The flag of Malawi was adopted on July 6,
The rising sun represents the
dawn of hope and freedom for the continent of Africa (when
the flag was created, countries in Africa were just beginning
to be granted independence). The black represents the people
of the continent, the red symbolizes the martyrs of African
freedom, and the green represents nature.
The flag resembles the pan-African flag designed
by Marcus Garvey's UNIA, with the red and black bands reversed and
a red sun in the top. It also resembles the flag of the now-defunct
Republic of Biafra.
The colours of the flag are defined using British
|The Coat of arms of Malawi is based
on the earlier heraldic arms of Nyasaland. It is supported by
a lion and a leopard, above a scroll reading "Unity and
Malawi is situated in southeastern Africa. The Great
Rift Valley runs through the country from north to south. In this
deep trough lies Lake Malawi (also called Lake Nyasa), the third-largest
lake in Africa, and the 10th largest in the world, making about
20% of Malawi's area. The Shire River flows from the south end of
the lake and joins the Zambezi River 400 km (250 mi) farther south
in Mozambique. East and west of the Rift Valley are high plateaus,
generally between 900 and 1,200 m (3,000–4,000 ft) above sea
Life expectancy in Malawi is now as low as 36.5 years, five years
lower than it was 50 years ago. This drop is due
to the population's impoverishment, which is constituted by many
- insufficient nutrition
- poor access to medical treatment
- low income (the mean per capita income in Malawi
is less than $1 per day)
- extreme lack of foresight by Government
- Mis-use of international donations
- insufficient school education
- spread of HIV/AIDS
- government economic restrictions
- climate change
Malawi Child mortality is 103/1,000. There are more
than a million orphans, 700,000 of whom became orphans when their
parents died of AIDS.
The Malawi government estimates that 14.2% of the
population are HIV-positive, and that 90,000 deaths in 2003 were
due to AIDS. Unofficial estimates based on private hospital entries
give a HIV infection percentage of 30%. Their life expectancy is
41.75 for men and 41.2 for women.
Malawi's staple food is maize but like other countries
in Southern Africa, Malawi has repeatedly been affected by famines
since 2002, when food was scarce for almost one third of the population.
In 2003, 30 percent of the population were affected.
These repeated famines are caused by different factors
- widespread monocultures
- poor distribution of fertilizers
- government corruption
- widespread AIDS epidemic
Some relief organisations, such as the Community
of Sant'Egidio, Catholic Relief Services and other local and international
organisations try to respond to the famine by distributing food
parcels. The government also had a starter pack farm input programme
for maize seed and fertilizer. The scheme was however subject to
gross abuses and sometimes the poorest people did not receive any
of the items that were purportedly earmarked for them. This programme
was discontinued by the Bingu Wa Muntharika administration, which
instead subsidised fertilizer for the local subsistence farmers.
The government of Taiwan has also donated millions of bags of rice
each year and has a permanent agricultural and medical technical
aid mission in Malawi.