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Introduction - Malawi:
BackgroundEstablished in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964. After three decades of one-party rule under President Hastings Kamuzu BANDA the country held multiparty elections in 1994, under a provisional constitution which came into full effect the following year. Current President Bingu wa MUTHARIKA, elected in May 2004 after a failed attempt by the previous president to amend the constitution to permit another term, struggled to assert his authority against his predecessor, culminating in MUTHARIKA quitting the political party on whose ticket he was elected into office. MUTHARIKA subsequently started his own party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and has continued with a halting anti-corruption campaign against abuses carried out under the previous regime. Increasing corruption, population growth, increasing pressure on agricultural lands, and the spread of HIV/AIDS pose major problems for the country.
Location - Malawi:
LocationSouthern Africa, east of Zambia
Geographic coordinates13 30 S, 34 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Areatotal: 118,480 sq km
land: 94,080 sq km
water: 24,400 sq km
Area comparativeslightly smaller than Pennsylvania
Land boundariestotal: 2,881 km
border countries: Mozambique 1,569 km, Tanzania 475 km, Zambia 837 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)
Climatesub-tropical; rainy season (November to May); dry season (May to November)
Terrainnarrow elongated plateau with rolling plains, rounded hills, some mountains
Elevation extremeslowest point: junction of the Shire River and international boundary with Mozambique 37 m
highest point: Sapitwa (Mount Mlanje) 3,002 m
Natural resourceslimestone, arable land, hydropower, unexploited deposits of uranium, coal, and bauxite
Land usearable land: 20.68%
permanent crops: 1.18%
other: 78.14% (2005)
Irrigated land560 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardsNA
Environment current issuesdeforestation; land degradation; water pollution from agricultural runoff, sewage, industrial wastes; siltation of spawning grounds endangers fish populations
Environment international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography notelandlocked; Lake Nyasa, some 580 km long, is the countrys most prominent physical feature
People - Malawi:
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 46.1% (male 3,143,724/female 3,130,937)
15-64 years: 51.2% (male 3,491,114/female 3,474,209)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 155,954/female 207,243) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 16.7 years
male: 16.6 years
female: 16.8 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate2.383% (2007 est.)
Birth rate42.09 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate18.25 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.004 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.005 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.753 male(s)/female
total population: 0.997 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 92.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 96.27 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 87.85 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 42.98 years
male: 43.35 years
female: 42.61 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate5.74 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate14.2% (2003 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids900,000 (2003 est.)
Hiv aids deaths84,000 (2003 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Malawian(s)
adjective: Malawian
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and plague are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2007)
Ethnic groupsChewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, Ngonde, Asian, European
ReligionsChristian 79.9%, Muslim 12.8%, other 3%, none 4.3% (1998 census)
LanguagesChichewa 57.2% (official), Chinyanja 12.8%, Chiyao 10.1%, Chitumbuka 9.5%, Chisena 2.7%, Chilomwe 2.4%, Chitonga 1.7%, other 3.6% (1998 census)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 62.7%
male: 76.1%
female: 49.8% (2003 est.)
Government - Malawi:
Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Malawi
conventional short form: Malawi
local long form: Dziko la Malawi
local short form: Malawi
former: British Central African Protectorate, Nyasaland Protectorate, Nyasaland
Government typemultiparty democracy
Capitalname: Lilongwe
geographic coordinates: 13 59 S, 33 47 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions27 districts; Balaka, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Chitipa, Dedza, Dowa, Karonga, Kasungu, Likoma, Lilongwe, Machinga (Kasupe), Mangochi, Mchinji, Mulanje, Mwanza, Mzimba, Ntcheu, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Nsanje, Ntchisi, Phalombe, Rumphi, Salima, Thyolo, Zomba
Independence6 July 1964 (from UK)
National holidayIndependence Day (Republic Day), 6 July (1964)
Constitution18 May 1994
Legal systembased on English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Appeal; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Bingu wa MUTHARIKA (since 24 May 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Bingu wa MUTHARIKA (since 24 May 2004)
cabinet: 46-member Cabinet named by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 20 May 2004 (next to be held in May 2009)
election results: Bingu wa MUTHARIKA elected president; percent of vote - Bingu wa MUTHARIKA 35.9%, John TEMBO 27.1%, Gwandaguluwe CHAKUAMBA 25.7%, Brown MPINGANJIRA 8.7%, Justin MALEWEZI 2.5%
Legislative branchunicameral National Assembly (193 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 20 May 2004 (next to be held in May 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UDF 74, MCP 60, independents 24, RP 16, others 18, vacancies 1
Judicial branchSupreme Court of Appeal; High Court (chief justice appointed by the president, puisne judges appointed on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission); magistrates courts
