Malawi Government Stats


Joyce Banda became southern Africa's first woman leader in April 2012 when she stepped into the shoes of her predecessor when he died after a heart attack.

The two-day delay in the official announcement of Bingu wa Mutharika's death prompted fears of a power struggle, and 12 senior figures - including the late president's brother - were arrested in 2013 on charges of trying to prevent her taking over.

Ms Banda became Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2006 and the country's first female vice president in 2009.

However, she fell out with President Mutharika and was expelled from the the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in a succession battle.

She went on to form the People's Party, and resisted attempts to deprive her of the vice-presidency.

Ms Banda is recognised for her work as a supporter of women's rights. In 2011 she was named by Forbes Magazine as Africa's third most powerful female politician after Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Nigerian Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Mr Mutharika died amid demands for his resignation and threats of unrest, following anti-government protests in 2011 when police shot 19 people dead.

The former World Bank economist was re-elected with a sweeping majority in 2009 but was increasingly accused of wrecking the economy and autocratic crack downs. His feuds with donors and lenders let the aid-dependent economy to be hamstrung.

Ms Banda has taken immediate steps to restore relations with the International Monetary Fund, including a bold devaluation of the currency by a third. In 2013 she addressed concerns about corruption by dismissing her entire cabinet.


  • Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
  • Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Capital city > Name: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
  • Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
  • Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
  • Executive branch > Head of government: Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
  • Government corruption rating: Transparency, accountability, and corruption in the public sector assess the extent to which the executive can be held accountable for its use of funds and for the results of its actions by the electorate and by the legislature and judiciary, and the extent to which public employees within the executive are required to account for administrative decisions, use of resources, and results obtained. The three main dimensions assessed here are the accountability of the executive to oversight institutions and of public employees for their performance, access of civil society to information on public affairs, and state capture by narrow vested interests."
  • Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
  • Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
  • Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
  • Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
  • Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
  • Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
  • Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
Administrative divisions 28 districts; Balaka, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Chitipa, Dedza, Dowa, Karonga, Kasungu, Likoma, Lilongwe, Machinga, Mangochi, Mchinji, Mulanje, Mwanza, Mzimba, Neno, Ntcheu, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Nsanje, Ntchisi, Phalombe, Rumphi, Salima, Thyolo, Zomba 2013
Capital city > Geographic coordinates 13 59 S, 33 47 E 2008
Capital city > Name Lilongwe 2011
Constitution 18 May 1994 2012
Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address P. O. Box 30016, Lilongwe 3, Malawi 2013
Executive branch > Cabinet 36 m 2013
Executive branch > Head of government President Joyce BANDA (since 7 April 2012); Vice President Khumbo Hastings KACHALI (since 11 April 2012) 2013
Government corruption rating 3 2009 19th out of 74
Government type multiparty democracy 2013
Judicial branch Supreme Court of Appeal; High Court (chief justice appointed by the president, puisne judges appointed on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission); magistrate's courts 2012
Legal system mixed legal system of English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Appeal 2013
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly 2011
Political parties and leaders Alliance for Democracy or AFORD [Godfrey SHAWA]
Democratic Progressive Party or DPP [Peter 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]
New Labour Party or NLP [Friday JUMBE]
New Republican Party [Gwanda CHAKUWAMBA]
People's Party or PP [Joyce BANDA]
People's Progressive Movement or PPM [Mark Katsonga PHIRI]
People's Transformation Movement or PETRA [Kamuzu CHIBAMBO]
United Democratic Front or UDF [Atupele MULUZI]
Political pressure groups and leaders Council for NGOs in Malawi or CONGOMA (human rights, democracy, and development)
Human Rights Consultative Committee or HRCC (human rights)
Malawi Economic Justice Network or MEJN (pro economic growth, development, government accountability)
Malawi Law Society (an umbrella organization of all lawyers in Malawi)
Public Affairs Committee or PAC (promotes democracy, development, peace and unity)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal 2013

SOURCES: CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011; World Bank Group, CPIA database (http://www.worldbank.org/ida).


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