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Malawian kwachas  Coin Malawian kwachas  Banknote

The kwacha (ISO 4217: MWK) has been the currency of Malawi since 1971. It is divided into 100 tambala.

The name kwacha derives from the Nyanja and Bemba word for "dawn" while the name tambala translates as "rooster" in Nyanja. A rooster appeared on the first 1 tambala coins.

The kwacha replaced the pound on 1971 at a rate of 2 kwacha = 1 pound (1 kwacha = 10 shillings). As of February 11, 2009, 1 US dollar = 140.97 kwacha. According to, as of 4th July, 2010, 1 Pound sterling =227.681 kwacha, 1 US dollar =149.8 kwacha, 1 South Africa rand =19.4475 kwacha. The table below shows the number of kwacha per U.S. dollar (monthly average).

Coins were introduced in 1971 in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 tambala. The 1 and 2 tambala were struck in bronze, the others in cupro-nickel. In 1986, cupro-nickel 50 tambala and nickel-brass 1 kwacha coins were added. Bimetallic 5 and 10 kwacha coins (dated 2006) were released in January 2007 .

In 1971, banknotes were introduced in denominations of 50 tambala, 1, 2 and 10 kwacha. 5 kwacha notes were introduced in 1973 when the 2 kwacha note was discontinued. 20 kwacha notes were introduced in 1983. 50 tambala notes were last issued in 1986, with the last 1 kwacha notes printed in 1988. In 1993, 50 kwacha notes were introduced, followed by 100 kwacha in 1993, 200 kwacha in 1995 and 500 kwacha in 2001.

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