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Malawi

Malawi (Africa)

Introduction ::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 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. MUTHARIKA was reelected to a second term in May 2009.

Geography ::Malawi


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Location:

Southern Africa, east of Zambia

Geographic coordinates:
13 30 S, 34 00 E

Map references:

Africa

Area:

total: 118,484 sq km country comparison to the world: 99 land: 94,080 sq km

water: 24,404 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

Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)

Climate:

sub-tropical; rainy season (November to May); dry season (May to November)

Terrain:

narrow elongated plateau with rolling plains, rounded hills, some mountains

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: junction of the 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: 20.68%

permanent crops: 1.18%

other: 78.14% (2005)

Irrigated land:

560 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

17.3 cu km (2001)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 1.01 cu km/yr (15%/5%/80%)

per capita: 78 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:
NA

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, Ozone
Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note:

landlocked; Lake Nyasa, some 580 km long, is the country's most prominent physical feature

People ::Malawi

Population:

15,447,500 country comparison to the world: 64 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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 45.4% (male 3,419,711/female 3,404,726)

15-64 years: 51.9% (male 3,889,065/female 3,915,309)

65 years and over: 2.7% (male 172,679/female 227,267) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 17.1 years

male: 17 years

female: 17.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.758% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 21

Birth rate:

41.28 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 11

Death rate:

13.69 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 20

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population country comparison to the world: 91

Urbanization:

urban population: 19% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 5.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.015 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 83.5 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 11 male: 87.6 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 79.34 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 50.92 years country comparison to the world: 211 male: 50.22 years

female: 51.64 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

5.51 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 12

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

11.9% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 9

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

930,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 15

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

68,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 10

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and plague

water contact disease: schistosomiasis

animal contact disease: rabies (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Malawian(s)

adjective: Malawian

Ethnic groups:

Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, Ngonde,
Asian, European

Religions:

Christian 79.9%, Muslim 12.8%, other 3%, none 4.3% (1998 census)

Languages:

Chichewa 57.2% (official), Chinyanja 12.8%, Chiyao 10.1%, Chitumbuka 9.5%, Chisena 2.7%, Chilomwe 2.4%, Chitonga 1.7%, other 3.6% (1998 census)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 62.7%

male: 76.1%

female: 49.8% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 9 years

male: 9 years

female: 9 years (2007)

Education expenditures:

4.2% of GDP (2003) country comparison to the world: 101

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 the 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

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Bingu wa MUTHARIKA (since 24 May 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Bingu wa MUTHARIKA (since 24 May 2004)

cabinet: 46-member Cabinet named by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 19 May 2009 (next to be held in May 2014)

election results: Bingu wa MUTHARIKA elected president; percent of vote - Bingu wa MUTHARIKA 66%, John TEMBO 30.7%, other 3.3%

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly (193 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 19 May 2009 (next to be held in May 2014)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - DPP 114, MCP 26, UDF 17, independents 32, other 4

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court of Appeal; High Court (chief justice appointed by the president, puisne judges appointed on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission); magistrate's courts

Political parties and leaders:

Alliance for Democracy or AFORD [Dindi NYASULU]; Congress of
Democrats or CODE [Ralph KASAMBARA]; Democratic Progressive Party or
DPP [Bingu wa MUTHARIKA]; Malawi Congress Party or MCP [John TEMBO];
Malawi Democratic Party or MDP [Kampelo KALUA]; Malawi Forum for
Unity and Development or MAFUNDE [George MNESA]; Maravi People's
Party [Uladi MUSSA]; National Unity Party or NUP [Harry CHIUME]; New
Rainbow Coalition Party [Beatrice MWALE]; New Republican Party
[Gwanda CHAKUWAMBA]; People's Progressive Movement or PPM [Aleke
BANDA]; People's Transformation Movement or PETRA [Kamuzu CHIBAMBO];
Republican Party or RP [Stanley MASAULI]; United Democratic Front or
UDF [Bakili MULUZI]; United Democratic Party [Kenedy KALAMBO]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Agri-Ecology Media (agriculture and environmental group); Council for NGOs in Malawi or CONGOMA (human rights, democracy, and development); Human Rights Consultative Committee or HRCC (human rights); Malawi Law Society (human rights and law reform); Malawi Movement for the Restoration of Democracy or MMRD (acts to restore and maintain democracy); Public Affairs Committee or PAC (promotes democracy, development, peace and unity)

International organization participation:

ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM,
IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO
(correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OPCW, SADC,
UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO,
WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Stephen D. Tennyson MATENJE

chancery: 2408 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 721-0270
FAX: [1] (202) 721-0288

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Peter W. BODDE

embassy: 16 Jomo Kenyatta Road, Lilongwe 3

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 red (top), black, and green; a white sun disc is centered on the black band, its surrounding 45 white rays extend partially into the red and green bands; black represents the native peoples, red the blood shed in their struggle for freedom, and green the color of nature; the sun represents Malawi's economic progress since attaining independence

National anthem:

name: "Mulungu dalitsa Malawi" (Oh God Bless Our Land of Malawi)

lyrics/music: Michael-Fredrick Paul SAUKA

note: adopted 1964

Economy ::Malawi

Economy - overview:

