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Malawi national liberation

Eliakim Sibanda


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Historically, Malawi's population was centered in the fertile southern highlands and a thin belt along the shores of Lake Nyasa in Africa. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries a smaller number and percentage of Europeans colonized the land than in nearby colonies. The 1945 census found that 99.7 percent of the 2 million residents of Malawi were African. Like most African colonies, Nyasaland (now Malawi) was created by the late nineteenth-century European Scramble for Africa, which divided the continent among the leading European imperialist powers. The British-owned African Lakes Company secured concessions by 1891, when the Britain declared the British Central Africa Protectorate (the Nyasaland Protectorate from 1907). From 1893 to 1907 the British South Africa Company controlled neighboring Northern and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe and Zambia), which then reverted to British control. Lacking mineral and other resources, Malawi attracted few white settlers, unlike Southern Rhodesia; mining, the mainstay of neighboring colonies, was not established. Besides missionaries, Europeans living in Nyasaland were primarily commercial farmers, concentrated in the fertile Shire Highlands. The spread of commercial farming spurred African population movements into the Highlands as wage labor expanded. The Livingstonia Mission established on Lake Nyasa in 1875 could trace its inspiration ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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