As South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, was laid to rest at his childhood home of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, Malawi’s President Joyce Banda told mourners that it was Mandela who taught her how to forgive those who tried to keep her from becoming southern Africa’s first female head of state.
Delays in finalising Malawi’s climate change policy, which has been in the making for the last three years, are affecting millions of families living in disaster-prone areas across this southern African nation, says the country’s minister of environment and climate change management Halima Daudi.
Gogo Munthali, from Rumphi, a village over 400 km north of Malawi’s capital Lilongwe, dissolves into tears every morning as she worries about what to feed her five orphaned grandchildren, the youngest of whom has full blown AIDS.
Malawi’s President Joyce Banda knows a thing or two about women’s empowerment. After all she is the first female southern African head of state.
Charity Salima, 54, has helped to deliver over 4,000 babies in her maternity clinic in Area 23 – one of Malawi’s poorest and most populous townships – and has yet to record a single pregnancy-related death.
Lloyd Phiri, a fisherman from Senga Bay on Lake Malawi’s shores in Malawi’s central region, knows that the lake’s water levels are dropping. He can see it in his catch, which has shrunk by more than 80 percent in recent years.
Each night Esnart Phiri, a widow with five children, sleeps outside the gates of the state-run maize trader or Admarc market, in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe, as she waits for days on end to buy maize.
Malawi’s first-ever tripartite elections in May 2014 will be a litmus test for President Joyce Banda, who is faced with an opposition majority in parliament, soaring food prices, and a potential treason trial.
Over two million families who solely depend on Lake Malawi for their livelihoods are anxiously putting their hopes into an upcoming mediation between Malawi and Tanzania intended to put an end to a longstanding ownership dispute.
Since he was nine years old, Martin Mhango from Karonga village in northern Malawi has known no other livelihood than fishing. And for the last 33 years he has been fishing freely on Lake Malawi – that is, until last October when he was detained and beaten by Tanzanian security forces.
She has taken a personal pay cut, promised reforms, resumed aid flows from Western donors and put her predecessor’s private jet up for sale.
The latest proposals by the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to stop farming of the crop could potentially affect about two million livelihoods in Malawi and decide the fate of an entire nation struggling with a sputtering economy.
Malawi has opened up negotiations on the economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union, which have been deadlocked since 2002.
For many women in Malawi’s disaster-prone southern district of Nsanje, resilience is essential to survive the cyclical flooding.