Landlocked Malawi ranks among the world's most densely populated and least developed countries. The economy is predominately agricultural with about 80% of the population living in rural areas. Agriculture, which has benefited from fertilizer subsidies since 2006, accounts for more than one-third of GDP and 90% of export revenues. The performance of the tobacco sector is key to short-term growth as tobacco accounts for more than half of exports. The economy depends on substantial inflows of economic assistance from the IMF, the World Bank, and individual donor nations. In 2006, Malawi was approved for relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program. In December 2007, the US granted Malawi eligibility status to receive financial support within the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) initiative. The government faces many challenges including developing a market economy, improving educational facilities, facing up to environmental problems, dealing with the rapidly growing problem of HIV/AIDS, and satisfying foreign donors that fiscal discipline is being tightened. Since 2005 President MUTHARIKA'S government has exhibited improved financial discipline under the guidance of Finance Minister Goodall GONDWE and signed a three year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility worth $56 million with the IMF. Improved relations with the IMF lead other international donors to resume aid as well. The government has announced infrastructure projects that could yield improvements, such as a new oil pipeline, for better fuel access, and the potential for a waterway link through Mozambican rivers to the ocean, for better transportation options. Since 2009, however, Malawi experienced some setbacks, including a general shortage of foreign exchange, which has damaged its ability to pay for imports, and fuel shortages that hinder transportation and productivity. Investment fell 23% in 2009. The government has failed to address barriers to investment such as unreliable power, water shortages, poor telecommunications infrastructure, and the high costs of services.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$13.51 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 140 $12.69 billion (2009 est.)

$11.79 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$5.035 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

6.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 30 7.6% (2009 est.)

9.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$900 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 219 $800 (2009 est.)

$800 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 33.4%

industry: 21.7%

services: 44.9% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

5.747 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 66

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 90%

industry and services: 10% (2003 est.)

Unemployment rate:
NA%

Population below poverty line:

53% (2004)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3%

highest 10%: 31.9% (2004)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

39 (2004) country comparison to the world: 69

Investment (gross fixed):

27.7% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 27

Public debt:

40.4% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 70 44.6% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 187 8.4% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

15% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 21 15% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

25.25% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 8 25.28% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$626.5 million (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 151 $580.3 million (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$1.434 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 148 $1.233 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$1.72 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 129 $1.515 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 97 $1.771 billion (31 December 2008)

$587.2 million (31 December 2006)

Agriculture - products:

tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (tapioca), sorghum, pulses, groundnuts, Macadamia nuts; cattle, goats

Industries:

tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement, consumer goods

Industrial production growth rate:

17.3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 2

Electricity - production:

1.69 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 136

Electricity - consumption:

1.572 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 139

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 165

Oil - consumption:

8,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 156

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 183

Oil - imports:

6,960 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 147

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 141

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 150

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 141

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 155

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 99

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 162

Current account balance:

-$315 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 98 -$332 million (2009 est.)

Exports:

$1.189 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 149 $912 million (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

tobacco 53%, tea, sugar, cotton, coffee, peanuts, wood products, apparel

Exports - partners:

Germany 12.37%, Egypt 8.52%, South Africa 7.67%, Zimbabwe 7.55%, US 7.4%, Russia 6.79%, Netherlands 6.64%, Japan 4.1% (2009)

Imports:

$1.675 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 157 $1.502 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

food, petroleum products, semimanufactures, consumer goods, transportation equipment

Imports - partners:

South Africa 40.15%, China 6.79%, India 6.73%, France 5.03%,
Tanzania 4.81%, Mozambique 4.03% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$301 million (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 123 $163.4 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$1.213 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 146 $1.166 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA

Exchange rates:

Malawian kwachas (MWK) per US dollar - 151.65 (2010), 141.14 (2009), 142.41 (2008), 141.12 (2007), 135.96 (2006)

Communications ::Malawi

Telephones - main lines in use:

175,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 129

Telephones - mobile cellular:

2.4 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 126

Telephone system:

general assessment: rudimentary; privatization of Malawi Telecommunications (MTL), a necessary step in bringing improvement to telecommunications services, completed in 2006

domestic: limited fixed-line subscribership of about 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular services are expanding but network coverage is limited and is based around the main urban areas; mobile-cellular subscribership about 15 per 100 persons

international: country code - 265; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Atlantic Ocean) (2009)

Broadcast media:

radio is the main broadcast medium; state-run radio has the widest geographic broadcasting reach, but about a dozen privately-owned radio stations broadcast in major urban areas; the single television network is government-owned; relays of multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)

Internet country code:

.mw

Internet hosts:

870 (2010) country comparison to the world: 167

Internet users:

716,400 (2009) country comparison to the world: 109

Transportation ::Malawi

Airports:

32 (2010) country comparison to the world: 112

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 6

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 26

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 13

under 914 m: 12 (2010)

Railways:

total: 797 km country comparison to the world: 102 narrow gauge: 797 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:

total: 15,451 km country comparison to the world: 121 paved: 6,956 km

unpaved: 8,495 km (2003)

Waterways:

700 km; (on Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and Shire River) (2010) country comparison to the world: 76

Ports and terminals:

Chipoka, Monkey Bay, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Chilumba

Military ::Malawi

Military branches:

Malawi Armed Forces: Army (includes Air Wing and Naval Detachment) (2009)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; standard obligation is 2 years of active duty and 5 years of reserve service (2007)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 3,402,724 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,048,900

females age 16-49: 1,960,258 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 177,376

female: 176,905 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1.3% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 118

Transnational Issues ::Malawi

Disputes - international:

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

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