Republic of Malawi

Political Status: Independent member of the Commonwealth since 1964; republic under one-party presidential rule established July 6, 1966; constitution amended on June 22, 1993, to provide for multiparty activity following national referendum of June 15; new constitution enacted provisionally as of May 16, 1994, and adopted permanently (as amended) on May 18, 1995.

Area: 45,747 sq. mi. (118,484 sq. km.).

Population: 9,933,868 (1998C); 12,883,000 (2006E).

Major Urban Centers (2005E): LILONGWE (676,000), Blantyre (715,000), Mzuzu (107,000).

Official Language: English. (Chichewa is classified as a national language.)

Monetary Unit: Kwacha (official rate November 2, 2007: 139.77 kwacha = $1US).

President: Bingu wa MUTHARIKA (Democratic Progressive Party); popularly elected (as a member of the United Democratic Front) on May 20, 2004, and inaugurated for a five-year term on May 24, succeeding Bakili ...

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