The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and it borders 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 with an estimated population of more than 13,900,000. Its capital is Lilongwe, the biggest city is Blantyre. The name Malawi comes 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.
Politics of Malawi takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Malawi is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. There is a cabinet of Malawi that is appointed by the President of Malawi. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The government of Malawi has been a multi-party democracy since 1964.
Malawi has a multi-party system with over 40 registered political parties. The political process in Malawi is such that parties are voted into power. Parties participate in an electoral process. The parties with the most representation in the National Assembly are the People's Party (PP), Malawi Congress Party (MCP), United Democratic Front (UDF), and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Others are: Alliance for Democracy, Mgwirizo Coalition and National Democratic Alliance
By the Numbers
Secondary incomplete: 19%
Secondary complete: 7%
Primary complete: 11%
Primary Incomplete: 57%
Post -Secondary: 1%
No Education: 5%
women in government
Women’s political representation has improved with political liberalization and multiparty politics in Malawi. There has been a slow but steady increase in women MPs, to a peak of 43 in 2009 (22.3%). In the election on 20 May 2014, however, women MPs won just 16.6% of the total.
Despite being led by a female president for almost two years, Malawian women are less likely to be involved in political discussions and show less interest in public affairs than their male counterparts, according to a 20By the Numbers education Secondary incomplete: 19% Secondary complete: 7% Primary complete: 11% Primary Incomplete: 57% Post -Secondary: 1% No Education: 5% women in government Women’s political representation has improved with political liberalization and multiparty politics in Malawi. There has been a slow but steady increase in women MPs, to a peak of 43 in 2009 (22.3%). In the election on 20 May 2014, however, women MPs won just 16.6% of the total. 14 Afrobarometer survey. Women in Malawi are also less likely than men to attend a political rally or campaign meeting, to persuade others to vote for a candidate, and to work for a political candidate. From 22% in 2009 to 17% in 2014) despite several national efforts to enhance women’s participation in politics.