Portal:Malawi

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The Malawi Portal

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Flag of Malawi
Coat of arms of Malawi.svg
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The Republic of Malawi (/məˈlɑːwi/; Chichewa [malawi]) is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as NyasalandNyasa means Lake in yawo languege. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Its size is over 118,000 km2 (45,560 sq mi) with an estimated population of more than 15,900,000. Its capital is Lilongwe, the biggest city is Blantyre. The name Malawi is believed to come from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area.

Malawi was first settled during the 10th century and remained under native rule until 1891 when it was colonized by the British, who ruled the country until 1964. Upon gaining independence it became a single-party state under the presidency of Hastings Banda, who remained president until 1994, when he was ousted from power. Bingu Mutharika, elected in 2004, is the current president. Malawi has a democratic, multi-party government. Malawi has a small military force that includes an army, a navy and an air wing. Malawi's foreign policy is pro-Western and includes positive diplomatic relations with most countries and participation in several international organizations.

Malawi is among the world's least developed and most densely populated countries. The economy is heavily based in agriculture, with a largely rural population. The Malawian government depends heavily on outside aid to meet development needs, although this need (and the aid offered) has decreased since 2000. The Malawian government faces challenges in growing the economy, improving education, health care and the environmental protection and becoming financially independent. Malawi has several programs developed since 2005 that focus on these issues, and the country's outlook appears to be improving, with improvements in economic growth, education and healthcare seen in 2007 and 2008.

Selected article

edit Chinyanja also known as Chichewa is a language of the Bantu language family widely spoken in south-central Africa. The prefix chi- means "the language of" so that "Chichewa" means "language of the Chewa tribe", and hence the language is also known simply as Chewa.

Chichewa is the national language of the Republic of Malawi and as Chinyanja is one of the seven official tribal languages of Zambia, where it is spoken mostly in the Eastern Province and in Lusaka. It is also spoken in Mozambique, especially in the provinces of Tete and Niassa, as well as in Zimbabwe where, according to some estimates, it ranks as the third most widely used local language, after Shona and Northern Ndebele.

Chinyanja/Chichewa has its origin in the Eastern Province of Zambia from the 15th century to the 18th century. The language remained dominant despite the breakup of the empire and the Nguni invasions and was adopted by Christian missionaries at the beginning of the colonial period.

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Lake Malawi fisherman sunrise.jpg
Credit: Steve Evans

A fisherman Lake Malawi, Africa's third largest freshwater lake.

Did you know ...

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St Michael and All Angels Church facade, Blantyre, Malawi.JPG

Did you know?
  • ... that the residents of Kasungu, Malawi, live in houses made from handmade bricks and straw roofing?



Selected biography

edit Elson Bakili Muluzi (born March 17, 1943) is a Malawian politician. He was the President of Malawi from 1994 to 2004 and was Chairman of the United Democratic Front (UDF) until 2009.

Muluzi was the candidate of the opposition UDF in the May 1994 presidential election, the country's first multiparty election. He won the election with 47% of the vote, defeating Malawi's leader since independence, Hastings Kamuzu Banda. He was re-elected in June 1999, taking 52.4% of the vote and defeating challenger Gwanda Chakuamba. In 2002 he proposed an amendment to Malawi's constitution that would have allowed him to run for a third term, but this was abandoned due to demonstrations against him. He therefore stepped down after the May 2004 election, in which UDF candidate Bingu wa Mutharika was elected to succeed Muluzi as President.

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