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. 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. MUTHARIKA was reelected to a second term in May 2009. As president, he oversaw some economic improvement. He died abruptly in April 2012 and was succeeded by his vice president, Joyce BANDA. Population growth, increasing pressure on agricultural lands, corruption, and the spread of HIV/AIDS pose major problems for Malawi.


Malawi is a land-locked country situated south of Tanzania, east of Zambia and north of Mozambique.
Population: 15,380,000


total: 118,484 sq km
country comparison to the world: 100
land: 94,080 sq km
water: 24,404 sq km
Slightly smaller than Pennsylvania, USA

Lake Malawi is the third largest lake in Africa.
It is 360 miles long and 45 miles wide. Large
tea plantations in the south, and coffee in the
north. The primary export crop is tobacco.

Economic indicators

Per capital income: $900/year (10th lowest)
% of population living on less than $2/day: 53

Health indicators

Life expectancy at birth: 52.3 years (improved in recent years)
Infant mortality: 7.9% (10th highest in the world)
Maternal mortality: 0.46% (22nd highest in the world)
HIV prevalence (adult): 11.3% (9th highest in the world)
Number of doctors per 100,000 population: 1.9 (among the lowest in the world)