General Information

The following are general facts about Malawi:-

Geography and Time Zone

Malawi, the Warm Heart of Africa, is located in South East Africa bordered by Zambia to the west, Tanzania to the north, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. Malawi’s Time zone is GMT+2.

Climate and Weather

The climate is tropical with temperatures moderated by the altitude. Temperatures are fairly constant throughout the year. Hottest months are from October to December, with a day time range of 27 degrees centigrade. Heaviest rainfall occurs in December to March. The Months of April to July are the coldest and August to October is fairly warm.

 Area

The total area of the country is 118,484 km², but this includes 24,404 km² of water surface, mainly composed of Lake Malawi, but there are other sizeable lakes, such as Lake Malombe, Lake Chilwa and Lake Chiuta. The land area is 94,080 km².

Population

According to the 2018 Malawi Census, the population of Malawi is at18 million with Lilongwe estimated at 1.1 million.

Currency and Banking

Malawi Kwacha (MK), is the national currency; in paper denominations of 2,000/=, 1,000/=, 500/=, 200/=, 100/=, 50/=,20/= and coins of 10/=, 5/=, 1/=.  Most international currencies are convertible to Malawi Kwacha (and vice versa) at Banks and various Exchange Bureaus. Exchange rates float in accordance with the market forces. Currently 1 USD is approximately equivalent to MK 850. Exchange rates are however subject to fluctuation.

Banks open at 08:00hrs until 16:00hrs from Monday to Friday and from 9:00hrs to 11:00hrs on Saturday. Banks remain closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Banking amenities are available at all the commercial banks.  Local and regional banks hold agreements with a variety of credit card networks. Bureau de Change facilities are available in most of the branches of Malawian major banks. 

Most internationally recognised currencies and travellers’ cheques can be exchanged at commercial banks, hotels and international airports. Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops. 

Business and Shopping Hours

Working hours for both government and private sector are 07:30 hrs to 16:30 hrs with a lunch break of one hour, Monday to Friday. Some shopping centres extend to late in the evening. Saturday is not a working day for government and a number of business establishments. Shopping malls, Exchange Bureaus and other businesses are however open between 09:00 hrs and 17:00 hrs

Electricity Supply

In Malawi, the power plugs and sockets are of type D(UK standard). The standard voltage is 240v and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Electrical sockets three pronged. Most hotels provide adaptors on request.

Value Added Tax

Value-added tax (VAT) is charged on most goods and services except when purchased in duty-free shops at international airports. The current rate is (16.5%).  On presentation of the goods and tax invoices, VAT may be reclaimed on certain items at international airports on departure.

Plastic Bags

 As part of an environmental protection policy, plastic bags are not allowed into Malawi. Passengers entering KIA or any other border posts with plastic bags are required to discard them and may be supplied with an environmentally friendly alternative at a cost less than $1.

Importation of Regulated Agricultural Products

The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Natural Resources requires all visitors to Malawi to comply with all the import requirements of regulated agricultural products which include animals, plants and their products, as well as any other contaminated and infectious goods.

Any delegations that wish to import any of the items listed above are strongly advised to liaise with respective Embassies/High Commissions so as to obtain import permits prior to arrival into the country.

All consignments must be declared at Ports of Entry for inspections.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS

 Police: 997

 Fire: 999

 Paramedical and First Aid Services: 118

CONTACT DETAILS

The Protocol Directorate in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will coordinate the smooth implementation of all protocol and logistical arrangements with regards to accreditation, local transportation, hotel reservations, official media and other related issues.

The Directorate shall receive official correspondences in form of Note Verbale regarding all Protocol, Security and other Administrative Arrangements for this event. Ministries of Foreign Affairs or Missions of SADC member states as well as other invited guests can contact the Department by using the following email addresses:

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For any urgent matters, kindly contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the following:

The Protocol Department

 

Mr. Abdulhakeem Lapukeni

Deputy Chief of Protocol

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Cell: +265 994 387 886

 

Mr. Fredrick Malire

Principal Protocol Officer

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Cell: +265 999 308 825

SADC National Contact Point

 

Mrs. Faith Kazembe Mwalubunju

Deputy Director

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Cell: +265 999 930 975

 

 

Media Focal Point

 

Mr. Chikumbutso Mtumodzi

Director

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Cell: +265 999 896 595

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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