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Malawi

 
Flag of Malawi
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Coordinates:
13.50 S  34.00 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Malawi Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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 which 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, has struggled to assert his authority against his predecessor, who still leads their shared political party. MUTHARIKA's anti-corruption efforts have led to several high-level arrests and one prominent conviction. Increasing corruption, population growth, increasing pressure on agricultural lands, and the spread of HIV/AIDS pose major problems for the country.
   Geography    Malawi Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Southern Africa, east of Zambia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
13 30 S, 34 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 118,480 sq km
land: 94,080 sq km
water: 24,400 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2,881 km
border countries: Mozambique 1,569 km, Tanzania 475 km, Zambia 837 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
none (landlocked)
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
sub-tropical; rainy season (November to May); dry season (May to November)
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
narrow elongated plateau with rolling plains, rounded hills, some mountains
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: junction of the Shire River and international boundary with Mozambique 37 m
highest point: Sapitwa (Mount Mlanje) 3,002 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
limestone, arable land, hydropower, unexploited deposits of uranium, coal, and bauxite
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 20.68%
permanent crops: 1.18%
other: 78.14% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
560 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
deforestation; land degradation; water pollution from agricultural runoff, sewage, industrial wastes; siltation of spawning grounds endangers fish populations
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
landlocked; Lake Nyasa, some 580 km long, is the country's most prominent physical feature
   People    Malawi Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13,013,926
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 46.5% (male 3,056,522/female 3,000,493)
15-64 years: 50.8% (male 3,277,573/female 3,332,907)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 139,953/female 206,478) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 16.5 years
male: 16.2 years
female: 16.8 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.38% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
43.13 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
19.33 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 94.37 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 98.66 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 89.96 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 41.7 years
male: 41.93 years
female: 41.45 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.92 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
14.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
900,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
84,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and plague are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2005)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Malawian(s)
adjective: Malawian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, Ngonde, Asian, European
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Christian 79.9%, Muslim 12.8%, other 3%, none 4.3% (1998 census)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
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 Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 62.7%
male: 76.1%
female: 49.8% (2003 est.)
   Government    Malawi Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Malawi
conventional short form: Malawi
former: British Central African Protectorate, Nyasaland Protectorate, Nyasaland
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
multiparty democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Lilongwe
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
27 districts; Balaka, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Chitipa, Dedza, Dowa, Karonga, Kasungu, Likoma, Lilongwe, Machinga (Kasupe), Mangochi, Mchinji, Mulanje, Mwanza, Mzimba, Ntcheu, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Nsanje, Ntchisi, Phalombe, Rumphi, Salima, Thyolo, Zomba
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
6 July 1964 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day (Republic Day), 6 July (1964)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
18 May 1994
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
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); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: 46-member Cabinet named by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 20 May 2004 (next to be held May 2009)
election results: Bingu wa MUTHARIKA elected president; percent of vote - Bingu wa MUTHARIKA (UDF) 35.9%, John TEMBO (MCP) 27.1%, Gwandaguluwe CHAKUAMBA (MC) 25.7%, Brown MPINGANJIRA (NDA) 8.7%, Justin MALEWEZI (independent) 2.5%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly (193 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 20 May 2004 (next to be held May 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - UDF 74, MCP 60, Independents 24, RP 16, others 18, vacancies 1
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Alliance for Democracy or AFORD [Chakufwa CHIHANA]; Malawi Congress Party or MCP [John TEMBO]; Malawi Democratic Party or MDP [Kampelo KALUA]; Malawi Forum for Unity and Development or MAFUNDE [George MNESA]; Mgwirizano Coalition or MC (coalition of MAFUNDE, MDP, MGODE, NUP, PETRA, PPM, RP) [Gwandaguluwe CHAKUAMBA]; Movement for Genuine Democratic Change or MGODE [Sam Kandodo BANDA]; National Democratic Alliance or NDA [Brown MPINGANJIRA]; National Unity Party or NUP [Harry CHIUME]; New Congress for Democracy or NCD [Hetherwick NTABA]; People's Progressive Movement or PPM [Aleke BANDA]; People's Transformation Movement or PETRA [Kamuzu CHIBAMBO]; Republican Party or RP [Gwandaguluwe CHAKUAMBA]; United Democratic Front or UDF [Bingu wa MUTHARIKA] - governing party
