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Old coins of the Malawian kwacha.
|Banknotes||20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000 kwacha|
|Freq. used||1, 5, 10 kwacha|
|Rarely used||1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 tambala|
|Central bank||Reserve Bank of Malawi|
|Source||Rbm Nov 2016 |
The kwacha (//; ISO 4217: MWK, official name Malawi Kwacha) is the currency of Malawi as of 1971, replacing the Malawian pound. It is divided into 100 tambala. The kwacha replaced other types of currency, namely the UK pound sterling, the South African rand and the Rhodesian dollar, that had previously circulated through the Malawian economy. The exchange rate of the kwacha undergoes fixed periodical adjustments, but since 1994 the exchange rate has floated. In 2005, administrative measures were put in place by Bingu wa Mutharika to peg the exchange rate with other currencies. Banknotes are issued by the Reserve Bank of Malawi. In May 2012, the Reserve Bank of Malawi devalued the kwacha by 34% and unpegged it from the United States dollar.
The name kwacha was first used in Zambia where the Zambian kwacha was introduced in 1968. It derives from the Chinyanja or Chichewa word meaning "it has dawned", while tambala translates as "rooster" in Chichewa. The tambala was so named because a hundred roosters announce the dawn.
The kwacha replaced the Malawian pound in 1971 at a rate of two kwacha to one pound.
As of 25 October 2016[update] one British pound sterling was equal to approximately 881 kwachas, one US dollar was equal to 721 kwachas and one South African rand was equal to 52 kwachas. As of 23 October 2018[update] one Euro is equivalent to 833.040 Kwachas. 
The first coins introduced in 1971 were in denominations of one, two, five, ten and twenty tambala. In 1986, fifty tambala and one kwacha coins were also introduced. In January 2007, five and ten kwacha coins, which actually bear a mint date of 2006, were also released into circulation. On 23 May 2012 new one, five and ten kwacha coins were released into circulation
The one and two tambala coins are composed of copper-plated steel. The five tambala coin is of nickel-plated steel. The fifty tambala and one kwacha coin are composed of brass-plated steel.
In 1971, banknotes dated 1964 were introduced in denominations of 50 tambala, 1, 2 and 10 kwacha. 5 kwacha notes were introduced in 1973 when the 2 kwacha note was discontinued. 20 kwacha notes were introduced in 1983. 50 tambala notes were last issued in 1986, with the last 1 kwacha notes printed in 1992. In 1993, 50 kwacha notes were introduced, followed by 100 kwacha in 1993, 200 kwacha in 1995, 500 kwacha in 2001 and 2000 kwacha in November 2016 to ease desperate cash shortages.
As of 2008, the following banknote denominations are in circulation:
|1997 Series |
|Image||Value||Dimensions||Main Colour||Description||Date of first printing|
|K5||126 × 63 mm||Green||John Chilembwe||Villagers mashing grain||1 July 1997|
|K10||132 × 66 mm||Brown||Children in "bush" school|
|K20||138 × 69 mm||Purple||Workers harvesting tea leaves|
|K50||144 × 72 mm||Blue||Independence Arc in Blantyre|
|K100||150 × 75 mm||Red||Capital Hill in Lilongwe|
|K200||156 × 78 mm||Blue||Reserve Bank building in Lilongwe|
|K500||162 × 81 mm||Multi-colour||Reserve Bank building in Blantyre||1 December 2001|
According to an article in the Nyasa Times dated 9 March 2012, within the next six months the Reserve Bank of Malawi would introduce a whole new series of notes, including a 1,000-kwacha note, twice the largest denomination currently in circulation. The notes were announced in Biantyre on 8 March by Governor Dr. Perks Ligoya. The new notes would be much smaller in size than the current notes, which served as a cost-cutting measure. The new 1,000-kwacha note was going to be printed by De La Rue.
