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Malawi – is safe to travel 2020 in southern Africa


  Malawi borders Tanzania in the north-east, Mozambique in the south-east, south, and south-west, and Zambia in the west; most of the border with Tanzania and part of the border with Mozambique runs along Lake Nyasa (Malawi); Malawi is landlocked. The area is 118.48 thousand km2 (including 24.21 thousand km2 – the water area of ​​Lake Nyasa). Population 15.4 million (2010). The capital is Lilongwe. The official languages ​​are English, Chichewa (Shiva). The monetary unit is Malawian kwacha. Administrative divisions: 3 provinces (divided into 28 districts). Malawi is a member of the UN (1964), the Community (1964), the AU (1964; until 2002, the OAU), the IMF (1965), the IBRD (1965), the WTO (1995).


Political system

HE Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi
HE Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi

Malawi is a unitary state. The constitution was adopted on May 16, 1994. The head of state and government is the president, elected by universal suffrage for 5 years (with the right of one re-election). The candidate must be a citizen of Malawi who has reached the age of 35. and He will be the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

The highest legislative body – the parliament. The National Assembly is elected by popular vote for a 5-year term. The Constitution provides for the creation of an upper house – the Senate (80 members) to represent the interests of various groups of the population (not formed, 2011). Executive power is exercised by the government. Cabinet members are appointed by the president and accountable to him.

Malawi has a multi-party system. The leading political parties are the Democratic Progressive Party, the Malawi Congress Party, and the United Democratic Front.

Malawi national flag
Malawi national flag


Malawi is a predominantly mountainous country. The territory stretches meridionally along the graben of Lake Nyasa, which occupies the eastern part of the country and is part of the East African Rift System. In most of the territory of Malawi, basement denudation plateaus with prevailing heights of 1000-1500 m are widespread. The western regions are significantly elevated above the surrounding terrain [in the north there is the Nyika plateau (up to 2670 m), heavily broken up by faults, the plateau (Vipya) also prevails in the center, in the south – Dedza Mountains (height up to 2198 m)].

To the east of the plateaus stretch foothill plains with heights of 500-1000 m. along the coast of the lake stretch narrow lacustrine accumulative plains up to 500 m high, reflecting different positions of the lake level. To the south of the lake, the bottom of the graben is occupied by the accumulative-denudation plain of the upper reaches of the Shire River with Lake Malombe, then the accumulative plain of its middle course with heights of less than 200 m and the Lower Shire plain. To the south, the absolute bottom height decreases, reaching the lowest point on the border with Mozambique (37 m).

Malawi (Africa) Vacation Travel Video Guide

The rest of southern Malawi is occupied by denudation plains, complicated by remnant mountains – inselbergs, the largest of which is the Mulanje mountain range (Mount Sapitwa, height up to 3002 m, the highest point of Malawi) in the extreme southeast. On the left bank of the Shire River, the Zomba Rise and the Shire block massif are well-defined.

Geological structure and minerals.

The territory of Malawi is located in the southeastern part of the Precambrian African Platform. Most of the country belongs to the Mozambican granulite-gneiss belt (the main phase of folding 850-750 million years ago, the final – 690-540 million years ago), the rocks of which are represented by Archean gneisses, broken by anorthosites of the Early Proterozoic, alkaline granites of the Late Proterozoic, massifs of Cretaceous carbonatites, syenites and others. In the south, the Tete craton is distinguished, composed of Archean granite gneisses, among which there are several zones with deposits of the Lower Proterozoic.


In the far north of Malawi, the end of the Irumid fold belt of Zambia is traced, formed by quartzite schists of the Lower and Middle Proterozoic (age 1.8-1.3 billion years). To the west of Lake Nyasa and in the extreme south of the country, there are Permian-Triassic continental coal-bearing and Cretaceous shallow-sea deposits of the platform cover. In the Pliocene-Quaternary, a graben of Lake Nyasa (located at the confluence of the western and eastern branches of the East African Rift System) arose in the eastern part of Malawi; the graben is filled with river and lake sediments.

In the Pliocene-Quaternary, a graben of Lake Nyasa (located at the confluence of the western and eastern branches of the East African Rift System) arose in the eastern part of Malawi; the graben is filled with river and lake sediments.

Malawi has deposits of bauxite (Mulanje in the southeast), niobium and phosphorus ores (Chilwa, Tundulu in the southeastern part), REE (Kangankunda south of Lake Nyasa), uranium (in the northern part), nickel (in the western part ), titanium-zirconium placers (on the western shore of Lake Chilva), coal deposits (in Mchenga near Lake Chilva and others), cement limestones (in the Central Province near Kasungu, Southern Province near Balaka), rubies and sapphires (in the southwestern parts), as well as dolomite, kaolin, graphite, asbestos, building stones.

