Reserve Bank of Malawi



 Dr Wilson Banda

Headquarters Lilongwe 3, Malawi
Currency Kwacha - MWK (ISO Code )


As the Central Bank of the Republic of Malawi, committed to achieve price and financial stability, and to contribute towards national economic growth and Development, The Reserve Bank of Malawi was established under an Act of Parliament in July 1964 (caption 44:02) and started its operations in June, 1965 in Blantyre. It replaced a branch of the Federal Bank of Rhodesia and Nyasaland founded to serve as a central bank of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The federation comprised Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Nyasaland (now Malawi).

At inception, the Bank had total assets amounting to K15.96 million with foreign assets amounting to K15.2 million an equivalent of £8.8 million, representing 18.1 percent of the federal currency which was redeemed in Malawi. By 1981, the year its head office moved to Lilongwe, the Reserve Bank of Malawi had expanded its operations when total assets increased to K230.7 million with foreign assets amounting to K43.9 million.

In April, 1989, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Act was revised stipulating the Bank’s principal functions which are in the interest of the national economy and are in line with the economic policies of the government. Before the revision of the Act, the Reserve Bank of Malawi reported to the Treasury. The 1989 RBM Act, however, made the Reserve Bank of Malawi independent from government under section 4. With this independence, the Reserve Bank of Malawi has the full mandate to conduct monetary policy whereas fiscal policy issues are the mandate of the Ministry of Finance. The Reserve Bank of Malawi therefore has to ensure that fiscal developments are consistent with monetary developments.

In 1990, the Reserve Bank of Malawi clocked 25 years of its operations with total assets amounting to K1.03 billion and foreign assets accounting for K324.5 million. By the close of 1998, total assets of the Bank registered a high of K18.8 billion with foreign assets amounting to K11.3 billion. The operations of the Bank have therefore expanded during the years more especially with the growth of the financial sector. This necessitated the building of a new and spacious branch office in Blantyre which was officially opened in November, 1998.

Malawi- Country Profile Overview

Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964.

As a landlocked country located in southern central Africa along the western side of part of the Great Rift Valley of Africa,Malawi is bordered by Tanzania to the North East, Zambia to the west and Mozambique to Southeast and South.

Covering a total area of 118,484 sq. km and comprising an estimated population of 12 million, it stretches some 900 kilometres north to south and between 90 and 161 kilometres east to west.

The prominent feature of Malawi is the Lake. The third largest fresh water lake in Africa, Lake Malawi is 568 kilometers long and copies about 20 % of the country’s total land area.

The terrain of Malawi is breath -taking comprising plateaus, plains, hills and mountains. These include Nyika and Viphya plateaus and Misuku hills to the North, Dedza and Kirk range mountains in the Centre. In southern Malawi, the terrain is equally varied with escarpments, highlands and mountains and low marshy lands along the Shire River which is an outlet of Lake Malawi. The Mulanje Mountain which is home to the rare Mulanje cedar, it is the highest mountain in Central Africa, with the highest point, Sapitwa peak rising to 3, 050 metres above sea level.


May to August Cool and dry, July being the coldest month, with temperatures ranging from 15.5 to 18.0 degrees Celsius in the plateau and 20.0 to 24.5 degrees Celsius in the rift valley areas. There is little rain in this season; most of it falling in the high southeast facing slopes.

September to mid-November Hot and dry, with temperatures ranging from 22 to 25 end 27 to 30 degrees Celsius in the plateau areas and the rift valley respectively.

Mid-November to April Hot and rainy, with 90% of the annual rainfall being received. December and January are the wettest months. Total annual rainfall overages 760 to 1,015mm with some areas in the plateau recording over 1,525mm.

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