Malawi Population, Politics and Economy
According to directoryaah, Malawi has about 18 million residents and is one of the poorest countries in the world. The population is mainly composed of Bantu ethnic groups (Chichewa, Nyanja, Lomwe, Yao, Sena). People of Indian descent belong to a small minority. A quarter of the country’s residents are infected with HIV.
About 82% of the population are Christians, 11% Muslims and 7% followers of traditional religions. Among the Christians, the Catholics are the most strongly represented faction, followed by the supporters of various African-influenced church congregations, evangelicals and Pentecostals as well as Anglists, Adventists and Malawian Baptists. During the Banda regime, the minority of Jehovah’s Witnesses was persecuted for their strict party-political neutrality, and they have now grown back to 65,000.
The official and business language in Malawi is English. Chichewa is one of the national languages and is spoken by around 60% of the population. There are also other Bantu languages such as Chiyanja, Chiyao, Chitumbuka, Lomwe and Sena.
Politics and Economy in Malawi
The 1966 constitution, manifested after independence in 1964, identifies Malawi as a presidential republic in the British-influenced Commonwealth of Nations. It was not until 1993 that the introduction of a multi-party system was decided after a referendum, which replaced the dictatorship that had been in place up to now. The parliament, the Malawian national assembly, has 177 members who, like the president, are re-elected every 5 years. The system of government, which consists of both democratic and authoritarian elements, is assessed as partially free according to international observation. Malawi is a member of the United Nations Movement of Non-Aligned States, the Commonwealth of Nations, the African Union.
Malawi is a distinctly agricultural country and is one of the poorest economies in the world. For 90% of the population, agriculture is the main livelihood and contributes 40% to the gross domestic product. Bantu families harvest maize, rice, cassava and legumes for their own use on small plots. Tobacco, tea and sugar cane are exported. 3% of the usable area belongs to Europeans who produce coffee and peanuts in addition to tobacco, tea and sugar cane. Due to its agricultural character, Malawi’s economy is dependent on extreme weather events. Corruption is also a widespread economic problem in Malawi.
According to ebizdir, Malawi has considerable deposits of usable mineral resources, in particular aluminum, uranium and niobium ores, hard coal and heavy minerals. In addition, there are phosphate and graphite deposits as well as rare earths as well as considerable amounts of pure quartz sands in the Malawi subsurface. So far, however, few efforts have been made to use the deposits economically. A uranium ore mine opened in 2009 by an Australian mining company in the north of the country was closed again in 2014 after the extraction of 200 t of uranium ore. In the vicinity of Livingstonia a coal mine is operated with completely outdated equipment.
In recent times, efforts have been made to stimulate the previously poorly developed tourism in Malawi and to use it as an economic source, whereby the government has set itself the goal of making Malawi the leading country of ecotourism.
Transport network in Malawi
There is left-hand traffic in Malawi. Most of the roads in the 14,597-kilometer network are in reasonably good condition compared to neighboring countries. With a few exceptions, the main connections between the larger cities are asphalted and, due to the low volume of traffic, are easily passable during the day. The side streets consist mainly of gravel slopes. Driving after dark should be avoided due to the high risk of accidents, as the road markings are insufficient, wild animals can cross the road and some cars have no lights and therefore cannot be seen in time. In terms of population, Malawi recorded the third highest number of fatal road accidents in the world.
Regular buses run between Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu, while the rural areas can be reached by minibuses.
The 797-kilometer rail network in Malawi is privately operated and mainly serves to transport goods. Passenger traffic only takes place on some sections of the route. The capital Lilongwe is not approached by passenger trains.
The most important of the seven larger airports are at Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu.
Culture and sights in Malawi
The sights of Malawi primarily include the fantastic impressions of nature and landscape that one receives when passing through and especially in the designated national parks and protected areas. This of course also includes Lake Malawi, which runs through the country as a central body of water and has shaped it sustainably. The Malombe Lake, which adjoins Lake Malawi to the south, as well as the Mulanje massif should not be ignored on a Malawi tour. The Kapichira waterfalls on the Shire River are particularly spectacular during the rainy seasons, where the water masses plunged about 80 meters down between granite rocks.
In addition to the traditional music of Malawi, which is practiced by singing ensembles accompanied by a board zither, xylophone and drums, the population of the country has taken up the influences of many other musical styles and passed them on to neighboring countries. There are musicians and musical groups who mix European and American musical influences with traditional musical elements to create new styles of Malawian music. After the dictatorship was abandoned in 1993, the music scene in Malawi flourished. In addition to music, traditional dances such as the Nyau dance, which are performed on all sorts of occasions, are an important part of Malawian culture and the making of appropriate masks. Basket weaving also has a long tradition in Malawi.
Although the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Wildlife does not fund cultural institutions in any way, the Nanzikambe Arts Theater in Blantyre has become a small theater scene.