• H.E. Arthur Peter Mutharika

  • President

  • "Of particular concern is the urgent need to address power shortfalls in the region, and provision of trade related infrastructure, namely transport infrastructure, border facilitation measures and elimination of notorious non-tariff barriers.”
Full name Republic of Malawi
Capital Lilongwe
Area 118,484 km2
Location Southern Africa, east of Zambia, west and north of Mozambique
Geographic coordinates 13 30 S, 34 00 E
Population 17,964,697
Languages
  • English (official)
  • Chichewa (common)
  • Chinyanja
  • Chiyao
  • Chitumbuka
  • Chilomwe
  • Chinkhonde
  • Chingoni
  • Chisena
  • Chitonga
  • Chinyakyusa
  • Chilambya
Religion
  • Christian 82.6%
  • Muslim 13%
  • other 1.9%
  • none 2.5%
Demonym Malawian(s)
Currency Malawian kwacha (MWK)
Country code +265
Internet code .mw
Industry Tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products
Agriculture Tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, groundnuts, cattle
Exports Tobacco, tea, sugar, cotton, coffee
Government website www.malawi.gov.mw

Source: CIA World Factbook & National Geographic

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Introduction

Malawi immediately captures visitors’ hearts with its vivid geographical diversity. Suspended in the clouds in Malawi’s south are the dramatic peaks of Mount Mulanje and the mysterious Zomba Plateau; both are a trekker's dream, with mist-covered forests and exotic wildlife. Head further north and you'll witness the otherworldly beauty of Nyika Plateau, its rolling grasslands resembling the Scottish Highlands.

Slicing through the landscape in a trough formed by the Great Rift Valley is Africa’s third largest lake – Lake Malawi; a shimmering mass of glittering clear water, its depths are swarming with colourful cichlid fish. Whether it's diving, snorkelling, kayaking or chilling out on one of its desert islands, a visit to the lake is a must.

Source: Lonely Planet

Economy

In 2014, Malawi’s economy continued on the path to recovery in the aftermath of the economic crisis of 2012. Growth momentum is expected to resume in 2016 with projected growth of 5.7%, assuming improved investor confidence, favourable weather conditions, higher agricultural exports, lower inflation, and moderate interest rates.

On 20 May 2014, Malawi held tripartite elections (presidential, parliamentary, and local) wherein the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) emerged victorious by a narrow margin. The DPP-led government has committed itself to continuing with sound macroeconomic reforms, reforming the public sector and strengthening the Public Financial Management (PFM) system. The government has developed a PFM reform action plan to improve financial controls and accountability in the PFM environment.

The spatial dimensions of poverty and development in Malawi are manifested in regional and rural-urban variations in the incidence of poverty, access to services, pattern of resource endowment, and economic opportunities. While the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) II makes no explicit reference to spatial planning, it seeks to redistribute wealth to all citizens by using rural growth centres to serve as socio-economic hubs, thereby reducing rural-urban migration.

Ecology

Lake Malawi contains the largest number of fish species of any lake in the world. There are between 500 and 1,000 fish species, and it is home to a vast array of Cichlids, virtually all of which are endemic to the lake. These Cichlids are globally popular as aquarium fish, because of their bright colours.

Successes

Several development milestones have been achieved by Malawi over the years. The poverty headcount has declined from 50% in 2005 to 39% in 2010 while the proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy requirement has decreased from about 22% in 2005 to 15% in 2009.

There has been an increase in primary school net enrolment from 73% in 2006 to 83% in 2009. Youth literacy rate has increased from 74.9% in 2005 to about 84% in 2009. Progress has also been made on gender equality and empowerment of women. The ratio of girls to boys in primary school has increased from 0.95 in 2005 to 1.03 in 2009. The proportion of seats held by women in Parliament has significantly improved from 14% in 2004 to 22% in 2009.

In addition, progress has also been made on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. Infant mortality rate has declined from 76 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004 to 66 per 1,000 live births in 2010, while under-five mortality rate has declined from 133 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004 to 112 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010. Maternal mortality rate has declined from 984 births per 100,000 live births in 2004 to 675 births per 100,000 live births in 2010. The HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women aged 15 to 24 years has declined from about 14.3% in 2005 to 12% in 2009. Deaths associated with tuberculosis have declined from 19% in 2005 to 8% in 2009. Life expectancy also increased from 40 years in 2005 to 49 years in 2010.

Source: UNDP