The long-narrow and densely populated Malawi in
southeastern Africa is a distinct agricultural nation.
Recurring natural disasters have contributed to a great
dependence on foreign aid. The HIV epidemic has hit
Malawi very hard, causing a sharp decline in life
expectancy. President Hastings Kamuzu Banda ruled the
country after independence from Britain in 1964,
gradually becoming more dictatorial. When free elections
were forced in 1994, Banda was voted out of power and
multi-party systems prevailed ever since. Two thirds of
the population is under 20 years of age.
Brief profiles of Malawi, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Malawi in southeastern Africa is about the
same size as Lapland and ┼ngermanland together. To the
east and northeast lies the large Malawi lake which
occupies one fifth of the country's area.
From Lake Malawi, the river Shire flows south through
the shallow lake Malombe and further into the Zambezi
River in neighboring Mozambique.
Throughout Malawi extends the vast East African Great
Rift Valley tomb of which Lake Malawi is a part.
However, most of the country is made up of highlands of
between 1,000 and 1,500 meters. In the north and south
there are mountains that reach up to 3,000 meters above
The lowland is dominated by savannah forest, where
herds of African big game live. Bird life is also rich,
especially around Lake Malawi.
The differences in height mean that the climate
varies considerably in different parts of the country.
The warmest is the lowland in the south. There are three
seasons: a cooler period between May and August, a short
hot season from September to October and a rainy season
between October and April.
118 484 km2 (2018)
Swedish + 1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia
Capital with number of inhabitants
Lilongwe 724,000 (Estimated 2010)
Other major cities
Blantyre 694,500, Mzuzu 138,000 (2010 estimate)
Mount Mulanje (Central Africa's highest mountain,
3050 m asl)
Protests against increased ministerial wages
The government's decision to significantly raise the salaries of ministers
and other public servants triggers protests. President Mutharika and Vice
President Saulos Chilima decide to keep their old wages of just under $ 3,000
and $ 2,000 a month, respectively, but the increase for ministers and MPs
remains. Ministers' salaries are raised from $ 1150 to $ 3,000 a month and
parliamentarians from $ 242 to $ 1150. The change raises bad blood in a country
where the standard salary for a public sector job is around $ 100 and where
nearly half of residents are able to cope with less than one dollars a day.
Official convicted of corruption
A younger official is sentenced to nine years in prison for corruption in
connection with the "cashgate" inheritance.
Former head of budget arrested in corruption
Former Budget Manager Paul Mphwiyo and his wife are arrested on suspicion of
involvement in the "cashgate" inheritance that began rolling up following a
murder trial at Mphwiyo in September 2013.
First Judgment in Corruption
The country's former Minister of Tourism, Tressa Namathanga Senzani, is
declared by a court guilty of crime in the big corruption legacy called the
"cashgate" which began to be rolled up in 2013 (see September 2013).
A total of around 70 people have been arrested, suspected of being involved in
the "cashgate". Senzani is the first person convicted. Her sentence (to be
announced later) will be 3 years and 9 months in prison.
President Banda loses chaos
President Banda loses his post in a presidential election that is conducted
under chaotic forms as the electronic voting system collapses and election
supervisors are forced to count all votes by hand. Eleven candidates stand
against Banda. Her main challenger is Peter Mutharika, former Foreign Minister
and brother of Banda's representative at the presidential post. Before any
results are presented, Banda claims that major irregularities have occurred
which she blames on the opposition. She demands that the elections be
rescheduled at a later date and says that she will then not be running. The
Supreme Court rejects her request. Finally, the parties agree to count the votes
in some districts, including at a place where the number of voters was five
times as high as the number of registered voters. When the process is complete,
Mutharika has won with 36 percent of the vote. In second place comes a former
pastor with 26 percent of the vote. Banda becomes third with 20 percent.
30 million disappeared from the Treasury
An examination of the state's business shows that at least 30 million US
dollars had disappeared in 2013 through the "cashgate" corruption legacy (see
September 2013). No names about who is behind the transactions
are disclosed on the grounds that it may affect ongoing or upcoming legal
processes. The audit was carried out by British auditors, on behalf of the
President. From several quarters, demands will be made for President Banda to