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Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964. After three decades of one-party rule under President Hastings Kamuzu BANDA the country held multiparty elections in 1994, under a provisional constitution that came into full effect the following year. President Bingu wa MUTHARIKA, elected in May 2004 after a failed attempt by the previous president to amend the constitution to permit another term, struggled to assert his authority against his predecessor and subsequently started his own party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in 2005. MUTHARIKA was reelected to a second term in May 2009. As president, he oversaw some economic improvement. He died abruptly in April 2012 and was succeeded by his vice president, Joyce BANDA. Population growth, increasing pressure on agricultural lands, corruption, and the spread of HIV/AIDS pose major problems for Malawi.


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Economy

Economy - overview
Landlocked Malawi ranks among the world's most densely populated and least developed countries. The economy is predominately agricultural with about 80% of the population living in rural areas. Agriculture, which has benefited from fertilizer subsidies since 2006, accounts for one-third of GDP and 90% of export revenues. The performance of the tobacco sector is key to short-term growth as tobacco accounts for more than half of exports. The economy depends on substantial inflows of economic assistance from the IMF, the World Bank, and individual donor nations. In 2006, Malawi was approved for relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program. In December 2007, the US granted Malawi eligibility status to receive financial support within the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) initiative. The government faces many challenges including developing a market economy, improving educational facilities, facing up to environmental problems, dealing with the rapidly growing problem of HIV/AIDS, and satisfying foreign donors that fiscal discipline is being tightened. Since 2005 President MUTHARIKA''s government has exhibited improved financial discipline under the guidance of Finance Minister Goodall GONDWE and signed a three year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility worth $56 million with the IMF. The government has announced infrastructure projects that could yield improvements, such as a new oil pipeline for better fuel access, and the potential for a waterway link through Mozambican rivers to the ocean for better transportation options. Since 2009, however, Malawi has experienced some setbacks, including a general shortage of foreign exchange, which has damaged its ability to pay for imports, and fuel shortages that hinder transportation and productivity. Investment fell 23% in 2009, and continued to decline in 2010. The government has failed to address barriers to investment such as unreliable power, water shortages, poor telecommunications infrastructure,

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 140
$14.08 billion (2011 est.)
$13.35 billion (2010 est.)
$12.53 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$5.673 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 56
5.5% (2011 est.)
6.5% (2010 est.)
9% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 217
$900 (2011 est.)
$800 (2010 est.)
$800 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 30.3%
Industry 16.7%
Services 53% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 66
5.747 million (2007 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 90%
Industry and services 10% (2003 est.)

Unemployment rate
NA%

Population below poverty line
53% (2004)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 3%
Highest 10% 31.9% (2004)

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 68
39 (2004)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 60
22.7% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget
Revenues $1.764 billion
Expenditures $1.822 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 85
31.1% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 59
-1% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 92
36.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
36.8% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 164
7.6% (2011 est.)
7.4% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 12
15% (31 December 2009)
15% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 9
23.75% (31 December 2011 est.)
24.675% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 153
$818.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$677.1 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 155
$1.627 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.352 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 144
$1.524 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.432 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 103
$1.384 billion (31 December 2011)
$1.363 billion (31 December 2010)
$1.383 billion (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products
Tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (tapioca), sorghum, pulses, groundnuts, Macadamia nuts; cattle, goats

Industries
Tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement, consumer goods

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 25
8.2% (2011 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 137
1.676 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 142
1.559 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 195
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 156
8,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 174
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 146
7,124 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 159
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 95
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 200
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 139
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 90
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 202
0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 114
-$731.9 million (2011 est.)
-$451.1 million (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 158
$911.5 million (2011 est.)
$964.3 million (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Tobacco 53%, tea, sugar, cotton, coffee, peanuts, wood products, apparel

Exports - partners
Canada 12.3%, South Africa 9%, Zimbabwe 8.9%, Germany 8.7%, US 6%, Russia 6%, UK 4.1%, China 4.1% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 165
$1.687 billion (2011 est.)
$1.671 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Food, petroleum products, semi-manufactures, consumer goods, transportation equipment

Imports - partners
South Africa 41.1%, India 8.4%, Zambia 8.1%, China 7.6%, Tanzania 4.9%, US 4.4% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 152
$263 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$323 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 146
$1.327 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.24 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$NA

Exchange rates
Malawian kwachas (MWK) per US dollar -
156.52 (2011 est.)
150.49 (2010 est.)
141.14 (2009)
142.41 (2008)
141.12 (2007)

Fiscal year
1 July - 30 June


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  Malawi (Lilongwe):


  GPS points from Malawi (Lilongwe)

Kabutu Central Region

Moses Central Region

Chisindi Northern Region

Khuyu Central Region

Chapola Southern Region

Magwalangwa Central Region

Biwi Central Region

Nlimba Hill Southern Region




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