Portal:Malawi

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Malawi ( /məˈlɔːwi, məˈlɑːwi, ˈmæləwi/; Chewa [maláβi] or [maláwi]), officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeastern Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the west, Tanzania to the north and northeast, and Mozambique to the east, south and southwest. Malawi spans over 118,484 km2 (45,747 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 19,431,566 (as of January 2021). Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa, takes up about a third of Malawi's area.[ disputed ] Malawi's capital (and largest city) is Lilongwe. Its second-largest is Blantyre, its third-largest is Mzuzu and its fourth-largest is its former capital, Zomba. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name for the Chewa people who inhabit the area. The country is nicknamed "The Warm Heart of Africa" because of the friendliness of its people.

The part of Africa now known as Malawi was settled around the 10th century by migrating Bantu groups. Centuries later, in 1891, the area was colonized by the British and became a protectorate of the United Kingdom known as Nyasaland. In 1953, it became a protectorate within the semi-independent Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The Federation was dissolved in 1963. In 1964, the protectorate was ended: Nyasaland became an independent country under Queen Elizabeth II, and was renamed Malawi. Two years later it became a republic. It gained full independence from the United Kingdom, and by 1970 had become a totalitarian one-party state under the presidency of Hastings Banda, who remained in this role until 1994. Today, Malawi has a democratic, multi-party republic headed by an elected president. Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party led the Tonse Alliance grouping of nine political parties and won the court-mandated Presidential Election rerun held on 23 June 2020 after the May 2019 Presidential Election was annulled due to massive electoral irregularities. The country's military, the Malawian Defence Force, includes an army, a navy, and an air wing. Malawi's foreign policy is pro-Western. It maintains positive diplomatic relations with most countries, and participates 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).

Malawi is among the world's least-developed countries. The economy is heavily based on agriculture, and it has a largely rural and rapidly growing population. The Malawian government depends heavily on outside aid to meet its development needs, although the amount needed (and the aid offered) has decreased since 2000. The Malawian government faces challenges in its efforts to build and expand the economy, improve education, healthcare, and environmental protection, and become financially independent despite widespread unemployment. Since 2005, Malawi has developed several programs that focus on addressing these issues, and the country's outlook appears to be improving: Key indicators of progress in the economy, education, and healthcare were seen in 2007 and 2008.

Malawi has a low life expectancy and high infant mortality. HIV/AIDS is highly prevalent, which both reduces the labor force and requires increased government expenditures. The country has a diverse population that includes native peoples, Asians, and Europeans. Several languages are spoken, and there is an array of religious beliefs. Although in the past there was a periodic regional conflict fueled in part by ethnic divisions, by 2008 this internal conflict had considerably diminished, and the idea of identifying with one's Malawian nationality had reemerged. ( Full article...)

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Prevalence of HIV/AIDS in adult (ages 15–49) populations (1999–2002)

, approximately 1,100,000 people in Malawi are HIV-positive, which represents 10.8% of the country's population. Because the Malawian government was initially slow to respond to the epidemic under the leadership of Hastings Banda (1966–1994), the prevalence of HIV/AIDS increased drastically between 1985, when the disease was first identified in Malawi, and 1993, when HIV prevalence rates were estimated to be as high as 30% among pregnant women. The Malawian food crisis in 2002 resulted, at least in part, from a loss of agricultural productivity due to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Various degrees of government involvement under the leadership of Bakili Muluzi (1994–2004) and Bingu wa Mutharika (2004–2012) resulted in a gradual decline in HIV prevalence, and, in 2003, many people living in Malawi gained access to antiretroviral therapy. Condoms have become more widely available to the public through non-governmental organizations, and more Malawians are taking advantage of HIV testing services.

Due to several successful television and radio campaigns by the Malawian government and non-governmental organizations in Malawi, levels of awareness regarding HIV/AIDS are high among the general population. However, many men have adopted fatalistic attitudes in response to the epidemic, convincing themselves that death from AIDS is inevitable; on the other hand, some have implemented preventive techniques such as partner selection to try to reduce their risk of infection. Although many women have developed strategies to protect themselves from HIV, women are more likely to be HIV-positive than men in Malawi. The epidemic has affected sexual relationships between partners, who must cooperate to protect themselves from the disease. In addition, many teachers exclude HIV/AIDS from their curricula because they are uncomfortable discussing the topic or because they do not feel knowledgeable about the issue, and, therefore, many children are not exposed to information about HIV/AIDS at school. Finally, the epidemic has produced significant numbers of orphans in Malawi, leaving children vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. ( Full article...)
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St Michael and All Angels Church facade, Blantyre, Malawi.JPG

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11 June 2021 – Malawi–South Africa relations
The South Africa Department of International Relations orders several Malawian diplomats and their families to leave within 72 hours after police found they were illegally selling duty-free alcohol. (Al Jazeera English)
6 March 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Malawi
Malawi receives its first shipment of 360,000 doses of the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX vaccine-sharing initiative. (VOA)
22 December 2020 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Malawi
Malawi closes its borders for 14 days and restricts public gatherings to no more than 100 people due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. (Malawi 24)

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Lake Malawi fisherman sunrise.jpg
Credit: Steve Evans

A fisherman Lake Malawi, Africa's third largest freshwater lake.

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