Malawi Climate

Malawi is located within the subequatorial climate zone. The climate is strongly influenced by the air masses that form over the water area of ​​Lake Nyasa. The average temperature of the warmest month (November) ranges from 20-23 ° C in the highest regions to 27 ° C in the lowest, the coldest (July), respectively, from 14-16 ° C to 19 ° C. The rainy summer season (November to April) and the dry winter season (May to October) stand out.

The dry season is divided into relatively cold (May – July) and warm (August – October) periods. The average annual precipitation is from 700 to 2500 mm, depending on the features of the relief and proximity to the lake. In depressions, 750-1000 mm of precipitation falls annually, on the plateaus 1000-1500 mm, in the most elevated regions 2000-2500 mm and more. The greatest amount of precipitation is observed on the Vipya and Nyika plateaus and in the Mulanje, Zomba, and Dedza mountain ranges; the Lower Shire plain receives the least precipitation.

In the highest mountains, frosts occur. There is no dry period at altitudes above 2000 m, fogs are frequent. In the southern regions of the country, due to the influence of tropical cyclones, heavy rainfall often falls, leading to floods. There is no dry period at altitudes above 2000 m, fogs are frequent. In the southern regions of the country, due to the influence of tropical cyclones, heavy rainfall often falls, leading to floods. There is no dry period at altitudes above 2000 m, fogs are frequent. In the southern regions of the country, due to the influence of tropical cyclones, heavy rainfall often falls, leading to floods.

Inland waters

About 90% of Malawi’s territory belongs to the Indian Ocean basin. Almost the entire hydrographic network of the country is connected with Lake Nyasa. The largest river on the territory is the Shire, the right tributary of the Zambezi flows from Lake Nyasa, and flows through Lake Malombe.

The maximum runoff is observed in summer, it is rather sharply expressed (more than 90% of the annual runoff occurs in December – June). Other rivers – South Rukuru, Dwangwa, Bua, Lilongwe – flow through the western part of Malawi, originate on the plateaus, and flow into Lake Nyasa, due to the presence of rapids and waterfalls, are unnavigable. The largest lake – Nyasa – the third largest in Africa, the main source of freshwater in the country, plays a decisive role in its socio-economic development.

The country is rich in water resources. Annually renewable water resources amount to 17.28 km3 (almost all of them are formed within Malawi), water supply is 1461 m3 / person per year (2002). Annual water withdrawal 0.9 km3; the main consumer of water (86%) is agriculture, 10% is used in housing and communal water supply, 4% in industry.

Groundwater reserves are 1.4 km3, most of them are concentrated in the area of ​​the Lower Shire plain. Malawi has built 9 medium-sized reservoirs (volume 43 million m3) – mainly for the needs of housing and communal services. Malawi is a party to agreements with Tanzania and Mozambique on the joint use of water resources.

Soils, flora, and fauna.

Mountain red soils are widespread in the northern and central parts of the country. Red-yellow ferrite soils are developed on the Lilongwe Plateau and in the southern part of Malawi. In the valleys of large rivers and lacustrine lowlands, alluvial and boggy tropical soils are widespread. The most fertile are vertisols, which form on the lacustrine plains and the Lower Shire plain. Significant slopes of the terrain and high economic development of the territory contribute to active soil erosion, which is highly susceptible to 30% of the total area of ​​the country.

About 20% of Malawi is forested; in the northern part, seasonally moist forests prevail, in the rest of the territory – dry deciduous forests. Altitudinal zonation is expressed in the mountains. Above 2000 m – mountain meadow landscapes. Due to the significant rates of agricultural development, deforestation processes are highly developed. About 37% of the country’s territory is occupied by savannas, woodlands, and grasslands. In the south of the country, dry woodlands are widespread mopane (with a predominance of the mopane tree) and miombo (with a predominance of brachistegia).

Large areas are occupied by grass, park, and acacia savannas with baobabs. In the central part, there are wet swampy forests with the participation of raffia and oil palms. In the river valleys, gallery forests, wet savannas, and swamps are common. The flora of the country has over 3700 species of higher plants, of which 13 are endangered. The most diverse are the mountain seasonally humid forests of the Mulanje massif, where, along with broad-leaved species, there are also southern conifers – juniper and viddringtonia.

The fauna is typical for savannahs. More than 190 species of mammals are known, of which 8 are endangered, including the African wild dog, cheetah, leopard, African lion, some species of antelope, elephant, black rhino, which are found exclusively within protected natural areas. The abundance of many large animals stands out in the swampy thickets of Lake Chilva (Shirva), where a large population of hippos lives.

There are numerous birds – over 219 species. 108 species of reptiles, 46 species of amphibians. More than 800 species of fish have been found in Lake Nyasa (less than 250 described), almost all of which are endemic. According to this indicator, the lake is characterized by the highest level of biological diversity of freshwater fish in the world.

