Lake Nyasa/ Malawi - EI 2013/updated Lake Malawi , now correctly called Lake Malawi

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Text of Lake Nyasa/ Malawi - EI 2013/updated Lake Malawi , now correctly called Lake Malawi

  • Lake Malawi An instance of:

    International Customary

    (Water) Law


    Colonial-era Bilateral Treaties

    Lake view, courtesy of

  • Lake Lake

    Just as Sahara Desert means Desert Desert, and..

    The River Avon (UK) means River River, and..

    Astana, the Capital of Kazakhstan, means Capital..

    European explorer David Livingstone discovered the Lake in 1859, and gave it the name of Lake Nyasa, now correctly called Lake Malawi..

    So, Lake Nyasa simply means Lake Lake, as Nyasa is Swahili for Lake.

  • Reproduced with kind permission of the artist, Godfrey Mwampembwa , @iGado on Twitter, see tweet of 13.11.13

  • Lake Malawi status quo



  • Southern Border

    Southern border agreed by a series of Anglo-Portuguese treaties, dating from 1891 to 1954.

    UK & Portugal treaties relating to ...

    British Central African Protectorate (to 1907)/ Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1953 1963)/ Nyasaland (19071953 & 19631964)/ Malawi (from 1964).

    Overseas Province of Mozambique, State of East Africa (to 1975) / Mozambique (from 1975).

    Full USA State Department briefing (1971) at

    1891 Treaty gave Lake Malawi to Nyasaland (Malawi).

    1954 Treaty resulted in an equitable split.

  • Southern Border, 54

    Lake Malawi:

    the boundary was shifted from the eastern shore to the median line

    2,471 square miles of water surface area to Portugal

    Outwith Lake Malawi:

    23 square miles was included in the entity by redemarcating the line westward in Lake Chiuta (c. 50/50)

    2 square miles of land also was given to Mozambique in the vicinity of Nsanje.

    UK Nyasaland received about eight square miles of Portuguese territory in the Angonia area of the Tete District

  • Northern Border

    Eastern Shore of Lake Nyasa as per Anglo-German Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty of 1890

    Main provisions of 1890 treaty: UK & Germany mutually recognized East Africa territories; UK ceded Heligoland; & Germany recognized Zanzibar as a British Protectorate

    Tanzanian government argument for median line border on Lake Nyasa

  • Northern Border Talks

    January 1967: Tanzanian government letter to Malawian government proposing a

    negotiated settlement.

    Letter acknowledged, Malawians stating response to issues raised to follow.

    June 1967: Malawian President Kamuzu Banda addresses National Assembly and asserts sovereignty.

    June 2005: Malawian President Bingu Mutharika wrote to Tanzanian President Ben Mkapa suggesting negotiations.

    August 2013: Malawian president Joyce Banda held talks with Tanzanias president Jakaya Kikwete at Southern Africa Development Community Summit. Further inter-governmental talks planned.

  • September 2013 mediation

    deadline... now passed Deadline was set by Malawian President Joyce Banda.

    Quent Kalichero, Malawian Mining Ministry spokesman:

    Indeed, the mediation team was initially given up to September to conclude the mediation process. However, the team indicated that there were some technicalities that were not in place then, that made it not possible for the work to be done by the set deadline.

    There has since been movement on the technicalities, and the Government of Malawi hopes that the mediation process will be finalised in the shortest time possible.

  • Oil & Gas?

    Unknown, but promising...

    Great Rift Valley (GRF) features:

    Half-grabens of opposing asymmetry.

    Similar bathymetry, border-fault length, rift zone width & fault segment length.

    Sudan, Chad, Kenya & Uganda oil finds.

    Preliminary geological studies encouraging, commercial exploration licenses now issued by Malawi.

  • Oil & Gas Licensing

    Overall level of reserves unknown.

    3/3/11 Malawi issues two further exploration licenses:

    6 petroleum exploration blocks now licensed.

    5 covering the Lake, one just onshore.

    Licensees: Surestream Petroleum (UK); RakGas (UAE); Sacoil (RSA); & Pacific Oil (Singapore)

  • Maps of Blocks 1 - 3

    Blocks: 1: Sacoil

    2 & 3: Sure Stream

    4 & 5: Rak Gas (map unavailable)

    6: Pacific Oil and Gas (map unavailable)

  • Thank You, Any Questions?

    @edwindunee (Twitter)


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