Although Malawi gained independence fifty years ago it has struggled to make the transition to democracy. Let’s take a look at the current state of the nation.
Malawi gained independence from Britain on 6 July 1964.
Here are some of the highlights in the country’s 50 years of independence.
Hastings Banda was the first president of the country.
Under his administration Chitukuko Cha Amai m’Malawi was founded to address rights and opportunities for women.
Massive road construction programmes were implemented and education was prioritised with the Kamuzu Academy.
Elson Bakili Muluzi took over after victory in the first democratic elections in May 1994.
He was Malawi’s first Muslim president.
During his tenure he introduced free primary education for everyone.
Institutions like the Malawi Human Rights Commission were formed to strengthen democracy.
Muluzi stepped down in 2004.
Bingu wa Mutharika took office in 2004.
Under his leadership the country achieved a high rate of agricultural production which led to a food surplus and improved food security.
Aids patients in Malawi received much-needed ARVs and new roads and infrastructure were built.
Mutharika died in office.
His vice president Joyce Banda took over, becoming the country’s first female president.
Banda restored ties with donors so aid could resume.
She championed the role of women in politics.
However, her tenure has been blemished by reports of gross corruption.