Malawi - Malaŵi (MW)

1.  Language information / Données sur les langues

1.1  Languages spoken / Langues parlées

a) Official / Officielle(s) :

Apparently none legislated. However, according to Aménagement, English serves this role de facto, and according to (Ethnologue), Chewa also has an "official" role.

b) National, indigenous / Nationale(s), indigène(s) :

Chewa is the most widely spoken tongue, serving as a vehicular language.

Ethnologue lists 14 languages at

c) Relevant pages in the Major Languages section of this report / Pages appropriées dans la section de ce rapport sur les Langues principales :

Chewa/Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Tonga, Nyakusa, Nkhonde, Sena, Makua/Lomwe

1.2  Language policy / Politique de langue

a) Laws/legislation / Lois/législation :

The site L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde has a page on Malawi at

Moyo (2003) argues for more accommodating language policy, stating: "Viable indigenous languages, which could equally play a meaningful role in the socioeconomic political life of the country, have been largely marginalised, in market places and in other national functions."

b) Agencies / Agences :

Centre for Language Studies, University of Malawi

c) Languages in education/literacy / Langues dans l'éducation/l'alphabétisation :

English is the main language of education. There is discussion about use of maternal languages at least at the primary school level. (L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde)

UNDP (2006) gives a literacy figure (without reference to which language[s]) of: 64.1%

1.3  Writing in national/indigenous languages / Ecriture en langues nationales/indigènes

a) Orthographies / Orthographes :

The Latin alphabet is used.

b) Print publications / Editions imprimées :

Apparently there are newspapers in Chewa (Ethnologue).

UNESCO (1985) reported the following periodicals (name, frequency of publication, circulation, language). Updated information is needed:

1.4  Other comments / Autre commentaire

2.  ICT situation / Situation des TIC

2.1  Infrastructure / Infrastructure

a) Telephones / Téléphones :

  • Fixed lines: Telephone mainlines: 5 per 1000 people (APC)
  • Mobile subscriptions: 135,000 (1.3 per 100 people) (ITU 2004 cited in Vodafone 2005)

b) Radio stations / Stations de radio :

c) Connectivity / Connectivité :

  • International internet bandwidth / Bande passante internationale d'internet :
  • ISPs / FSI :
  • Geographic coverage / Couverture géographique :

2.2  Computer & internet access / Accès aux ordinateurs et à l'internet

a) Computers & points of access / Ordinateurs et lieux d'accès :

  • Number of computers / Nombre d'ordinateurs: 1.3 per 1000 people
  • Cybercafés / Cybercafés:
  • Project telecentres / Télécentres de projets:

b) Internet / Internet :

  • Dial-up subscribers / Abonnés par ligne téléphonique :
  • Internet users / Utilisateurs de l'internet : 46,100 Internet users as of Sept/05, 0.4% of the population, per ITU (Internet World Stats)

c) Other / Autre :

  • Digital Opportunity Index (DOI): 0.08 (ITU 2006); 0.09, ranked 175 (ITU 2007)
  • ICT Opportunity Index (ICT-OI?):
  • ICT Development Index (IDI):

2.3  ICT policy / Politique de TIC

The APC page, "ICT Policy in Malawi," has some information and links:

2.4  ICT4D/E & ICT training / TIC pour le développement/éducation, et formation en TIC

2.5  Resources / Ressources

3.  Localisation situation / Situation de localisation

3.1  Country web content / Contenu web du pays

3.2  Web content in indigenous languages / Contenu web en langues indigènes

(See also specific language pages.)

3.3  Software localisation / Localisation de logiciel

There is a project beginning for localisation in Chewa.

(See also specific language pages.)

3.4  Projects & organisations / Projets et organisations

3.5  Localisation policy / Politique de localisation

4.  References / Références

APC, "ICT Policy in Malawi," Africa ICT Policy Monitor, ("Politiques de TIC en/au Malawi," Observatoire des politiques des TIC en Afrique, )

International Telecommunications Union (ITU). 2004. African Telecommunication Indicators 2004. Geneva: ITU.

______. 2006. World Information Society Report 2006. Geneva: ITU.

______. 2007. World Information Society Report 2007. Geneva: ITU.

Internet World Stats: Africa. 2006.

Leclerc, Jacques. L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde, "Malawi,"

Moyo, Theba. 2003. "The democratisation of indigenous languages: The case of Malawi." In: Makoni, Sinfree and Ulrike H. Meinhof (eds.), Africa and Applied Linguistics: AILA Review, Volume 16. 2003. ii, 173 pp. (pp. 26–37)

SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Languages of Malawi,"

______, "Nyanja,"

UNDP. 2006. ''Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis. Human Development Report 2006.'' New York: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). [Human development index Adult literacy rate (% ages 15 and older) (HDI) ]

UNESCO Regional Office for Education in Africa. 1985. African Community Languages and Their Use in Literacy and Education: A Regional Survey. Dakar: UNESCO.

Vodafone. 2005. "Africa: The Impact of Mobile Phones." The Vodafone Policy Paper Series, Number 3, March 2005.

Wikipedia, "Communications in Malawi,"

______, "Malawi,"

______, "Malawi,"

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