Lake Malawi (Africa) Vacation Travel Video Guide

Protected areas cover 16% of the country’s territory. The largest of them is the Nyika, Livonde, Lengwe, and Kasungu national parks, the Nkota Kota, and Vwaza Marsh reserves. Lake Nyasa National Park (1984) and Chongoni rock paintings in the mountains of central Malawi (2006) are included in the UNESCO List of Natural and Cultural Heritage.


The majority of the population of Malawi (over 99%) are Bantu peoples, including Malawi – 53.1% (including Nyanja-cheva – 38%, Tumbuka – 8.8%, Sena – 3.6%); in the north live Nyakyusa (1.1%), Ndali, Lambya, in the west and in the center – Ngoni (11%), in the east – Tonga (2.1%), in the southeast – Lomwe (18%, including macua -Colle) and Yao (14%); Bemba, Shona (0.5%), Fipa (0.5%) and others also live in the country (2008, census). Malawi is also home to Sindhi (0.4%), Gujarati (0.3%), South Africans, Portuguese, and others (2009 est.).

Malawi’s population has grown 5.7 times since the 1950s (2.4 million in 1952; 3.8 million in 1964; 4.7 million in 1972; 6.5 million in 1984; 9.9 million in 1998; 11.7 million in 2003). The reproduction structure of the population of Malawi is typical of the least developed countries. Natural growth in 2010 was about 2.8%. High birth rates (39.7 per 1000 inhabitants in 2009) and mortality (11.8 per 1000 inhabitants) are characteristic.

Fertility rate 5.5 children per woman (2009); infant mortality 83.5 per 1000 live births (2010; one of the highest in the world). The population of Malawi is very young, with an average age of 17.1 years. In the age structure, the share of children (under 15) is 46.2%, people of working age (15-64 years old) – 50.7%, people 65 years and older – 3.1%. Low life expectancy: 50.9 years (men – 50.2, women – 51.6 years). There are 100 men per 100 women (2009). There is no influx of migrants into the country, some of the Malawians go to work in South Africa.

Average population density is 163.3 people / km2 (2010). The most densely populated districts of the Southern Province (up to 380 people / km2), the least densely populated is the Northern Province (70 people / km2), the population density of the Central Province is 168 people / km2 (2009). The urban population is 20% (2010), including 2/3 of the city dwellers are concentrated in the two largest cities of the country (thousand people, 2010) – Lilongwe (723.6) and Blantyre (694.5). Other significant cities are Mzuzu (138.3) and Zomba (91.9).

The economy employs over 6.3 million people (2009). In the structure of employment, agriculture accounts for 85%, services – about 8%, industry – about 7%. More than 1/2 of the population lives below the poverty line (2004).


About 51% of the population of Malawi are representatives of Protestant denominations (Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Anglicans, Seventh-day Adventists, Baptists, and others), about 29% are Catholics, about 13% are Muslims, about 3% are adherents of other faiths (adherents of traditional cults, Hindus, Baha’is, and others), about 4% do not identify themselves as belonging to any religious group (2007, estimate).


There are 1 metropolitanate (in Blantyre) and 4 dioceses of the Roman Catholic Church.  The largest Protestant organizations: Presbyterian Church of Africa (founded in 1898; also operates in South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe), 4 Anglican dioceses (part of the Church of the Province of Central Africa, founded in 1955).

Historical sketch

Malawi from ancient times to independence. The earliest archaeological findings on the territory of modern Malawi (stone hand axes, scrapers, knives) belong to the Paleolithic. Along the shores of Lake Nyasa and river valleys, sites and rock shelters of the Neolithic era were discovered. The remains of an ancient man (stand loop) who inhabited Malawi belongs to the Khoisan race (protobushmen).

At the beginning of the 1st millennium AD, the territory of Malawi was inhabited by gatherers and hunters – Bushmen (see the article San), as well as Bantu farmers and pastoralists who moved here. With the arrival of the Bantu-speaking peoples, who gradually assimilated the local population, iron-making, pottery, and weaving became widespread.

In the XI-XIV centuries, Bantu-speaking peoples settled in the north of modern Malawi and Zambia, who later began to call themselves Malawi (Maravi). Then they were pushed aside by the Bemba tribes to the central and southern regions of Malawi, where the state formation of Malawi, Maravi, was formed in the XIV century.

In the 15th century, during its heyday, it stretched from the Zambezi River in the south to the Dwangwa River in the north and from the Luangwa River in the west to the Mozambique Indian Ocean coast in the east. The rulers of Maravi traded with neighboring peoples and with the Portuguese who appeared in Malawi at the end of the 16th century (they sold slaves, ivory, and iron items). In the 18th century, as a result of internecine wars, Marawi disintegrated;

The northern territories of Malawi at the end of the 15th century were inhabited by the Tumbuk people, from the 16th century – by the Ngonde (Nyakyusa), united in the Ngonde chiefdom.

