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Useful Notes / Malawi

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Malawi, officially the Republic of Malawi, or "The Warm Heart of Africa", is a small East African country of just over 15 million people. It borders Mozambique on the east and south, Tanzania on the northeast, and Zambia on the northwest. The capital and largest city is Lilongwe, in the southern part of the country.

Malawi was settled by migrating Bantu groups around the 10th century AD. Eventually, in 1891, Britain came along and colonized the area. Malawi, known as Nyasaland back then, soon became part of the semi-independent central African Federation (CAF). Only 11 years after, the small African country gained independence from Britain in 1964, and was renamed from Nyasaland to Malawi. The country's first president, lasting from the country's independence until 1994, was Hastings Banda (his legacy is and remains controversial). Following his stepdown, Bakili Muluzi was the president until 2004. Following Muluzi was Bingu wa Mutharika, who became the new president and was in power until he died of a sudden and unexpected heart attack in early April 2012. Since then, the current president is Joyce Banda (contrary to belief, she is not, nor has she, been related to Hastings Banda).


Malawi has been noted for its high HIV/AIDS rate, with approximately 11.90% of the population infected. The Malawian government currently depends very heavily on outside aid so development needs can meet (even though this has actually decreased since 2000). Education, health care, building, expanding the economy, environmental protection, and becoming financially independent are among other challenges the Malawian government face. Malawi was experiancing a period of calm stability until 2011 when a horde of protesters, incited by fuel shortages, rising prices, and high unemployment rates, hit the streets in July of that year, forcing security forces under Mutharika's commands to retaliate in violence - at least 19 people were killed during this event. After Mutharika died of a heart attack in April of 2012 and Joyce Banda, Mutharika's vice president assumed the presidency (according to the democratic process) everyone is hoping that Malawi will mark the return of its more stable times.


The Malawian flag

The flag uses the Marcus Garvey variant of the Pan-African colors. The black, red and green stripes symbolize the African people, the blood they shed in the name of liberty, and nature, respectively. At the middle of the black stripe is a red rising sun with rays, symbolizing the dawn of hope for a free Africa.

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