Malawi, Republic of (Chich. Dziko la Malaŵi)
- Gerhard Kubik
- and Moya Aliya Malamusi
(Chich. Dziko la Malaŵi)
Country in south-central Africa. It has an area of 118,480 km² and a population of 10·98 million (2000 estimate). The official languages are English and Chichewa (Chewa). The name Malawi first appeared on a Portuguese map in 1546, referring to a powerful empire with which Portuguese traders on the Zambezi river had contact. The languages spoken in the former Malawi empire, whose territory covered much of the present central region, part of the southern region and adjacent areas in Zambia and Mozambique, belonged to a dialect continuum now split into Chinyanja (Nyanja), Chichewa and Chimang’anja (Manganja). British influence in the area began in the 1870s. British Protectorate rule over the territory that was to be called Nyasaland was established in 1907. In 1953–63 Nyasaland was part of the Central African Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, ruled from Salisbury (now Harare). The territory gained independence in 1964 under the name Malawi....