In the late 17th – early 18th centuries, part of the Ngonde moved to the Limpopo River, the remaining Ngonde were driven out by the Foka, Sukva, Henga, and Kamanga peoples who came from the north and northwest (they are practically branches of the Tumbuka people). In the 19th century, Swahili traders began to penetrate the territory of Malawi, in the 1840s – the Ngoni herders, in the 2nd half of the 19th century – the Yao who converted to Islam, at the end of the 19th century – the Makua peoples, and at the beginning of the 20th century – the Sena.

In the middle of the 19th century, Great Britain began to show interest in Malawi. In 1858-1864, during the expedition of D. Livingston, the basin of the Shire River and the shores of the lake, named Nyasa (local name – Malawi), were studied. In the years 1875-1892, several British missions were founded in Malawi. In 1889-1891, the emissaries of the British South Africa Company (BSAC), which received a charter from the British government to develop the territory of Malawi, imposed so-called allied treaties on the supreme rulers of state associations and tribal leaders.

In 1891, the Anglo-Portuguese treaty was signed on the division of the Zambezi River basin, after which, in the same year, the territory of Malawi has declared a British protectorate of Nyasaland (in 1893-1907 British Central Africa). The establishment of British rule met with resistance from the local population: until 1900, armed struggle against colonialists led Yao, until 1904 – Ngoni. In January 1915, an African uprising broke out in the southern regions under the leadership of the founder of one of the Afro-Christian sects J. Chilembwe, which was brutally suppressed by the authorities.

The mainstay of the Malawi economy is the cultivation of export crops. Tea, tobacco, and cotton were cultivated on the plantations of British settlers. Many Nyasaland residents worked in the mines of the Union of South Africa and other British holdings in Africa.

In the 1930s, the first African social organizations – the so-called indigenous associations – emerged in Malawi to demand political rights. In 1944, on their basis, a political organization was created – the African Congress of Nyasaland (AKN). In 1944-1946, advisory bodies were formed from representatives of the indigenous population – the provincial councils and the African Protectorate Council.

In 1953, the AKN opposed the federation of Nyasaland, Southern, and Northern Rhodesia. After the creation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953, the AKN fought to dissolve it and grant the country independence. In March 1959, the authorities declared a state of emergency and banned the activities of the AKN. In September of the same year, a new party was founded – the Congress of Malawi (CM), which in 1960 after his release from prison was headed by the former leader of the AKN, H.K. Gang. In 1961, the new constitution of Malawi entered into force.

In the August 1961 elections to the Legislative Council, the CM won most of the seats. Banda received the post of Minister of Natural Resources and Local Government. On February 1, 1963, Nyasaland was granted a regime of internal self-government, in February the government was headed by Banda; On December 31, 1963, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland is dissolved.

Malawi after independence.

On July 6, 1964, the independent state of Malawi was proclaimed within the British Commonwealth (see article Commonwealth). In the same year, the country’s constitution was adopted. The government of Malawi, led by H.K. The gang set a course for close cooperation with Western countries, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, and the widespread attraction of foreign investment. In September 1964, as a result of the political crisis caused by the disagreement of 6 members of the government with the pro-Western orientation of the country, Banda removed them from the cabinet and actually established a regime of personal power in the country.

In 1966, a new constitution for Malawi was adopted, establishing the post of president (Banda became it). The activities of opposition political parties were not formally prohibited, however, all trade unions and public organizations were brought under the control of the CM. In 1970, the CM convention declared Banda President for Life. Subsequent national elections were held on a non-alternative basis. The stability of the Banda regime in the 1960s-1970s was ensured by high rates of economic growth (through the use of funds received from exports and external assistance, in particular, South Africa).

In the 1980s, due to the fall in world prices for export goods (tobacco, tea), as well as the energy crisis, the economic situation in Malawi deteriorated sharply. Inflation and high unemployment have caused popular discontent and an increase in anti-government sentiment. On June 14, 1993, under pressure from opposition parties operating from abroad, the authorities held a referendum, which resulted in the introduction of a multi-party system in the country. On May 17, 1994, presidential and parliamentary elections were held. The victory was won by the leader of the United Democratic Front (UDF) B. Muluzi. In 1994 (entered into force in 1995) a new Constitution of Malawi was adopted, in 1999 Muluzi was re-elected for a second term.

The government of B. Muluzi as a whole continued the economic course of H.K. The gangs are relying mainly on financial assistance from the IMF and the IBRD. The economic situation remained extremely difficult, with most of the population in distress.

In 2004 B. VA Mutharika became the country’s president. His candidacy was proposed by the ruling UDF party, but in early 2005 he left it and formed a new party, which later became known as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

B. VA Mutarika began an active fight against corruption in the highest echelons of power, including those in the circle of former President B. Muluzi. After the food crisis in 2005, the government of Malawi launched a program to provide farmers with fertilizers, corn and beans seeds, and pesticides. In the May 2009 elections, Mutharika was re-elected president. The DPP won the parliamentary elections.

Diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and Malawi were established in 1993. Russian interests in Malawi are represented concurrently by the Russian Ambassador to Zimbabwe. The trade turnover between Russia and Malawi in 2008 amounted to 62 million US dollars, a significant part of this amount falls on Russian purchases of Malawi tobacco.


Malawi is an agricultural country, one of the least developed in the world. The export of agricultural products provides about 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

In the 1960s-1970s, with a favorable world market environment, the volume of agricultural production grew, large investment programs were carried out on income from agricultural exports (including in the field of energy, transport infrastructure, agriculture). By the late 1970s, Malawi ranked 1st in the world in the export of confectionery peanuts (up to 50% of the total value of world exports), 2nd in the production of dark varieties of tobacco, was the largest producer of tung oil among the Commonwealth countries.

Since the 1980s, after falling prices for major export commodities, Malawi’s economy has been unstable and dependent on assistance from international organizations and developed countries. Since the 1990s, Malawi’s economic development has been constrained by political instability. Since 1996, the privatization of public sector enterprises has begun. The droughts of the early 2000s resulted in food shortages; international food aid programs are being implemented. In the late XX – early XXI centuries, one of the priority areas of development in Malawi – international tourism.

The volume of GDP is 13.51 billion dollars (2010; at purchasing power parity), per capita is 900 dollars. Human Development Index 0.385 (2010; 153rd place among 169 countries of the world). In the structure of GDP, the service sector accounts for 44.9%, agriculture – 33.4%, industry, and construction – 21.7% (2010). Real GDP growth 6.5% (2010).


The structure of energy consumption is dominated by wood fuel and charcoal (93%). Electricity production by about 1.5 billion kWh (2006). The basis of the electric power industry is a cascade of hydroelectric power stations on the Shira River: Nkula Falls (124 thousand kW), Tedzani Falls (66.35 thousand kW), Kapichira (64.8 thousand kW).

About 10% of production is provided by thermal power plants (a number of small diesel stations in the administrative centers of the districts and a gas turbine thermal power plant in Blantyre with a capacity of 15 thousand kW). Oil imports are about 350 thousand tons per year. Uranium ores are mined (in the north of Malawi; the Australian company Paladin Energy Ltd.), limestone and other raw materials for the production of building materials.

The manufacturing industry is poorly developed. The main centers of industry and handicraft are Blantyre and Lilongwe. The most important is the primary processing of agricultural raw materials (flour mills, slaughterhouses, tobacco, tea, cotton ginning enterprises) and the food industry (production of sugar, vegetable oils, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages). Production of cotton, melange fabrics, footwear, leather dressing. Sawmills, furniture, matches production. Manufacture of detergents, perfumes, plastic, paints and varnishes, artificial fertilizers. Other products include cement, agricultural tools, wire, small hardware and metalwork, boilers,


About 25% of the territory is suitable for processing; about 20% (1.95 million ha) is cultivated; 45% of arable land is concentrated in the central part of the country and along the southern coast of Lake Nyasa. Over 50 thousand hectares are irrigated (the mid-2000s). In agricultural production, sectors are distinguished – community-patriarchal (with a predominance of subsistence farming), individual (peasant with semi-subsistence and small-scale farms; including growing technical and export crops) and plantation (with the participation of private, large foreign and state capital; up to 70% export agricultural products).

The main export crop is tobacco (collection of 195 thousand tons in 2008; 7th in the world and 1st in Africa); cultivated mainly in the central part of the country, including in the Lilongwe region; provides up to 2/3 of export earnings; the second most important is tea (42 thousand tons; second place in Africa after Kenya), which grows in the Shire Highlands in the southern part of Malawi.

Among other crops (collection, thousand tons) – sugar cane (2500; in the lower reaches of the Shire River and in the central part of the country near the shores of Lake Nyasa), peanuts (243.2; everywhere, the main harvesting areas are the Central Province and the Shire River Valley) and cotton (23.6; on the shores of Lake Nyasa and in the lower reaches of the Shire River).

The main food crop is corn (collected 2,949 thousand tons, 2008; occupies about 2/3 of arable land), which accounts for about half of the diet of Malawians. Among others (collection, thousand tons): cassava 3491.2, potatoes 2993.8, bananas 390.0, legumes about 275, fruits 198, vegetables 185.0, rice 114.9, sorghum 62.0. Food crops are grown almost everywhere, but most of the harvest is harvested in the lowlands of the Central and Southern provinces, off the coast of Lake Nyasa, in the valley of the Shire River.

Livestock raising is limited due to the lack of pastures and the spread of various tropical diseases, including trypanosomiasis. The livestock is dominated by small cattle (thousand heads, 2008): 3106.3 goats and 188.5 sheep; cattle 947.5, pigs 1229.5; poultry over 15 million heads. The main areas for breeding cattle are the Northern and Central provinces; the breeding of small livestock is mainly of an auxiliary nature and is widespread almost everywhere.

