Geographic and Governmental Profile of 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. 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.
Location
Southern Africa, east of Zambia, west and north of Mozambique
Geographic coordinates
13 30 S, 34 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
118,484 sq km
rank:
100
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)
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Irrigated land
590 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
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 58 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
mixed legal system of English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Appeal
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Joyce BANDA (since 7 April 2012); Vice President Khumbo Hastings KACHALI (since 11 April 2012); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; former President Bingu wa MUTHARIKA died on 5 April 2012, Vice President Joyce BANDA was subsequently sworn in on 7 April 2012
head of government:
President Joyce BANDA (since 7 April 2012); Vice President Khumbo Hastings KACHALI (since 11 April 2012)
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 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%; note - MUTHARIKA passed away on 5 April 2012 and was succeeded by then vice president Joyce BANDA
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, 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, UNOCI, UNTSO, 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 Jeanine E. JACKSON
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
adopted 1964
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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