) the Republic of Malawi is the poorest country in Africa, its economy is agro-based. There is a small tourism sector which is being primed for growth.
The former British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964. First democratic multiparty elections were held in 1994, after three decades of one-party rule. A provisional constitution, took full effect in 1995. In the 2004 elections the UDF party was voted in again for the third time since 1994.
border countries: Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia
related countries: United Kingdom