Fishing is developed. Most of the catch (only 68 thousand tons, 2007) falls on Lake Nyasa (the main fishing center is the Nkota-Kota district in the north of the Central Province) and is used for their own needs (typically a combination of fishing with subsistence farming). Harvesting of wood about 5.6 million m3 per year (2004), mainly for the production of charcoal.

Services sector.

Main industries: wholesale and retail trade, financial and administrative services, tourism. The influx of foreign tourists is over 750 thousand people per year (2009).


The main types of transport are rail, inland waterways, and automobiles. The total length of railways is 797 km (2008). The railway line Mchinji – Lilongwe – Salima – Blantyre – Nsanje has a connection with the port of Beira (Mozambique); branch Nakaya – Nayushi – Nakala (Mozambique). Most of the export cargo is transported by rail.

Inland waterway transport (Nyasa Lake and the Shire River are navigable) is widely used for freight and passenger traffic. The main ports on Lake Nyasa are Chipoka, Monkey Bay, Nkota-Kota, Chilumba. The total length of roads is 28.4 thousand km, of which over 1/4 are paved. The highest density of the road network is in the area of ​​Lilongwe and Blantyre. The main highway crosses the country from the north (from the border with Tanzania) to the south (to the border with Mozambique).  Lilongwe and Chileka (near Blantyre)are the International airports


International trade.

The foreign trade balance is negative: the value of merchandise exports is $ 1189 million, imports – $ 1,675 million (2010). The main export items (%, 2008): tobacco (about 60), sugar (5.0), tea (3.5), cotton (2.1), peanuts (1.0). Major importers of Malawi’s goods (%, 2009): Germany 12.4, Egypt 8.5, South Africa 7.7, Zimbabwe 7.6, USA 7.4, Russia 6.8, Netherlands 6.6. The most important imports are fertilizers, petroleum products, consumer goods, food, vehicles, and equipment. The main suppliers of goods (%, 2009): South Africa 40.2, PRC 6.8, India 6.7, France 5.0, Tanzania 4.8, Mozambique 4.0.

Military establishment

The Armed Forces (AF) of Malawi was formed in 1964, has 5.3 thousand people (2009), and consists of the Ground Forces (Land Forces). In addition, there are paramilitaries – mobile police (1.5 thousand people). Military annual budget – $ 42 million (2007).

The commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces is the head of state – the president.  The mobile police are subordinate to the president. The military-political course is aimed at maintaining close cooperation with Western countries and with South Africa.

The ground forces are the backbone of the aircraft. The combat structure of the SV includes battalions (3 infantry, 1 general support and 1 airborne), a medical company, an aviation wing (200 people), and a naval wing (220 people). In service are 41 BRMs (less than 20% technically sound), 9 field artillery guns, 8 mortars, 15 MANPADS, 1 patrol and 3 transport aircraft, 4 general-purpose helicopters, 15 patrols and landing boats (on Lake Nyasa, the basing point is Monki -Bey). Armament and military equipment are mainly of British production.

Manning of regular aircraft is carried out on a voluntary basis. Mobilization resources amount to 2.5 million people, including 1.3 million people fit for military service.

Health care

In Malawi, there are 1 doctor, 60 nurses, and midwives per 100 thousand inhabitants (2004). Total expenditures on health care account for 12.3% of GDP (budget financing – 71.3%, private sector – 28.7%) (2006). The legal regulation of the health care system is carried out by the Constitution (1994), laws: on the protection of the environment (1996), on labor protection, health, and welfare (1997), on the decentralization of public administration, including health care (1998).

The health care system includes three levels of medical care – the primary (rural hospitals, health centers, first-aid posts, outpatient clinics), secondary (district hospitals, clinics of the Christian Hospital Association of Malawi), tertiary (central specialized hospitals). Medical care is provided by the Ministry of Health and Population (60%), the Christian Health Association of Malawi (37%), private doctors, commercial companies, the army and police (2%), and the Ministry of Local Government (1%). The most common infections are bacterial and amoebic dysentery, hepatitis A, typhus, chikungunya, malaria, schistosomiasis (2009). Main causes of death: AIDS, bronchopulmonary diseases, malaria, intestinal infections, cerebrovascular diseases, tuberculosis (2006). Recreation areas – National Parks Livonde and Nyika, Lake Nyasa.

Medical care is provided by the Ministry of Health and Population (60%), the Christian Health Association of Malawi (37%), private doctors, commercial companies, the army and police (2%), and the Ministry of Local Government (1%). The most common infections are bacterial and amoebic dysentery, hepatitis A, typhus, chikungunya, malaria, schistosomiasis (2009). Main causes of death: AIDS, bronchopulmonary diseases, malaria, intestinal infections, cerebrovascular diseases, tuberculosis (2006). Recreation areas – National Parks Livonde and Nyika, Lake Nyasa. Medical care is provided by the Ministry of Health and Population (60%), the Christian Health Association of Malawi (37%), private doctors, commercial companies, the army and police (2%), and the Ministry of Local Government (1%).

