the southern African landlocked Republic of Malawi was


the southern African landlocked Republic of Malawi was colonised by the British in 1891 and up until July 6th, 1964, was known as Nyasaland The country independence was achieved largely through the efforts of the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC) formed in 1944 Headed by Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda in 1958 who left his position as a medical practitioner in Ghana to dedicate himself to the cause of Malawi independence Banda was elected president of the party The NAC was banned by colonial authorities in 1959 and Banda was subsequently jailed for his political activities After his release in 1960 Banda formed the NAC successor the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and became it is first president At this stage, Nyasaland had been merged with Northern and Southern Rhodesia by the British to form the semi-independent region known as the Central African Federation (CAF) an entity that was still ruled largely by the dominant white European minority
Opposing this fusion of separate states Malawian nationalists began to gather local support and in 1961 Nyasaland held a Legislative Council Election that saw the MCP win the majority of the seats above other local parties As a result, the CAF was dissolved in 1963 with Banda becoming Prime Minister of Nyasaland and in 1964 he became President of Malawi Banda turned Malawi into a one-party state and remained President of the country until 1994 almost 30 years giving himself the title of President for Life of MCP in 1970 and of Malawi in the following year Despite his nationalist efforts towards Malawi independence Banda was seen as a pro-Western leader receiving aid from several Western states and also maintained relations with South Africa Apartheid government However he also credited by some as being supportive of women rights reforming Malawi education system and improving the country economy and infrastructure Malawi became a multi-party democratic state following a referendum in 1993 The current President of the country and Africa second woman head of state Joyce Banda (née Mtila) is of no relation to Dr. Banda

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