Today officially known as the Republic of Malawi, Malawi was formerly known as Nyasaland and was part of the Colony of Rhodesia Nyasaland (1953-1963). It covers an area of 118,484 km² (45,747 square miles) with an estimated population of 18 million in July 2016. Lake Malawi takes up about a third of Malawi's area making it necessary for this landlocked country to invest in a naval force. Its capital is Lilongwe, which is also Malawi's largest city. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. On 6 July 1964 the British protectorate over Nyasaland was ended and Nyasaland became an independent country known as Malawi. Two years later it became a republic. Upon gaining independence Malawi became a one-party state under the presidency of Hastings Banda, who remained president until 1994. Today the country has a democratic, multi-party government headed by an elected president. Malawi is among the world's least-developed countries. From 1964, when the first coins were issued, till 1968 the currency was the English system of 12 Pennies to a shilling and 20 Shillings to the Pound. The reform came with a decimalized system in 1971 with 100 Tambala making up a Kwacha.
See also: Rhodesia and Nyasaland
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