Malawi: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, history, size, population, and government of the country Malawi.



Location--In East Africa; to the east, Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa); to the east, south and west, Mozambique; to the west, Zambia; to the north, Tanzania.

How Created--Originally the British protectorate of Nyasaland, its borders were arbitrarily set by the British. It was explored by David Livingstone, and developed under a charter given to Cecil Rhodes in 1884.

Size--45,747 sq. mi. (118,484 sq. km.), about the size of Pennsylvania.

Population--Over 5 million: African (Chewa, Nyanja, Lomwe, Yao, Tumbuka, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, and Ngonde), 99.4%; Asian, European, and other, 0.6%. 30% Animist, 23% Presbyterian, 20% Muslim, 18% Roman Catholic, 9% other Protestant.

Who Rules--Dr. H. (Hastings) Kamuza Banda has been declared "President for life." He is the sole head of state. The 55-member National Assembly is the single legislative body, with 50 of its members elected by universal adult suffrage, and 5 nominated by the President.

Who REALLY Rules--Malawi is extremely poor and needs all the help it can get. A member of the Commonwealth of Nations, it accepts aid from many Westerns nations, on a policy of "discretionary nonalignment." Aid and investments come from Denmark, West Germany, France, Britain, the U.S., Portugal, and some communist countries too. Malawi also relies on South Africa and Rhodesia for access to the sea, and has been strongly criticized for its increasing dependence on trade with South Africa. Malawi is the only African nation with full diplomatic relations with South Africa; other black radical leaders have expressed their anger at this to Banda, who replies that it has increased Malawi's trade, attracted South African tourists, drawn $25 million in aid from South Africa as well as South African private investments, and assured work for more Malawi migrant workers in South Africa. Banda claims, "I would do business with the devil himself to further the interests of the people of my country."

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