2020 Stamp Programme
- xx xxxx 2020: Surcharges on Butterflies Definitive Stamps
Malawi (/məˈlɔːwi, məˈlɑːwi, ˈmæləwi/; Chewa: [maláβi] or [maláwi]), officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeastern Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the west, Tanzania to the north and northeast, and Mozambique surrounding on the east, south and southwest. Malawi spans over 118,484 km² (45,747 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 18,143,217 (as of July 2018). Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa, takes up about a third of Malawi’s area. Its capital is Lilongwe, which is also the country’s largest city; the second largest is Blantyre, the third largest is Mzuzu and the fourth largest is its old capital Zomba. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Chewa people who inhabit the area. The country is nicknamed “The Warm Heart of Africa” because of the friendliness of its people.
The part of Africa now known as Malawi was settled by migrating Bantu groups around the 10th century. Centuries later in 1891 the area was colonized by the British. In 1953 Malawi, then known as Nyasaland, a protectorate of the United Kingdom, became a protectorate within the semi-independent Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The Federation was dissolved in 1963. In 1964 the protectorate over Nyasaland was ended and Nyasaland became an independent country under Queen Elizabeth II with the new name Malawi. Two years later it became a republic. Upon gaining independence it became a totalitarian one-party state under the presidency of Hastings Banda, who remained president until 1994. Malawi now has a democratic, multi-party government headed by an elected president, currently Lazarus Chakwera. The country has a Malawian Defence Force that includes an army, a navy and an air wing. Malawi’s foreign policy is pro-Western and includes positive diplomatic relations with most countries and participation in several international organizations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the African Union (AU).
Malawi is among the world’s least-developed countries. The economy is heavily based in agriculture, with a largely rural population that is growing at a rapid rate. The Malawian government depends heavily on outside aid to meet development needs, although this need (and the aid offered) has decreased since 2000. The Malawian government faces challenges in building and expanding the economy, improving education, healthcare, environmental protection, and becoming financially independent amidst widespread unemployment. Since 2005, Malawi has developed several programs that focus on these issues, and the country’s outlook appears to be improving, with a rise in the economy, education and healthcare seen in 2007 and 2008.
Malawi has a low life expectancy and high infant mortality. There is a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, which is a drain on the labor force and government expenditures. There is a diverse population of native peoples, Asians and Europeans, with several languages spoken and an array of religious beliefs. Although there was periodic regional conflict fueled in part by ethnic divisions in the past, by 2008 it had diminished considerably and the concept of a Malawian nationality had reemerged.