ABOUT MALAWI


History | General information | Politics and government | The economy |

HISTORY

Although Malawi has not yet yielded much in the way of hominid remains (to date, only one jawbone dated at around 2.5 million years) it is in this region that the earliest ancestors of humans lived. The roots of language, story and communication were formed here. Before recorded history, movements of peoples swept central Africa and national boundaries were not recognised. Only with the colonial influx were borders and nations established - often with little reference to the people who lived there. Africa was involved from earliest times in trade with places as far away as Arabia, India and China. Slave taking and the exchange of gold, ivory and other tropical products for desirable exotic goods took place long before travellers arrived from Europe. There is a strong Islamic influence, especially around the lake, from these early contacts, which predated a powerful Christian initiative into the region through missionaries such as David Livingstone and many others. During the colonial period, the country was incorporated into the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, achieving independence in 1964 with Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda as Prime Minister, later (Life) President. In 1994 Malawi held democratic elections for the first time since independence. His Exellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika is the current president of Malawi.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

Malawi the warm heart of Africa, set at the southern and of Africa's Great Rift Valley is a cradle of lakes and rivers. Covering a total area of 118,484 sq.km, it stretches some 900 kilometers north to south and between 90 and 161 kilometers east to west.
Map
Demographic Factors - source NSO
Total population : 16.7 million (World Bank 2014)
Population Density : 139 per sq km.
Population Growth Rate : 3.1%
Birth Rate : 39.6 per 1000 population
Death Rate : 10.4 per 1000 population
Urban Population : Around 2.5 Million
Life Expectancy : 58.3 years (WHO, 2015)

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POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Malawi is a Republic and gained independence from Britain on July 6 1964 and became a multiparty democracy in 1993. The Government of the Republic of Malawi is made up of three arms: The Executive, The Legislative and The Judiciary.
The Executive: The President heads the Executive arm of Government. The President is the Head of State, Head of Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Malawi Defence Force.
Cabinet List (www.malawi.gov.mw)
The Legislature: The Legislative arm of Government is the Parliament of Malawi. Parliament is presided by the Speaker of the House and in his abscence the Deputy Speaker both of who are elected by Members of Parliament. Parliament consists of 193 members when fully constituted.
The Judiciary: The Judiciary is the third arm of Government vested with judicial authority and is independent. the Lord Chief Justice heads the Judiciary and is deputized by the Deputy Chief Justice.
For more information on the Judiciary visit: www.judiciary.mw

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THE ECONOMY

Malawi has an agro-based economy with the agriculture sector accounting for over 35.5 per cent of GDP, employing about 84.5 percent of labor force and accounting for 82.5 percent of foreign exchange earnings.

Agriculture is characterized by a dual structure consisting of commercial estates that grow cash crops and a large smallholder sub-sector that is mainly engaged in mixed subsistence farming. Maize, the staple food, accounts for 80 percent of cultivated land in the small-holder sub-sector. The main agricultural export crop is tobacco, followed by tea, sugar and coffee.


The manufacturing sector accounts for 11 percent of GDP and comprises mainly agro-processing activities in the tobacco, tea and sugar industries. Distribution and services represent about 22 percent of GDP.

While Malawi is not endowed with mineral resources on the scale of its neighboring countries, there is significant potential for natural resource extraction. Minerals that can be found include uranium, coal, bauxite, phosphorus

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