Malawi’s political background

Malawi is one of poorest countries in the world and is politically unstable with a high turnover of political parties and many politicians moving from one party to another as they follow the party in power. Political parties tend to be based on the personalities of their leaders rather than on a programme of policies and they tend to be disconnected from the people who they claim to represent and from civil society organizations. There is also a disconnect between the interests of the people and interest of the parties, that in turn causes an even greater distance between the party leadership and their MP’s.
In addition to this, Malawi is a deeply conservative society, in which women and youth participation in politics face severe practical barriers.

Malawi has seen some tumultuous times since 2011, when increasingly totalitarian and authoritarian President Bingu Wa Mutharika passed away and President Joyce Banda came to office. President Banda made some serious strides to address corruption and economic woes, however her presidency was overshadowed by ‘Cashgate’, a serious fraud case. In 2014, contested elections brought former President Mutharika’s brother, Peter Mutharika, to power. Many Malawians are now disillusioned with their political leaders and trust in political institutions is at an extreme low.

The approach of NIMD in Malawi

The “Centre for Multiparty Democracy-Malawi” was set up by NIMD as part of previous programme and is now running independently.

NIMD’s future involvement in Malawi is currently under review.

Programme Passport

Amy Eaglestone
Programme Manager Ghana and Malawi
+31 70 311 5461
  • Start programme
    2008
  • Implementing partner
    The Centre for Multiparty Democracy Malawi (CMD-M)

Malawi Key Facts

  • Capital
    Lilongwe
  • Type of government
    multiparty democracy
  • Language
    English
  • Independence
    6 July 1964 (from the UK)
  • Latest constitution
    drafted January to May 1994, approved 16 May 1994, entered into force 18 May 1995; amended several times, last in 2013