The Malawian kwacha is the legal currency of Malawi. The value of 1 Malawian kwacha is equivalent to 100 tambalas. As for the ISO standard code, MWK is the code for the Malawian kwacha. The kwacha was introduced in the year 1971 after replacing the Malawian pound (2 kwacha is equivalent to the value of a pound). The name kwacha is said to be derived from the Nyanja and Bemba words which means “dawn”.
The Malawian kwacha issues both the banknote and coinage system, as most countries do. The Malawian coinage system started in the year 1971. The available denominations were 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 tambala. The 50 tambala and 1 kwacha coins were later introduced in the country, specifically in the year 1986. In the year 2007, new coins were introduced in the coinage denominations. These were the fresh bimetallic Malawi coins of 5 and 10 kwacha. All of the aforementioned denominations of the Malawian coins are still presently being circulated in the country of Malawi.
The paper notes in Malawi were introduced in the very same year as that of the coins with denominations of 50 tabala, and 10, 2 and 1 kwacha. 5 kwacha paper notes were introduced in 1973. In that very same year, the 2 kwacha paper notes were booted out of the system. By the year 1983, 20 kwacha banknotes were issued in Malawi. Last to be introduced were the 50 tambala notes which happened in the year 1986, followed by the 1 kwacha banknotes in the year 1988.
The year 1993 was commemorated with the addition of 50 kwacha notes in the then existing Malawi banknotes, as well as 100 kwacha notes. 1995 was the year which gave rise to the 200 kwacha banknotes, while 500 kwacha notes were introduced in 2001.
The different banks in Malawi, aside from its own currency, do accept foreign currencies and even traveler’s checks. As far as currency exchange is concerned, it is known that the US dollar is the easiest one to be exchanged. A dollar is equivalent to 151.75 kwacha. As for the movement of this currency, one could be warned that this holds certain restrictions.
The domestic importation of the currency is unlimited but its export, on the other hand, is only restricted to 200 kwacha. Also, the importation of foreign money is very much unrestricted at the time it arrives in Malawi but the exportation of such money is only permitted up to the stipulated amount that has been officially declared at time of its arrival in Malawi.