Five trends to know about Malawi

Malawi, which usually holds the presidential surveys on June 23 after its 2019 ballot was discontinued, is a small, bad southern African nation where people are greatly conditional on agriculture and its tremendous lake for their pursuits.

 

The country is landlocked but around a fifth of its soil area is wrapped by water, mainly the vast Lake Malawi.

 

At approximately 580 kilometers (360 miles) long and 75 km across at its broadest point, Lake Malawi is Africa’s third-largest freshwater lake.

 

The lake also borders Tanzania, which alleges its top quantity in a border controversy criticized maps drawn up by colonial Britain and Germany.

 

The long-running dispute resurfaced after Malawi in 2011 rewarded British company Surestream Petroleum a license to drill for oil and gas in the lake’s north.

 

Husbandry powers Malawi’s economy — tobacco, tea, and sugar are among the top crops — and provides over 40 percent to the entire national product.

 

Approximately 85 percent of households engage in agricultural actions and most rely on subsistence farming, according to USAID.

 

The country is heavily reliant on foreign aid. Around half Malawi’s population of 18 million lives below the poverty line, the World Bank says.

 

Nearly two million face acute food insecurity, the UN Food, and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said this year.

 

Economic development in 2018 was anticipated at 3.5 percent, slowed by drought and an armyworm caterpillar infestation, it says.

 

Infrastructure is widely needing and just 11 percent of the population has electricity.

 

China is Malawi’s top trading partner.

 

Malawi attained independence from Britain in 1964 and for much of its history has been stable and friendly. Its official language is English.

 

Its first president was US-trained doctor Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who held a violent grip on power for three decades until he was overthrown in the first multi-party elections in 1994.

 

In 2012 vice president Joyce Banda became the first female leader — and only the second on the landmass at the time — on the death of then-president Bingu wa Mutharika.

 

Bogged down in a massive graft embarrassment, she lost power in 2014 elections to Mutharika’s brother, a constitution professor.

 

Peter Mutharika, 79, gained the presidential election in 2019 but the opposition cried foul and Malawi’s top court suppressed his re-election, paving the way for a re-run.

 

Mutharika mourned the decision as a “judicial victory d’etat”.

 

Malawi has since late 2014 seen a rise in attacks on people with albinism, whose body parts are used in magic rituals to bring prosperity and luck.

 

Of 163 lawsuits reported since November 2014, 22 have been murders, Amnesty International said in May 20criticizingsing immunity.

 

Barely 30 percent of those attacks have been appropriately analyzed, according to authorized statistics, with only one killing and one chanced murder case successfully charged.

 

A broad belief in black magic has also seen people accused of being “vampires” by trying to attain human blood for ceremonies, sometimes activating vigilante turmoil in retribution.

 

Eighty percent of the community is Christian.

 

US pop star Madonna set up the “Raising Malawi” society in 2006 for AIDS orphans and has acquired four children from the nation.

 

Actually, though Malawi in 2015 put forward the marrying interval to 18, almost the companion of its girls enter a wedding before this age.