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, ONUB, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Bernard Herbert SANDE
chancery: 1156 15th Street, NW, Suite 320, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 721-0270
FAX: [1] (202) 721-0288
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires David GILMOUR
embassy: Area 40, Plot 24, Kenyatta Road
mailing address: P. O. Box 30016, Lilongwe 3, Malawi
telephone: [265] (1) 773 166
FAX: [265] (1) 770 471
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and green with a radiant, rising, red sun centered in the black band
Government - note:
Definition Field Listing
the executive exerts considerable influence over the legislature
   Economy    Malawi Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Landlocked Malawi ranks among the world's least developed countries. The economy is predominately agricultural, with about 90% of the population living in rural areas. Agriculture accounted for nearly 36% of GDP and 80% of export revenues in 2005. The performance of the tobacco sector is key to short-term growth as tobacco accounts for over 60% of exports. The economy depends on substantial inflows of economic assistance from the IMF, the World Bank, and individual donor nations. In late 2000, Malawi was approved for relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program. The government faces strong 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. In 2005, President MUTHARIKA championed an anticorruption campaign. Malawi's recent fiscal policy performance has been very strong, but a serious drought in 2005 and 2006 will heighten pressure on the government to increase spending.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$7.524 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$1.984 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-3% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$600 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 34.2%
industry: 15.8%
services: 49.9% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.5 million (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 90%
industry and services: 10% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
55% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
50.3 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15.4% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.2% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $844.6 million
expenditures: $913.9 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
195.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (tapioca), sorghum, pulses, groundnuts, Macadamia nuts; cattle, goats
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement, consumer goods
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.9% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.296 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.206 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5,450 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-$218 million (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$364 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
tobacco 60%, tea, sugar, cotton, coffee, peanuts, wood products, apparel
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 17.7%, South Africa 12.5%, Egypt 7.8%, Netherlands 6.6%, Germany 6.6%, Japan 4.8%, UK 4.3%, Mozambique 4.2% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$645 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
food, petroleum products, semimanufactures, consumer goods, transportation equipment
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
South Africa 37.6%, India 8.1%, Mozambique 7.8%, Zimbabwe 7.2%, Zambia 6.7%, Tanzania 4.6% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$151 million (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3.287 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$401.5 million (2001)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Malawian kwacha (MWK)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Malawian kwachas per US dollar - 108.894 (2005), 108.898 (2004), 97.433 (2003), 76.687 (2002), 72.197 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 July - 30 June
   Communications    Malawi Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
93,000 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
222,100 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: system employs open-wire lines, microwave radio relay links, and radiotelephone communications stations
international: country code - 265; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 9, FM 5 (plus 15 repeater stations), shortwave 2 (plus a third station held in standby status) (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2001)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.mw
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
305 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
46,100 (2005)
   Transportation    Malawi Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
42 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 6
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 36
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 15
under 914 m: 20 (2005)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 797 km
narrow gauge: 797 km 1.067-m gauge (2004)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 28,400 km
paved: 5,254 km
unpaved: 23,146 km (1999)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
700 km (on Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and Shire River) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Chipoka, Monkey Bay, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Chilumba
   Military    Malawi Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Malawi Armed Forces: Army (includes Air Wing and Naval Detachment), Police (includes Mobile Force Unit)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 2,430,514 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 1,226,802 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$15.81 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.8% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Malawi Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
disputes with Tanzania over the boundary in Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and the meandering Songwe River remain dormant

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook