Malawi is a little known gem situated in southern East Africa, landlocked between Tanzania, Zambia and largely by Mozambique. Sculptured by Africa’s Great Rift Valley its centrepiece, Lake Malawi.
A varied topography offers immense diversity of unique scenery, stunning valleys and vast inland sea. The northern region of the country is mountainous, the central region is an almost uniformly flat plateau, and in the southeast there is a huge isolated massif. The lowest point of the country where the Shire River meets the border of Mozambique is situated at 37 m below sea level. Lilongwe, situated in the Central Region, replaced Zomba as the official capital city in 1975. Lake Malawi runs along the countrys’ spine – an enormous fresh water lake with tropical white beaches and crystal clear water covering 20% of the country. This is Africa’s second deepest and third largest lake where not only 95% of the fish are unique only to these Malawian waters but where there are numerous varieties of eagles and kingfishers.
Shaped through its explorers, merchants, colonists and missionaries Western contact with the country came initially with the arrival of David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, in 1859. Declared the British protectorate of Nyasaland in 1891 it gained independence first in 1964 as a republic and a one-party state with Dr. Banda as its first President. Some decades later he was forced to announce referendum when 63.5% of voters favoured multi-party democracy and a more democratic Malawi emerged with the first fully democratic elections being held on May 17, 1994.
The major tribes are Chewa, Tumbuka and Yao. The lesser tribes are Ngoni, Chipoka, Lambaya, Ngonde and Tonga. Roughly 85 percent of the population live in rural, agricultural areas.
Malawi has two main languages where English is the official language whereas Chichewa is regarded as the national language, being more commonly spoken and the language of the dominant Chewa tribe.
As a developing African nation Malawi has been ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world, it is one of the most densely populated areas in sub/Saharan Africa yet the least developed country in the continent, resulting in a vulnerable economy due to its heavy reliance on agriculture with threats such as drought and declining trade in the main crop, tobacco. Other important exports are tea, coffee and sugar.
There are three seasons: the hot and dry season from September to October with some maritime influence marked by a light drizzle, locally known as Chiperoni; the cold and dry (winter season) from May to August with cold nights, particularly in the highlands and around lake Malawi and the hot and rainy season stretching from late November to April when it is usually hot and humid with average temperatures around 26 ºC sometimes reaching mid 30’s.
The friendly and relaxed people of Malawi have rendered it the label “The Warm Heart of Africa”. Malawi has an unrivalled combination of lake, spectacular countryside and wildlife. In stark contrast to its beauty however are major problems such as deforestation, government corruption, and the rapidly growing problem of HIV/AIDS.
The capital :
The new national capital, Lilongwe, in the Central region of the country, is divided into two centers: Capital Hill and Old Town and is the seat of government ministries, the Parliament and International Organizations (NGOs) , but the main business and commercial center of the country is the city of Blantyre.
Main expatriate destination cities:
Malawi’s three main cities are Blantyre, the commercial and industrial centre set in the Shire Highlands, Lilongwe, the new capital in central Malawi and in the south lies Zomba, the old colonial retired capital with a private school patterned after Eton.(UK) A rapidly growing and administrative city is Mzuzu, the capital of North Malawi.
Main foreign investors:
The leading export crops are tobacco, tea, coffee and sugar and account for 45% of GDP and 90% of export revenues. Malawi’s natural resources are few but valuable. In the north rubber plantations have been recently revitalized and the country also holds the only source of rubies in Africa. Unexploited deposits of uranium reserves have been singled out for development and, if the project succeeds, this should boost foreign exchange earnings by 20%.
Malawi is open to investors and main foreign investors are in the banking and telecommunications sector. Malawi is a participant in SADC (Southern African Development Community) and COMESA (the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa). Recently, South Africa has emerged as a major trading partner and has several of its neighboring countries. Economy was boosted in large part due to the forgiving of foreign debt by international donors in 2006 and other international initiatives are under way to stimulate economic growth.
English is widely spoken in cities but rarely in rural areas and is the language of government, industry, commerce and education. Expatriate suitable housing is available in both Lilongwe and Blantyre and both cities have International Schools. The country has been transformed through democracy since 1994 and has now strong civil society institutions, free press, freedom of worship and a tradition of peace. As well as spurring exports, improving education and health facilities for locals , the government also faces the challenge of an ageing infrastructure and lack of investment which has rendered electricity, water supply, and telecommunications unreliable. These aspects can prove a challenge for expatriates relocating on international assignments.
Malawians tend to be very polite and thoughtful, and expect the same treatment in return. Like other African countries, time has a nonchalant gait but in business punctuality is important and dress should be formal. Business meetings tend to be formal; business cards are usually exchanged on meeting, accompanied by a firm handshake. The British influence on the local culture and customs can still be seen in driving on the left side of the road, roundabouts, speed bumps and school uniforms.
Leisure activities and opportunities:
Clubs and Sporting clubs are very popular among the expatriates. With five National Parks and four Wildlife Reserves the country offers much natural beauty to be discovered as is demonstrated by its growing popularity as a tourist resort.
Prepare and Plan Visit
In this initial contact the Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee, introducing destination services commissioned, and provide access codes to HTLC Network on-line City-Specific Resource Guides. In addition, the Relocation Coordinator will help the Transferee assess personal and family’s housing needs, as well as their hopes and plans for the sojourn in your new destination. The Transferee will be asked to fill out a Personal Needs Analysis Form, which will enable customized service delivery. After gaining a sense of the Transferee’s needs, the Relocation Coordinator will arrange appointments with schools and real estate agents, an appointment will be set up with one of the Local Counsellors for a city briefing and a programme will be finalised for accompanied property and school viewings.
Airport Pickup and Greeting The Transferee and family will be met at the airport by a Local Counsellor and accompanied to designated hotel.
Destination Country and City Information
The Transferee will be given a briefing on the local city and life in your new destination in general, and will be encouraged to ask any questions. An Information Pack on the destination city will be provided. This Pack includes an information sheet with the HTLC Network office and Local Counsellor contact information and emergency telephone numbers. Further, it includes a city and transport map as well as a hard copy of HTLC Network own City-Specific Resource Guide, which contains a wealth of information such as telephone access codes, English-speaking doctors and expatriate clubs. When available, a copy of the English Yellow Pages, local English language periodicals and other relevant information will also be included in the Information Pack.
City by Zone Tour
The purpose of this tour is to familiarise the Transferee with selected areas of the city and type of housing and amenities available, in order to be better prepared to select the neighbourhood most suitable for personal and family needs. The City By Zone Tour is often delivered in conjunction with a house hunting programme.
International Schooling The Transferee will be briefed on educational opportunities in the area. The Relocation Coordinator will schedule appointments at the selected schools, and the Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged appointments although the appointments will be privately held between the Transferee and school administrators. Where possible, the Relocation Coordinator will organise enrolment procedure and arrange for company invoicing.
Full-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to eight properties.
Two-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to fifteen properties.
Lease Negotiation After the Transferee has selected a property, the Relocation Coordinator will negotiate lease conditions with the real estate agency or landlord according to The national destination law. HTLC Network coordinator will prepare a contract that ensures legal protection for the client. Particular attention is given to include a break clause, as international assignments often change in duration and the aim is to give maximum flexibility within the limits of the national destination law.
Property Inspection and Inventory Once the lease has been signed, a thorough property inspection is taken in the presence of the Transferee. This includes an inventory of any furnishings, general condition of the property, and meter readings for utility contracts.
Utility Connections, Phone Line and Bank Account The Relocation Coordinator will arrange all utility and telephone connections, and a Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to open a bank account in the selected area.
Settling-In Assistance The Local Counsellor will spend time with the Transferee and family, assisting with requested elements of the relocation process, such as arranging language training, obtaining a satellite decoder or internet service provider, shopping for furniture or securing house contents insurance. Duration of this service depends on various company authorizations.
Car Purchase or Lease The Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee on the logistics of making an automobile purchase and will research reputable dealers in the area. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to dealers and act as a translator. Once the Transferee has made the selection, HTLC Network will take care of necessary documentation including insurance cover. For long-term rental HTLC Network will advise local availability of this service.
If the Transferee requests, and is eligible, the Local Counsellor will assist with National Health Registration. City hall registration is a separate service and if authorizied, HTLC Network will assist with the whole bureaucratic procedure at the relative cityhall.
Ongoing Phone Support The HTLC Network support Helpline is available to all Transferees for 90 days from date of property contract signing. Extensions to this Helpline can be added in periods of three months.
Car Importation Importation of car to your new destination, including full document assistance and re-registration with Vehicle registry.
Full Assignment Tracking Full tracking of all deadlines throughout duration of the Transferees international assignment, notification given of all scheduled renewal dates, such as housing contracts, Permit of Stay and Work Permits. Ad Hoc Services Service rendered both from back and front office is available on an hourly and daily basis.
Immigration procedures and requirements vary greatly from country to country. Documents requested from applicants depend on the citizenship of the individual applying and the status he wishes to obtain in the destination country, be it authorisation to work, authorisation for accompanying family members, tourist or study visas, temporary or permanent residency status.
• HTLC Network has been selected by many International Law and Immigration Firms as well as Global Relocation Companies to represent them exclusively for immigration
• We work closely with the relevant governmental and police authorities in each country
• Our Immigration Team are experts in immigration laws and keep abreast of changing requirements and procedures
• We prepare all documentation for HR, all you have to do is print out and sign
• We inform the Transferee which specific documents are required , which translations must be obtained and if these must be legalised
• We provide HR and Transferees with information on the process flow, timing and specific legal requirements of each destination
• We update all parties involved regularly as to the status of the application
• Whenever possible, we act with a Power of Attorney on behalf of the company and the Transferee; when the Transferee’s presence is required, he will be accompanied to the relevant office in the destination city
• Our Local Counsellors, residents and locals of the destination city, are able to present the all prepared documentation to the relevant offices in person; thus speeding up the process and ensuring an efficient service
For more info about our immigration services in Malawi please contact our marketing department at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Area: 118,480 sq km
Time Zone: GMT+2
Capital city: Lilongwe
Bordering countries: Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia
Stateform: Multiparty democracy
Legislative Branch: Unicameral National Assembly
National Holiday: 6 July (Independence Day)
Currency: Malawian kwacha (MWK)
Population: 13,931,831 inhabitants
Religion: Christian 79.9%, Muslim 12.8%, other 3%
Languages: English (official) Chichewa (national), Chinyanja, Chiyao, Chitumbuka, Chisena, Chilomwe, Chitonga, others
Ethnic groups: Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, Ngonde, Asian, European