Malawi, a small country in southeastern Sub Saharan Africa, has been a multi-party democratic government country since 1994.
Since then it has had three presidents. Their current president, Joyce Banda, was elected April 7th after former president Bingu wa Mutharika died of a heart attack.
|“Her Excellency Mrs. Joyce Banda” is her formal title.
Bingu wa Mutharika was seen by some as dissmisive of human rights, and toward the end of his life there was great unrest in Malawi over high cost of living, poor governance and many other issues.
Protests had become common over the last year and living in this poverty stricken area was just getting harder.
|Protests in the streets of Malawi.
Photo from nyasatimes.com
Now Malawi has a new president, and the question on everyone’s mind is: will things start to look up?
Banda wasted no time in firing the police cheif of Malawi, who had been responsible for unnecessary arrests and instilling fear in the peoples of Malawi.
“The human rights climate will definitely improve. There’s a great atmosphere of being free in our country. People can speak their minds and that’s what we were looking forward to,” said Malawian human rights lawyer, Wapona Kita.
| Banda promotes women’s right, education and business.
Photo by Stephane de Sakutin.
Banda is the first female head of state in Southern Africa and only the second on the continent in modern times.
Banda studied at Cambridge and Colombus University. She got into politics in 1999 and was elected vice president of Malawi in 2009.
She has been greatly involved in humanitarian work and founded The Hunger Project in Malawi in 1998.
She has five children and is married to Richard Banda, retired Chief Justice of the Republic of Malawi.
Joyce Banda is an inspiration for women and for other small countries. Though it’s still to early to tell whether or not she will bring some peace to Malawi, she will hopefully do her best to promote human rights.
What do you think about this new president?
PS: Read more about Joyce Banda.