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Introduction Malawi
Established in 1891, British protectorate of Nyasaland became independent nation of Malawi in 1964. After three decades of one-party rule, country held multiparty elections in 1994 under a provisional constitution, which took full effect following year. National multiparty elections were held again in 1999.
Geography Malawi
Southern Africa, east of Zambia
Geographic coordinates:
13 30 S, 34 00 E
Map references:
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
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
sub-tropical; rainy season (November to May); dry season (May to November)
narrow elongated plateau with rolling plains, rounded hills, some mountains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: junction of 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:
Environment - current issues:
deforestation; land degradation; water pollution from agricultural runoff, sewage, industrial wastes; siltation of spawning grounds endangers fish populations
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate 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 Sea
Geography - note:
landlocked; Lake Nyasa, some 580 km long, is countries most prominent physical feature
People Malawi
Total Population:
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account 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 distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 46.8% (male 2,748,058; female 2,698,052)
15-64 years: 50.5% (male 2,911,892; female 2,973,723)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 128,722; female 190,792) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 16.4 years
male: 16.1 years
female: 16.7 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
2.21% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
44.7 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
22.64 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
Population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 105.15 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 100.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 109.36 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 37.98 years
male: 37.57 years
female: 38.39 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
6.1 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
15% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
850,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
80,000 (2001 est.)
noun: Malawian(s)
adjective: Malawian
Ethnic groups:
Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, Ngonde, Asian, European
Protestant 55%, Roman Catholic 20%, Muslim 20%, indigenous beliefs 3%, other 2%
English (official), Chichewa (official), other languages important regionally
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Population: 62.7%
male: 76.1%
female: 49.8% (2003 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
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
6 July 1964 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day (Republic Day), 6 July (1964)
18 May 1994
Legal system:
based on English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court of Appeal; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Bakili MULUZI (since 21 May 1994); note - president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Bakili MULUZI (since 21 May 1994); note - president is both chief of state and head of government
cabinet: 46-member Cabinet named by 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 president, puisne judges appointed on advice of Judicial Service Commission); magistrate's courts
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance for Democracy or AFORD [Chakufwa CHIHANA]; Malawi Congress Party or MCP [John TEMBO, president; Gwanda CHAKUAMBA, vice president]; Malawi Democratic Party or MDP [Kampelo KALUA]; United Democratic Front or UDF [Bakili MULUZI] - governing party
Political pressure groups and leaders:
National Democratic Alliance [Brown MPINGANJIRA]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in 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 US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Stephen BROWN
embassy: Area 40, Plot 24, Kenyatta Road
mailing address: P. O. Box 30016, Lilongwe 3, Malawi
telephone: [265] (1) 773 166
FAX: [265] (1) 770 471
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and green with a radiant, rising, red sun centered in black band
Government - note:
executive exerts considerable influence over legislature
Economy Malawi
Economy - overview:
Landlocked Malawi ranks among world's least developed countries. economy is predominately agricultural, with about 90% of population living in rural areas. Agriculture accounted for nearly 40% of GDP and 88% of export revenues in 2001. economy depends on substantial inflows of economic assistance from IMF, World Bank, and individual donor nations. In late 2000, Malawi previously approved for relief under Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program. In November 2002 World Bank approved a $50 million drought recovery package, which is to be used for famine relief. government faces strong challenges, e.g., to fully develop a market economy, to improve educational facilities, to face up to environmental problems, to deal with rapidly growing problem of HIV/AIDS, and to satisfy foreign donors that fiscal discipline is being tightened. performance of tobacco sector is key to short-term growth as tobacco accounts for over 50% of exports.
buying power parity - $6.811 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.7% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $600 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 37%
industry: 16%
services: 47% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
54% (FY 90/91 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
27.4% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
4.5 million (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 86% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
revenues: $490 million
expenditures: $523 million, includes capital expenditures of $NA (FY 99/00 est.)
tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement, consumer goods
Industrial production growth rate:
-0.8% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
769.2 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 3.3%
hydro: 96.7%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
715.3 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
5,400 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Agriculture - products:
tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (tapioca), sorghum, pulses; groundnuts, Macadamia nuts; cattle, goats
$435 million f.o.b. (201)
Exports - commodities:
tobacco 60%, tea, sugar, cotton, coffee, peanuts, wood products, apparel
Exports - partners:
US 17.3%, Germany 13.6%, South Africa 10.2%, Egypt 6.2%, Japan 6%, Netherlands 5.5%, Russia 4.8%, UK 4.3% (2002)
$505 million f.o.b. (2001)
Imports - commodities:
food, petroleum products, semimanufactures, consumer goods, transportation equipment
Imports - partners:
South Africa 44.4%, Zambia 12.7%, US 5.6%, India 4.2% (2002)
Debt - external:
$2.9 billion (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
$540 million (1999)
Malawian kwacha (MWK)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Malawian kwachas per US dollar - 76.69 (2002), 72.2 (2001), 59.54 (2000), 44.09 (1999), 31.07 (1998)
Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June
Communications Malawi
Telephones - main lines in use:
45,000 (2000)
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)
2.6 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2001)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
3 (2002)
Internet users:
35,000 (2002)
Transportation Malawi
total: 797 km
narrow gauge: 797 km 1.067-m gauge (2002)
total: 28,400 km
paved: 5,254 km
unpaved: 23,146 km (1999 est.)
144 km
note: on Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and Shire Riverall
Ports and harbors:
Chipoka, Monkey Bay, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Chilumba
43 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 6
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 37
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 14
under 914 m: 22 (2002)
Military Malawi
Military branches:
Army (including Air Wing and Naval Detachment), Police (including paramilitary Mobile Force Unit)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 2,625,495 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 1,347,248 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$13.01 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
0.7% (FY02)
Transnational Issues Malawi
Disputes - international:
dispute with Tanzania over boundary in Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and meandering Songwe River remain dormant