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sunnuntai 8. toukokuuta 2016

Malawi, Cool Facts #112

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The current flag of Malawi was taken in use when the country became independent in 1964. During president Mutharika's rule Malawi used a different flag between 2010-2012 after which Mutharika died and the new president Joyce Banda restored the former flag. 

The flag resembles the Pan-African flag, designed by Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association. The design of the Pan-African flag has been copied by various countries or areas, which have tried to gain independence. 

Meaning of the colors: 

Black = the indigenous people of the continent
Red = the blood of the indigenous people's struggle
Green = nature
Rising sun = the dawn of hope and freedom for the African continent

African flags

2. Maravi Kingdom

Malawi was called the Nyasaland before its independence in 1964. The name Malawi is said to be derived from the ancient Kingdom of Maravi. The word "maravi" means fire flames.

The Kingdom of Maravi extended at its greatest extent to present-day Mozambique and Zambia also.



3. David Livingstone at Lake Malawi

The world-famous Scottish explorer and missionary, David Livingstone, made an expedition to Malawi in 1859 when he arrived at Lake Malawi. Livingstone identified the Shire Highlands, south of the lake, to be a good place for an European settlement. 

As a result of his visit, Presbyterian and Anglican missions were established at the area in the 1860s and 1870s. In 1876 a trading settlement was established in Blantyre. In 1878 the African Lakes Company Limited was created to set up trade and transport concern working closely with the missions. 

In 1883 a British Consul took up residence in Blantyre. The British prevented the Portuguese occupation at the area by making treaties with the local rulers. In 1889 a British Protectorate was created including the Shire Highlands and later in 1891 it extended to include the whole present-day Malawi. 

David Livingstone
Lake Malawi

4. British Nyasaland Colony 


The British Protectorate was created in 1889 and in 1891 included the present-day Malawi as the British Central Africa Protectorate. It was renamed as Nyasaland in 1907. The British authorities suppressed a farm workers' uprising led by Pastor John Chilembwe. 


The Nyasaland African Congress NAC was created in 1944 to promote local interests to the British government. In 1953 Britain linked Nyasaland with Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia as the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, which was still semi-independent. The Federation lasted until 1963. 

The linking caused opposition and Dr. Hastings Banda, a European-trained doctor working in Ghana, was asked to assist the nationalist cause. He returned to Malawi but was jailed in 1959. In 1960 Banda was freed and he helped to draft a new constitution for Nyasaland. 

When Nyasaland became independent Banda became the first prime minister and then president of the country. 


Evolution of the Nyasaland Protectorate

5. First President Hastings Banda

Dr. Hasting Banda was the leader of Malawi between 1961-1994. When Malawi gained independence he was the Prime Minister in 1964-1966 and after reclaiming Malawi as a republic he was the president between 1966-1994. 

Banda ruled authoritarically and declared Malawi as a one-party state. In 1971 he became the President for Life of Malawi. He suppressed opposition but he generally supported women's rights, improved the infrastructure of the country and maintained a rather good educational system compared to other African countries. 

Banda was also criticized for maintaining full diplomatic relations with apartheid-era South Africa. In 1992 Malawi was hit by severe drought and famine and after widespread protests and international pressure Banda had to arrange referendum about the political system.

The population voted for returning to multi-party system and the presidential elections were won by Bakili Muluzi in 1994. Banda died in 1997 when he was 99 years old.

Hastings Kamuzu Banda 1898-1997
Timeline

1500s The tribes at the area had established the Kingdom of Maravi
1600s The Portuguese arrived at the area trading and making alliances with the tribesmen
1700s The empire had broken up into several areas controlled by different tribes 
1800s The Swahili-Arab slave trade reached its peak in the middle of the century
1859 Scottish explorer David Livingston arrived at Lake Malawi and as a result of his visit Anglican and Presbyterian missions were established at the area in the 1860s and 1870s
1878 The African Lakes Company Limited was established to set up trade and transport concern 
1889 A British Protectorate was established over the Shire Highlands, which was extended in 1891 to include completely the present-day Malawi as the British Central Africa Protectorate
1907 The Protectorate was renamed Nyasaland 
1915 Pastor John Chilembwe led an farm worker uprising, which the British authorities suppressed violently 
1944 The Nyasaland African Congress NAC was established to promote local interests 
1953 Nyasaland was linked with Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia by the British as the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
1960 Hastings Banda, the president of NAC who had been jailed in 1959 and freed now, was asked to help draft a new constitution for Nyasaland
1963 Banda became the Prime Minister of Nyasaland and the same year the Federation with the two Rhodesias ended
1964 Nyasaland became independent from Great Britain renaming itself as Malawi, Banda became the first president of the country in 1966
1971 Banda was declared president-for-life and the following centuries his authoritarian regime controlled the country
1992 First demonstrations against the government in decades after several drought and famine
1993 Banda agreed to a referendum where the population voted for multi-party democracy 
1994 First multi-party elections where Banda was defeated and Bakili Muluzi became the president
1998 Muluzi re-elected
2004 Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika was elected as the president
2009 Mutharika re-elected despite the charges of election fraud, Mutharika also forced the parliament to accept the new flag despite the resistance of the opposition and the population
2012 Mutharika died of a heart attack and the Vice-President Joyce Banda became the president and restored the former flag
2014 Banda lost elections to Mutharika's brother Peter Mutharika

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