The most common infections are bacterial and amoebic dysentery, hepatitis A, typhus, chikungunya, malaria, schistosomiasis (2009). Main causes of death: AIDS, bronchopulmonary diseases, malaria, intestinal infections, cerebrovascular diseases, tuberculosis (2006). Recreation areas – National Parks Livonde and Nyika, Lake Nyasa. commercial companies, army, and police (2%), Ministry of Local Government (1%). The most common infections are bacterial and amoebic dysentery, hepatitis A, typhus, chikungunya, malaria, schistosomiasis (2009). Main causes of death: AIDS, bronchopulmonary diseases, malaria, intestinal infections, cerebrovascular diseases, tuberculosis (2006). Recreation areas – National Parks Livonde and Nyika, Lake Nyasa.

commercial companies, army, and police (2%), Ministry of Local Government (1%). The most common infections are bacterial and amoebic dysentery, hepatitis A, typhus, chikungunya, malaria, schistosomiasis (2009). Main causes of death: AIDS, bronchopulmonary diseases, malaria, intestinal infections, cerebrovascular diseases, tuberculosis (2006). Recreation areas – National Parks Livonde and Nyika, Lake Nyasa. cerebrovascular disease, tuberculosis (2006). Recreation areas – National Parks Livonde and Nyika, Lake Nyasa. cerebrovascular disease, tuberculosis (2006). Recreation areas – National Parks Livonde and Nyika, Lake Nyasa.


The Malawi Olympic Association was founded in 1968 and recognized by the IOC in the same year. Athletes from Malawi participated in the Olympic Games 8 times (made their debut in Munich, 1972), they did not take prizes. Among the most popular sports are football (the national federation was founded in 1966, since 1968 in FIFA), chess (since 2006 the men’s national team has been participating in the World Chess Olympiads), tennis (the national federation was founded in 1966; 15 clubs, 50 courts), boxing, basketball, badminton, cycling, track and field athletics.

Education. Institutions of science and culture

The education system includes compulsory free 8-year primary school, 4-year high school, 4-year higher education. Preschool education is poorly developed. Vocational education can be obtained in technical colleges, vocational schools, technical schools, and training courses. Primary education (2007) covered 87% of children, secondary – 24%.

The literacy of the population over the age of 15 is 71.8% (according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics). There are 2 public universities in the system of higher education: the University of Malawi at Zomba [1964, it includes Chancellor (Zomba), Kamuzu, and Agricultural (Lilongwe), Polytechnic and Medical (Blantyre) Colleges], Mzuzu University (1999).

There are a number of private universities in Blantyre, Kasungu, and Lilongwe. Malawi National Archives at Zomba (1947). Malawi National Library Service in Lilongwe (1968). Museum of Malawi in Blantyre (1959). Scientific institutions include the Geological Survey in Zomba (1921), the Malawi Society in Blantyre (1948), agricultural research stations (in Lilongwe, Salim, and others), the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Lilongwe (1974), Forestry Institutes (Zomba), and fishing industry (Monkey Bay).

Mass media

Newspapers are published in English “The Daily Times” (city of Blantyre, since 1895, daily, circulation of 8,4 thousand copies), “Malawi Government Gazette” (city of Zomba, since 1894, weekly); in English and Chichev – “The Malawi News” (city of Blantyre, since 1959, weekly, 18 thousand copies), “The African” (city of Lilongwe, since 1950, 14 thousand copies), the magazine “This is Malawi” ( city ​​of Blantyre, since 1971, monthly, 15 thousand copies) and others.

Radio (in English and local languages) since 1964, television (in English) since 1999. Television and radio broadcasts are broadcast by the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (founded in 1964), Television Malawi (founded in 1998). National News Agency – Malawi News Agency (MANA,


Malawi’s literature is developed in English. The first works were of an educational nature: historical and ethnographic essays by S.J. Ntara (“Man of Africa”, 1934; “History of the Archiv people”, 1937) and E.V. Chafulumirs (Our Family, 1940); fictionalized biographies of African leaders, rule books, teachings, practical advice.

In the mid-1960s, the formation of national poetry began (D. Rubadiri, J. Mapanje, F. Mntali), as well as large prose genres: historical and everyday life novels by L. Kayira (“I will try”, 1965; “Shadow of the Past “, 1968;” Jingala “, 1969), socio-political novels by O. Kachingwe (” Hard Business “, 1962) and Rubadiri (” Bride without Ransom “, 1967). Censorship, introduced during the presidency of H.K. The gangs forced some Malawian writers to leave the country. The largest work of Malawian prose of the 1970s was Kayira’s exiled socio-political novel The Prisoner (1974), which denounced the Banda regime.

