Republic of Malawi

Republic of Malawi

Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. The part of Africa now known as Malawi was settled by migrating Bantu groups around the 10th century. Centuries later in 1891 the area was colonised by the British as British Central Africa. In 1907, it became a Protectorate named Nyasaland.

In 1953 Malawi in joined the Federation of Rhodesia & Nyasaland. The Federation was dissolved in 1963 and in 1964 the protectorate over Nyasaland was ended and Nyasaland became an independent country under Queen Elizabeth II with the new name Malawi. Two years later it became a republic.

Upon gaining independence it became a totalitarian one-party state under the presidency of Hastings Banda, who remained president until 1994. Malawi now has a democratic, multi-party government headed by an elected president, currently Lazarus Chakwera.

Malawi’s foreign policy is pro-Western and includes positive diplomatic relations with most countries and participation in several international organisations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the African Union (AU).