Country Profile: Malawi
(2009 est) 13,931,831
Malawi, or the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast and Mozambique, which surrounds it on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, one of the original Bantu tribes to inhabit the area.
Business and Development
Malawi is one of the most densely populated countries in the world today: because of this, most of their economy is focused on agricultural industry, since nearly 90% of the population lives near rural farmland areas. Furthermore, nearly 90% of the total exports of Malawi come from the agricultural sector, this figure accounts for nearly one third of the total GDP of the nation.
Malawi is among the world's least developed and most densely populated countries. Despite its small size, in 2008-2009, Malawi was the fastest growing economy in the world for the year. There are plans for Malawi to create a vast tourism industry, partly funded by direct foreign investment, in order to continue to stimulate the economy.
Improvements and Infrastructure
In an attempt to activate their tourism industry, Malawi has greatly improved their national infrastructure, there are nearly 40 airports, in this tiny country, that also boasts nearly 500 miles of railways. These were built in order to increase not only transportation, but overall productivity in the nation as well and have already had a dramatic positive effect. Malawi knows that if they are to create a sound tourism industry, then they need to have a sound transportation system as well, and they are well on the path to doing so.
Energy and Resources
Although Malawi has tremendous amounts of natural resources, they have a very limited amount of oil and other fuel sources at their disposal. They are currently looking to use their agricultural strength to be put towards renewable resources based on crops. This includes ethanol and methanol fuel sources, both based on corn production. Malawi sees this as a path of the future, in order to become more energy self efficient.
Although Malawi is a very small country, it will look to expand on its vast wealth of natural resources, particularly in the agricultural sector. Also the creation of a new tourism industry has been greatly financed by foreign investment and should have an immediate positive impact on the nation. Furthermore, Malawi has become an African leader in renewable energy research, particularly in the fields of ethanol and methanol.
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