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: 15,936,806 (2012E—UN); 16,323,004 (2012E—U.S. Census).

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 (market rate November 5, 2012: 318.96 kwacha = $1US).

President: Joyce BANDA (People’s Party); sworn in on April 7, 2012, to succeed Bingu wa MUTHARIKA (Democratic Progressive Party) who died in office on April 5 (see Government and politics, below), ...

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