On 23 May 2012, the Nyasa Times reported that the Reserve Bank of Malawi introduced the new 1,000 kwacha note into circulation along with the proposed new notes. The new 1,000 kwacha note was valued at around US$4. The new kwacha had the face of the first president Kamuzu Banda on the front and the back carries a depiction of Mzuzu maize silos.
The new 20 kwacha note was found to contain an error. On the back of the note is a building identified as the Domasi Teacher's Training College (now known as the Domasi College of Education). However, it is reported that the building is, in fact, the Machinga Teacher's Training College.
The Reserve Bank of Malawi is going to revise its new family of notes so that they are more "blind friendly". According to the Malawi Union of the Blind, the current notes have raised dots to aid in recognition of the denominations, but the dots are too small to be useful.
|2012 Series |
|Image||Value||Dimensions||Main Colour||Description||Date of first printing|
|K20||128 × 64 mm||Purple||Reserve Bank of Malawi headquarters in Lilongwe; Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa II (Lazalo Mkhuzo Jere)||Domasi Teachers Training College building and tree; stack of books and mortarboard||23 May 2012|
|K50||128 × 64 mm||Light blue and green||Reserve Bank of Malawi headquarters building in Lilongwe; Inkosi Ya Makhosi Gomani II (Philip Zitonga Maseko)||Elephants, tree, and safari vehicle in Kasungu National Park|
|K100||128 × 64 mm||Red||Reserve Bank of Malawi headquarters building in Lilongwe; James Frederick Sangala||College of Medicine in Blantyre; stethoscope|
|K200||132 × 66 mm||Blue and violet||Reserve Bank of Malawi headquarters building in Lilongwe; Rose Lomathinda Chibambo||New Parliament building in Lilongwe|
|K500||132 × 66 mm||Brown and orange||Reserve Bank of Malawi headquarters building in Lilongwe; Reverend John Chilembwe||Mulunguzi dam in Zomba; water spigot; silhouette of woman carrying container on head and man carrying hoe over shoulder|
|K1000||132 × 66 mm||Green||Reserve Bank of Malawi headquarters building in Lilongwe; Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda||Mzuzu maize silos; stalk of maize (corn); silhouette of two people mashing maize|
|K2000||Yellow||Reverend John Chilembwe; outline of Malawi||Malawi University of Science and Technology, Thyolo District||1 June 2016|
|Current MWK exchange rates|
|From Google Finance:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD ZAR|
|From Yahoo! Finance:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD ZAR|
|From XE:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD ZAR|
|From OANDA:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD ZAR|
|From fxtop.com:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD ZAR|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Money of Malawi.|
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2010-10-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- ISO 4217 amendment 24 Feb 2016, change of currency name
- Frederic L. Pryor, The political economy of poverty, equity, and growth: Malaŵi and Madagascar Oxford University Press, 1990 ISBN 0-19-520823-4, p. 415
- "Malawi devalues currency by a third". Al Jazeera. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-08.
- Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions , International Monetary Fund, 2006, ISBN 1-58906-569-7, p[page 716
- XE Currency Converter
- "World Coin News: malawi". Worldcoinnews.blogspot.com.au. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
- "Malawi." NumisMaster. F+W Publications, Inc. 2011. Web. 17 February 2011.
- "Malawi: Govt Introduces 2,000 Kwacha Banknote". 2016-11-11. Retrieved 2016-11-12., Nyasa Times
- "Currency: Notes & Coins". Rbm.mw. Archived from the original on 2014-04-22. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
- Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Malawi". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: www.BanknoteNews.com.
- Malawi new banknote family confirmed BanknoteNews.com. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "Malawi releases new Kwacha bank notes | Malawi Nyasa Times – Malawi breaking news in Malawi". Nyasatimes.com. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
- Reserve Bank goofs on new K20 banknote, Mawali Today, retrieved 2012-06-04.
- Malawi Central-Bank to issue new blind friendly bank notes, Amalawi.info. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- "Malawi new banknote family confirmed | Africa". Banknote News. 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
Ratio: 2 kwacha = 1 pound
|Currency of Malawi