Malawi Country Profile

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About Malawi.

Media Info

Radio is the medium of choice, and state-run MBC is the main national broadcaster. A state TV station opened in 1999.

The private press presents a range of opinions, although the government has used libel and other laws to put pressure on newspaper journalists. Self-censorship is common, particularly at state-run outlets, says US-based Freedom House.

Changes to the Penal Code, adopted in 2011, allow the information minister to stop the publication or importation of a print title on the grounds that it would be against the “public interest”.

General Info

Malawi, a largely agricultural country, is making efforts to overcome decades of underdevelopment, corruption and the impact of an HIV-Aids problem, which claims the lives of tens of thousands every year.

A programme to tackle HIV-Aids was launched in 2004, with the then-President Bakili Muluzi revealing that his brother had died from the disease.

Malawi is one of the world’s worst-hit by HIV-Aids and home to more than one million children orphaned by the disease.

For the first 30 years of independence Malawi was run by an authoritarian and quixotic President Hastings Kamuzu Banda, but democratic institutions have taken a firm hold since he relinquished power in the mid-1990s.

Most Malawians rely on subsistence farming, but the food supply situation is precarious because of the climate.

In recent years the country has achieved economic growth.

The Republic of Malawi

Capital: Lilongwe

Population: 15.9 million

Major Languages: English (official), Chichewa (Both official)

Life expectancy: 55 years (men), 55 years (women)

Currency: Malawi Kwacha (1 ZAR = 53.9 MWK)

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