&  Fast Facts About Malawi


Read on and find out more about this small, beautiful nation! 



“The Warm  Heart of Africa

Malawi used to be known as Nyasaland.

Established in 1891, it was a British protectorate and became an independent nation in 1964.

The constitution was implemented in 1994.



  • 1 of the world's 10 poorest countries
  • Life expectancy: 37 years
  • Population: 11 million
  • Annual income: $170
  • Official language: English
  • Adult literacy: 60%
  • Most schools: NO LIBRARY
  • Average class size: 102 students
  • 37 phones in the country
  • 30,000 Internet users 
  • 8 Internet Service Providers


·         PEOPLE

Population: 11,651,239


Ethnic Groups: Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, Ngonde, Asian, European


Religions:  Protestant (55%), Roman Catholic (20%), Muslim (20%), Indigenous beliefs (3%), Other (2%)


Languages: English (government) & Chichewa (official) – Tribal languages important regionally


Literacy: Total population: 62% (males = 76%, females = 49%)


Age Structure:  1-14 = 46.8%; 15-64 = 50.5%, 65 & Up = 2.7%


Median Age:  16.1 years


Life Expectancy at Birth: 37.98


Birth & Death Rates: 44.7 per 1000 & 22.64 deaths per 1000


Total Fertility Rate:  6.1 children per woman


Infant Mortality Rate:  105.15 per 1000 live births


HIV/AIDS: Adult- 15%



Telephones:  45,000 


Radio Stations:  9 AM, 5  FM, 2 Shortwave 


TV Stations: 1 

·        ECONOMY

Below Poverty Line:  54% (per capita income = $184)


Labor Force:  4.5 million (86% in Agriculture)


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


Agricultural Products:  Tobacco, sugar cane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava


Currency: Kwacha (MWK) 76.69 MWK = 1 USD (2002)  (31.07 in 1998)


Public education is till fairly new in Malawi.  Many adult students are finally getting the opportunity to learn to read.  They need books to read so they can practice their skills and continue to learn and grow! 


Location: Below the Equator in Southern Africa – Between Tropic of Cancer & Tropic of Capricorn


Borders: 1,789 total miles – Mozambique = 975; Tanzania = 295 & Zambia = 507


Area: 94,000 sq km plus 24,400 sq km of water.  Slightly smaller than Pennsylvania – about 100 miles wide & 555 miles long


Climate: Subtropical - rainy season November-May & dry season May-November


Elevation Extremes: Lowest point – 123 ft & highest 10,000 ft (Mt Mulanje)


Natural Resources: Limestone, arable land, hydropower & unexploited uranium, coal & bauxite


Environmental Issues: Deforestation, land degradation, water pollution (runoff)


Bodies of Water: Lake Nyasa – 3rd largest lake in Africa (50 miles X 355 miles) & contains more fish species than any other inland lake (600 species – 95% found ONLY in Lake Malawi) including Cichlids


Flora: Over 400 species of Orchids


Fauna: Elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, bushbuck, baboons, hippos, & largest concentration of leopards in Africa




YOU can help the people of Malawi! 


This is something you can do on your own, right now and whatever you do WILL make a difference!  


There is no red-tape! There is NO administrative overhead.  No money changes hands. 


How?  You just do it!


You just mail books - send one bundle of books or send a bundle whenever you feel like it!  If you are a member of a group or an organization, you can adopt this project as your own and help us make Caleb Library in Rumphi, Malawi a place where students can read and grow and prepare for life in the bigger world outside their village. 



The Malawi flag depicts sunrise!




Contribute to Africa’s Literacy and Education with Books

Contributing to Africa's Literacy & Education with Books:

The CALEB Library Project

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