Political parties and leadersAlliance for Democracy or AFORD; Congress for National Unity or CONU; Democratic Progressive Party or DPP [Bingu wa MUTHARIKA]; Malawi Congress Party or MCP [John TEMBO]; Malawi Democratic Party or MDP [Kampelo KALUA]; Malawi Forum for Unity and Development or MAFUNDE [George MNESA]; Mgwirizano Coalition or MC [Gwandaguluwe CHAKUAMBA] (coalition of MAFUNDE, MDP, MGODE, NUP, PETRA, PPM, RP); Movement for Genuine Democratic Change or MGODE [Sam Kandodo BANDA]; National Democratic Alliance or NDA [Brown MPINGANJIRA]; National Unity Party or NUP [Harry CHIUME]; Peoples Progressive Movement or PPM [Aleke BANDA]; Peoples Transformation Movement or PETRA [Kamuzu CHIBAMBO]; Republican Party or RP [Gwandaguluwe CHAKUAMBA]; United Democratic Front or UDF
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador Hawa NDILOWE
chancery: 1156 15th Street, NW, Suite 320, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 721-0270
FAX: [1] (202) 721-0288
Diplomatic representation from the uschief of mission: Ambassador Alan EASTHAM
embassy: Area 40, Plot 24, Kenyatta Road
mailing address: P. O. Box 30016, Lilongwe 3, Malawi
telephone: [265] (1) 773 166
FAX: [265] (1) 770 471
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and green with a radiant, rising, red sun centered in the black band
Government noteno party has a majority in the fractured legislature
Economy - Malawi:
Economy overviewLandlocked Malawi ranks among the worlds least developed countries. The economy is predominately agricultural, with about 85% of the population living in rural areas. Agriculture accounts for about one-third of GDP and four-fifths of export revenues. The performance of the tobacco sector is key to short-term growth as tobacco accounts for more than half of exports. The economy depends on substantial inflows of economic assistance from the IMF, the World Bank, and individual donor nations. In 2006, Malawi was approved for relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program. The government faces many challenges, including developing a market economy, improving educational facilities, facing up to environmental problems, dealing with the rapidly growing problem of HIV/AIDS, and satisfying foreign donors that fiscal discipline is being tightened. In 2005, President MUTHARIKA championed an anticorruption campaign. Since 2005 President MUTHARIKAS government has exhibited improved financial discipline under the guidance of Finance Minister Goodall GONDWE.
Gdp purchasing power parity $8.272 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $2.202 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate8.5% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $600 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 35.4%
industry: 17.6%
services: 47% (2006 est.)
Labor force4.5 million (2001 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 90%
industry and services: 10% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
Population below poverty line53% (2004)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income gini index50.3 (1997)
Inflation rate consumer prices 13.9% (2006)
Investment gross fixed 9.2% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $818.4 million
expenditures: $895.9 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Public debt68.4% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture productstobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (tapioca), sorghum, pulses, groundnuts, Macadamia nuts; cattle, goats
Industriestobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement, consumer goods
Industrial production growth rate6.4% (2006 est.)
Electricity production1.293 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption1.202 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)
Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)
Oil production0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil consumption5,500 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exportsNA bbl/day
Oil importsNA bbl/day
Oil proved reserves0 bbl
Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance-$186 million (2006 est.)
Exports$513.1 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiestobacco 53%, tea, sugar, cotton, coffee, peanuts, wood products, apparel
Exports partnersSouth Africa 12.9%, Germany 9.9%, Egypt 9.8%, US 9.7%, Mozambique 5.5%, Russia 5.5%, Netherlands 4.5% (2006)
Imports$767.9 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiesfood, petroleum products, semimanufactures, consumer goods, transportation equipment
Imports partnersSouth Africa 29.3%, Zambia 9.3%, Zimbabwe 7.8%, Mozambique 7.2%, India 6.9%, US 5.4%, Tanzania 5% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$175.5 million (2006 est.)
Debt external$982.4 million (2006 est.)
Economic aid recipient$401.5 million (2001)
Currency code Malawian kwacha (MWK)
Exchange ratesMalawian kwachas per US dollar - 135.96 (2006), 108.894 (2005), 108.898 (2004), 97.433 (2003), 76.687 (2002)
Communications - Malawi:
Fiscal year1 July - 30 June
Telephones main lines in use102,700 (2005)
Telephones mobile cellular429,300 (2005)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: NA
domestic: system employs open-wire lines, microwave radio relay links, and radiotelephone communications stations
international: country code - 265; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stationsAM 9, FM 5 (plus 15 repeater stations), shortwave 2 (plus one shortwave station on standby) (2001)
Television broadcast stations1 (2001)
Internet country
Internet hosts377 (2006)
Internet users59,700 (2006)
Transportation - Malawi:
Airports42 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 6
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 36
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 15
under 914 m: 20 (2006)
Railwaystotal: 797 km
narrow gauge: 797 km 1.067-m gauge (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 15,451 km
paved: 6,956 km
unpaved: 8,495 km (2003)
Waterways700 km (on Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and Shire River) (2007)
Ports and terminalsChipoka, Monkey Bay, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Chilumba
Military - Malawi:
Military branchesMalawi Armed Forces: Army (includes Air Wing and Naval Detachment) (2007)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2001)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 2,430,514 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 1,226,802 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp1.3% (2006)
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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