Since the early 1970s, prose has dominated Malawi’s literature: educational and didactic novels by T. Banda (Sekani’s Decision, 1979; Bitter Disappointment, 1987), D. Kamkondo (The Secret Will Be Clear, 1986; “For the Living”, 1989), detective novels by J. Gang (“The Stunning Revelation”, “The Straight Path to Death”, both 1991). In the early 1990s, there was an upsurge in the work of Malawian emigrant writers: the social and political novels “Smoldering Coal” by P.T.

Architecture and fine arts

From the beginning of the colonial period, buildings were erected in the mainstream of eclecticism in Malawi; the earliest – the house of the manager of the Mandala company in Blantyre (1882), the “old residence” of the British consul in Zomba (1886), the Church of St. Michael and All Angels in Blantyre (1888-1891), the House of State (the governor’s residence; 1898, 1902) in Zomba. From the middle of the 20th century, buildings in the style of modernism appeared in Malawi, and reinforced concrete began to be used (Parliament building in Zomba, 1957).

With the proclamation of independence, administrative buildings were actively built (including the New State House in Lilongwe in line with modernism, 1960-1980s; Representative offices of the Reserve Bank of Malawi in Lilongwe and Blantyre, 1970-1990s, in the spirit of postmodernism), educational institutions, including branches of the University of Malawi [academic building (1973) and the Great Hall of Chancellor College (1982) in Zomba, the building of the Polytechnic College in Blantyre (the late 1960s – early 1970s )], multi-story office and hotel buildings, shopping centers in the styles of brutalism and postmodernism.

Among the buildings of the early XXI centuries is the mausoleum of H.K. Gangs in Lilongwe (2006). shopping centers in the styles of brutalism and postmodernism. Among the buildings of the beginning of the XXI centuries – the mausoleum of H.K. Gangs in Lilongwe (2006). shopping centers in the styles of brutalism and postmodernism. Among the buildings of the beginning of the XXI centuries – the mausoleum of H.K. Gangs in Lilongwe (2006).

Professional visual arts began to develop actively in Malawi after the declaration of independence and the creation of an art education system at the University of Malawi (from the late 1960s). The sculptor B. Kaunda, the sculptor, and painter V. Nampa, the painter K. Chiromo combined the local traditions of sculpture and arts and crafts with the experience of modernism, using clay, wood, stone, concrete as a material, combining oil painting and applique. Other Malawian artists include K. Mede, L. Dimova, graphic cartoonists V. Kasinja and B. Hara. Traditional crafts include the production of batik, masks, jewelry, wooden figurines, furniture, and household items, ceramics,


Musical culture is represented by the traditions of Malawi, Ngoni, Yao, Makua, and other peoples, as well as modern styles and forms influenced by Western music. In traditional culture, a significant place is occupied by ritual (in the rites of initiation, healing, funeral, and others; music of secret societies) and entertainment music, instrumental music is developed (playing xylophones, lamellaphones, lutes, zithers, drum ensembles, and others). In the homes of the chiefs in the Chikwawa and Blantyre districts, ritual dances with music were practiced. In the central regions of Malawi, dance rituals and mask dances (chizangala, chichlembwe) are widespread,

Portuguese music penetrated Malawi in the middle of the 16th century, and English music at the end of the 19th century. Western music was taught in church schools. As a result of contacts with European music, peculiar choral styles have developed. From the middle of the 20th century, a system of primary music education of the Western-type has been formed, and concert practice has been developing.

American, South African, Indian, Hawaiian musical styles gained popularity among the population, in the 1940-1950s the group dances of sabasaba, shinjonjo, wula matambo, pair dances jore (dansi yogviana-gwilana), accompanied by instrumental ensembles, which include a guitar, spread, banjo, accordion.

Traditional musicians include nyanja Mfundo (zither bangwe, nngoli lute); Sena Chamboko Chinamulungu, Matulo Malulira (bangwe), Johnny Zuse (xylophone walimba); ambo Mulimanteve (humorous songs, zither bangwe, lamellafon sansi); Yao Wisoni Msusa, Meriam Amasi (xylophones), Chitenje Tambala (songs-legends, fables, zither bangwe).

Among the ensembles known are the Kambazite Makolekole Valimba Band (Chikwava District), Fumbi Jazz Band; among popular musicians (singers, guitarists, banjo performers, and others) – Daniel and Donald Cachamba, Paseli brothers, Ndiche brothers, Mofolo Chilimbvalo, Sosa Molesi, Deco Sato, Bunty Chapola, Allan Namoko, Michael Eka.

The study of the musical traditions of Malawi has been conducted since the beginning of the 20th century (the first records were Ngoni songs), systematic study – from the 2nd half of the 20th century. Audio and video materials are stored at the University of Malawi at Zomba.

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