Malawian pound

The pound was the currency of Malawi until 1971. From 1932, Malawi (then Nyasaland) used the Southern Rhodesian pound. In 1955, a new currency was introduced, the Rhodesia and Nyasaland pound. This was replaced by the Malawian pound in 1964, following Malawi's independence. The pound was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence. The pound was replaced by the decimal kwacha in 1971, at a rate of 2 kwacha = 1 pound.

Malawian pound
Banknotes5/-, 10/-, £1, £5
Coins1d, 6d, 1 shilling, 1 florin (2/-), ½ crown (2/6)
Central bankReserve Bank of Malawi
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.


In 1964, coins were issued in copper-nickel and in the denominations of 6 pence, 1 shilling, 1 florin (2 shillings) and ½ crown (2½ shillings). All bore the portrait of Hastings Banda. In 1967, 1 penny coins were introduced. The 1 penny had a smooth edge whereas all the other coins had 4×4 interrupted milling.


On 6 July 1964, Nyasaland became independent from Britain and renamed itself Malaŵi. For two years, the British monarch, Elizabeth II, remained head of state as Queen of Malawi. Upon becoming a republic in 1966, Malaŵi became a single-party state under the presidency of Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who remained president until 1994, when he was ousted from power. His portrait appears on the front of all notes issued during his three decades in office, with scenes on the back emphasizing agriculture’s great importance to Malaŵi’s economy. Notes during his presidency also carry watermarks (and later registration devices) of a rooster, the symbol of Banda’s Malaŵi Congress Party. The first series of notes dated 1964 and issued by the Reserve Bank of Malawi consists of the denominations 5 and 10 shillings, as well as 1 and 5 pounds.[1]


  1. Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Malawi". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA:
Preceded by:
Rhodesia and Nyasaland pound
Reason: independence
Ratio: at par
Currency of Malaŵi
1964 1971
Succeeded by:
Malawian kwacha
Ratio: 2 kwacha = 1 pound

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