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CIA Facts on 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 under President Hastings Kamuzu BANDA the country held multiparty elections in 1994, under a provisional constitution that came into full effect the following year. Current 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 (DPP) in 2005. As president, MUTHARIKA has overseen substantial economic improvement but because of political deadlock in the legislature, his minority party has been unable to pass significant legislation and anti-corruption measures have stalled. Population growth, increasing pressure on agricultural lands, corruption, and the spread of HIV/AIDS pose major problems for Malawi.

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
land: 94,080 sq km
water: 24,400 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

People

Malawi

Population: 13,603,181
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 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 46.1% (male 3,143,724/female 3,130,937)
15-64 years: 51.2% (male 3,491,114/female 3,474,209)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 155,954/female 207,243) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 16.7 years
male: 16.6 years
female: 16.8 years (2007 est.)

Government

Malawi

Country name: 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
Government type: multiparty democracy
Capital name: Lilongwe
geographic coordinates: 13 59 S, 33 47 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 28 districts; Balaka, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Chitipa, Dedza, Dowa, Karonga, Kasungu, Likoma, Lilongwe, Machinga (Kasupe), Mangochi, Mchinji, Mulanje, Mwanza, Mzimba, Neno, 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; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations


Stability

Transnational Issues

Malawi

Disputes - international: disputes with Tanzania over the boundary in Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and the meandering Songwe River remain dormant