5 Kwacha, 1990

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Front: Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1905-1997), President of Malawi 1966-1994

Banda was born in Nyasaland (now Malawi) He was educated in the United States, and received his medical degree from Meharry Medical Collegein 1937. He practiced medicine in London after World War II. In 1958, he returned to his homeland to campaign against the federation of Nyasaland with Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe and Zambia).

Nyasaland, which he led as prime minister, became independent as Malawi in 1964. Banda became president under a new constitution in 1966. Increasingly autocratic, he made himself president for life in 1971. Following antigovernment rioting and suspension of Western aid in 1992, Banda was forced to abandon one-party rule and the life presidency in 1993. In democratic elections held in 1994, he was defeated by Bakili Muluzi.

Back: University of Malawi


The Great Hall of Chancellor College, University of Malawi

University of Malawi

Enlarge: Great HallUniversity of Malawi


20 Kwacha, 1990

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Front: Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1905-1997), President of Malawi 1966-1994

Back: Kamuzu International Airport, Lilongwe


Kamuzu International Airport

Kamuzu International Airport

Enlarge: AirportKamuzu International Airport


20 Kwacha, 1995

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Front: Elson Bakili Muluzi (1943-), President of Malawi 1994-2004

Muluzi was elected president in May 1994, replacing then-strongman Hastings Kamuzu Banda, and was reelected in 1999. His presidency was marred by controversy and scandal, particularly due to the sale of Malawi's reserves of maize to other countries shortly before the onset of a drought, which resulted in famine throughout the country.

In 2002, he attempted to amend Malawi's constitution allowing him to run for a third term, but this was abandoned due to demonstrations against him. He stepped down after elections in May 2004, which were won by the candidate of his party, Bingu wa Mutharika.

Back: Harvesting tea leaves; Mt. Mulanje


Mt. Mulanje

Mt. Mulanje

Enlarge: MountainMt. Mulanje


100 Kwacha, 1997

100 kwacha 1997 front
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Front: John Chilembwe (1860-1915), a hero for Malawi independence

Chilembwe traveled to the United States in 1897. He attended Virginia Theological College, a small African-American seminary. Here Chilembwe was exposed to the works of John Brown, Booker T. Washington and other American abolitionists. He returned to Nyasaland in 1900 as an ordained Baptist minister.

Upon returning to his homeland, Chilembwe established missionary schools, which by 1912 had 1000 pupils and 800 adult students.

Chilembwe was upset by the way African workers were exploited by white plantation owners. He was also against the conscription of local men to fight for Britain in Tanzania against the Germans in World War I. On January 23, 1915 Chilembwe and 200 of his followers staged an uprising against local plantations that they considered to be oppressing African workers. When the uprising failed to gain local support, Chilembwe tried to flee but was killed by officials on February 3, 1915.

Back: Capital Hill Lilongwe


50 Kwacha, 2001

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Front: John Chilembwe (1860-1915), a hero for Malawi independence

Back: Independence Arch in Blantyre


Independence Arch

Independence Arch

Enlarge: ArchIndependence Arch


20 Kwacha, 2012

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Front: Inkosi ya Makhosi M'mbelwa II (Lazalo Mkhuzo Jere) (1915-1959), Leader of Malawi independence movement

He was the most powerful and fearless leader the Northern or Jere Ngoni have had since settling in northern Malawi. He too led his people to oppose the imposition of the Federation in the early 1950s. In the late 1950s, he mobilised the people of Mzimba District to rally behind the Nyasaland African Congress, its leader Dr H. Kamuzu Banda, and the movement for national independence.

Back: Domasi Teachers College, University of Malawi

Courtesy silicoin


50 Kwacha, 2012

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Front: Inkosi Ya Makhosi Gomani II (Philip Zitonga Maseko) (1921-1954), Malawi nationalist

He was the most development conscious paramount chief the Southern or Maseko Ngoni had during the colonial period. He mobilised his people to oppose the Federation of Nyasaland and Rhodesia, was deposed and exiled for that reason, and died in exile as a martyr while defending the dignity and freedom of his people.

Back: Kasungu National Park

Courtesy silicoin


Kasungu National Park

Kasungu National Park

Enlarge: ParkKasungu National Park


100 Kwacha, 2012

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Front: James Frederick Sangala (1900-1974), Malawi nationalist

The founder of the Nyasaland African Congress who campaigned relentlessly for national unity in Malawi in the 1940s.

Back: College of Medicine in Blantyre, University of Malawi

Courtesy silicoin


College of Medicine in Blantyre

College of Medicine in Blantyre

Enlarge: CollegeCollege of Medicine in Blantyre


200 Kwacha, 2012

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Front: Rose Lomathinda Chibambo (1928-), Malawi activist

The first Chairperson of the Nyasaland African Congress Women's League and the first only female member of independent Malawi's first cabinet in 1964.

Back: New Parliament building in Lilongwe

China started the construction of the parliament building in 2009. The building was handed over to the Malawi government in 2010.

Courtesy silicoin


New Parliament building

New Parliament building

Enlarge: ParliamentNew Parliament building


500 Kwacha, 2012

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Front: John Chilembwe (1860-1915), a hero for Malawi independence

Back: Mulunguzi Dam at Zomba Plateau

Courtesy silicoin


Mulunguzi Dam

Mulunguzi Dam

Enlarge: DamMulunguzi Dam


1000 Kwacha, 2012

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Front: Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1898-1997), Father and Founder of the Malawi nation and first President of independent Malawi 1966-1994

Back: Mzuzu maize silos

Courtesy silicoin


Mzuzu Maize Silos

Mzuzu maize silos

Enlarge: SilosMzuzu maize silos


1000 Kwacha, 2014
Commemorate 50 Years of Independence

1000 Kwacha, 2014 front
1000 Kwacha, 2014 back

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Front: Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1898-1997), Father and Founder of the Malawi nation and first President of independent Malawi 1966-1994

Back: Mzuzu maize silos

Courtesy Claudio Marana


2000 Kwacha, 2016

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Front: John Chilembwe (1860-1915), a hero for Malawi independence

Back: Malawi University of Science & Technology (MUST) located in Thyolo District

Courtesy banknoteswholesale

Back to Africa

Malawi, located in southeastern Africa, was a British protectorate of Nyasaland in 1891. Joined the federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953. Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964. It is a member of the British Commonwealth. For a more detailed country profile, see CIA World Factbook on Malawi.




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