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Malawi History

Malawi - historyMalawi - history

Malawi - History, In 1000- or 1100-t. settlers in present-day Malawi. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi Federation, which was a loosely organized group of bantust states, presumably established in the late 1400's, whose economic foundations were agriculture and trade in ivory, gold and slaves. In the 1800's. the slave trade intensified as the yao people, in collaboration with Swahili and Arab merchants, increased their influence. In the second half of the 1800-t. Islam spread, but at the same time David Livingstone missioned in the Malawi region, paving the way for British mission and trade companies, including the African Lakes Company. The British established the British Central African Protectorate in 1891as part of a major political and commercial agreement with Portugal, Germany and Cecil Rhodes and its British South Africa Company. In 1907, the protectorate Nyasaland was christened, and it became primarily a labor reserve, where the people worked on the white settlers' properties or in the mines of South Africa. Nyasaland had the same role in the Central African Federation, which was established in 1953 and also consisted of Northern and Southern Rhodesia. During the federation, Nyasaland stagnated. In 1963, the federation was dissolved following strong resistance organized by Nyasaland's Hastings Banda.

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Malawi gained independence in 1964 and in 1966 Banda was elected president. He introduced one-party rule and ruled Malawi with a hard hand throughout the 1970's and 1980's. During this period, many opposition politicians were murdered or subjected to torture. Malawi was one of Africa's poorest countries and economically highly dependent on South Africa. Banda, however, was often praised for his monetary policy by the Monetary Fund and the World Bank, but he was highly unpopular among African leaders because of the cooperation with the South African apartheid regime. Supported by the churches grew the 1991-92 opposition to Banda's rule. He was forced to hold elections on the reinstatement of the multi-party regime following pressure from the opposition and from the West.

Malawi History

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At the May 1994 presidential election, Banda was replaced by Bakili Muluzi. The transition to democracy was thus completed in relatively peaceful forms. Muluzi's party, the United Democratic Front, the UDF, also won the 1997 parliamentary elections, but the party's popularity declined over the years as it failed to significantly reduce poverty and corruption. The election rules meant that Muluzi could not stand for reelection in the 2004 presidential election. UDF's new candidate Bingu wa Mutharika (1934-2012) won the presidential election by 36% of the vote, with the remainder distributed to four other candidates. At the simultaneous parliamentary elections, the UDF became only the second largest party. Shortly after the election, Mutharika started an anti-corruption campaign that also affected key people in the UDF. This has resulted in Mutharika getting parliament against him and therefore having difficulty implementing his policy. In May 2005, Mutharika took the consequence and formed a new party, the Democratic Progressive Party, which did not, however, resolve the power struggle between parliament and the president. Mutharika died in 2012 and was followed by the Vice President Joyce Banda.

 

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