||Mulungu dalitsa Malaŵi (Oh God Bless Our Land of Malawi)
||118,484 km2, 45,747 sq mi
||~ 15 million
||Kwacha (D) (MWK)
Malawi is a landlocked
country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi.
Malawi's capital and largest city is Lilongwe with an estimated population of 902,388. Its second largest city is Blantyre and the third largest city is Mzuzu.
Society and culture
Malawi was an English colony
until 1964. Today, the country has a culture combining native and colonial aspects, including sports, art, dance and music.
Malawi has a population of over 15 million. This population is made up of the Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni and Ngonde native ethnic groups, as well as populations of Asians and Europeans.
There are two official languages in Malawi: English and Chichewa. Chichewa is spoken by over 57% of the population. Other major languages include Chinyanja (12.8%), Chiyao (10.1%) and Chitumbuka (9.5%).
As of 2007, approximately 80% of the population is estimated to be Christian. The Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Central Africa make up the largest Christian groups. There are also smaller numbers of Anglicans, Baptists, Evangelicals and Seventh-day Adventists in the country. Around 13% of the population is Muslim. Atheists
make up around 4% of the population.
Government and politics
Malawi is a democratic, multi-party government. The country is currently under the leadership of President Bingu wa Mutharika. He is both chief of state and head of government. The branches of the government consist of executive, legislative and judicial. The executive
includes the president, first and second vice presidents and a cabinet
. The legislative
branch consists of a unicameral
National Assembly. The independent judicial branch
is based upon the English model and consists of a constitutional court, a High Court, a Supreme Court of Appeal and subordinate Magistrate Courts.
Malawi is among the world's least developed and most densely populated
countries. The economy is mainly based on agriculture. Around 85% of the population live in rural areas. More than 90% of export revenues
come from agriculture. The economy of Malawi has in the past been dependent on economic aid
from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and individual nations.