Joyce Banda

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After the flag was changed in 2010 by the Mutharika government, there was public opposition. Many groups challenged the legitimacy of the flag. On 28 May 2012, Banda led the nation's MPs to vote to revert the flag back to its independence flag, which was originally adopted in 1964. All parties, except the DPP, voted in favour of reverting to the independence flag. [59]

Post-presidential life

Banda stayed in self-imposed exile in the United States as a distinguished fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and Center for Global Development for three years, prior to returning to Malawi in 2018. [60] To date, no charges have been formally filed against Banda.

Banda entered the 2019 presidential election as a candidate for the People's Party, but withdrew her candidacy two months before the election; [61] she later endorsed opposition candidate Lazarus Chakwera. [62] [63] After the 2019 presidential election was annulled, she endorsed Chakwera again in the 2020 re-do. Banda's son Roy Kahele-Banda was named to Chakwera's cabinet as Minister of Industry.

Joyce Banda Foundation

Before becoming vice-president, she was the founder and CEO of the Joyce Banda Foundation. [64] for better Education, a charitable foundation that assists Malawian children and orphans through education. It is a complex of primary and secondary schools in the Chimwankhunda area of Blantyre. It includes an orphan care center that consists of six centres and 600 children. [65] It also assists the surrounding villages by providing micro-credit to 40 women and 10 youth groups. It provided seeds to over 10,000 farmers and has provided other donations. The foundation has constructed four clinics in four of the 200 villages it assists. The foundation also assists in rural development. It has a partnership with the Jack Brewer Foundation, a global development foundation founded by NFL star, Jack Brewer.

National Association of Business Women

Banda is the founder of the National Association of Business Women in Malawi that was established in 1990. It is a registered non-profit foundation in Malawi. [66] The association aims to lift women out of poverty by strengthening their capacity and empowering them economically. [67] This is a social network of 30,000 women, dedicated to supporting women's businesses and supporting women who want to participate in business. Its activities include business training, technical training, record keeping and management skills. [67] They work towards creating dialogue with policymakers to make policies favourable to women business owners. [68] Its current director is Mary Malunga. [68] The foundation has had a partnership with the Netherlands-based Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos) at The Hague since 2003. [67]

Philanthropy and development initiatives

Banda has been involved with many grassroots projects with women since the age of 25 to bring about policy change, particularly in education. She founded the Joyce Banda Foundation for Better Education. She founded the Young Women Leaders Network, National Association of Business Women and the Hunger Project in Malawi. She (jointly with President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique) was awarded the 1997 Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger by the Hunger Project, a New York-based non-governmental organisation. She used the prize money to fund the building of the Joyce Banda foundation for children. [65] In 2006, she received the International Award for the Health and Dignity of Women for her dedication to the rights of the women of Malawi by the Americans for United Nations Population Fund. [21]

She served as commissioner for "Bridging a World Divided" alongside personalities such as Bishop Desmond Tutu, and United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Mary Robinson. [14] Banda was also member of the Advisory Board for Education in Washington DC, and on the advisory board for the Federation of World Peace and Love in Taiwan (China). [14]

As part of a government move on austerity measures in October 2012, Banda cut her salary by 30%. She also announced that the presidential jet would be sold. [69]

Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health

In 2010, Banda became a member of the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health, [70] a group of sixteen sitting and former heads of state, high-level policymakers and other leaders committed to advancing reproductive health for lasting development and prosperity. [70] Chaired by former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, these leaders seek to mobilise the political will and financial resources necessary to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015 – a key target of the UN Millennium Development Goals. [70]


National awards

  • Woman of the Year, Malawi, 1997 [14]
  • Woman of the Year, Malawi, 1998 [14]
  • Nyasa Times Multimedia 'Person of the Year', 2010 [71]

International awards

  • Martin Luther King Drum Major Award, 2012, Washington DC [72]
  • Legends Award for Leadership, 2012, Greater African Methodist Episcopal Church [73]
  • Women of Substance Award, 2010, African Women Development Fund [74]
  • Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger, 1997, Hunger Project of NY [14]
  • International award for entrepreneurship development, 1998, Africa Federation of Woman Entrepreneurs and Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) [14]
  • 100 Heroines award, 1998, Rochester, New York [14]
  • Certificate of Honors, 2001, Federation of World Peace and Love, Taiwan, Republic of China [14]


  • Most powerful woman in the world 2014, Forbes Magazine – rank #40 [8]
  • Most powerful woman in the world 2013, Forbes Magazine – rank #47
  • Most powerful woman in the world 2012, Forbes Magazine – rank #71
  • Most powerful woman in Africa 2012, Forbes Magazine – rank #1
  • Most powerful woman in Africa 2011, Forbes Magazine – rank #3

See also

Further reading

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Joyce Banda
President of Malawi Joyce Banda (8985928177).jpg
Banda in 2013
4th President of Malawi
In office
7 April 2012 31 May 2014
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Vice President of Malawi
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of Malawi
Succeeded by