The area was dominated by the Twa and Fulani tribes until the 1st century AD when Bantu-speaking tribes made inroads. The explorer David Livingstone reached Lake Nyasa, now Lake Malaŵi, in 1859 and it was the land along the lake’s western shore that became, in 1891, the British Protectorate of Nyasaland. In 1884 the British South Africa Company applied for a charter to trade. Pressure on land, the colour bar and other grievances generated Malaŵian resistance. In 1893 it was renamed the British Central African Protectorate. This became Nyasaland in 1907. By the mid-1940s a nationalist movement had emerged, spearheaded by the Nyasaland African Congress. In 1953 Nyasaland was joined with Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) to form the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, under British control. This union was dissolved in 1963. Nyasaland was self-governing until on 6 July 1964 it became independent, adopting the name Malaŵi. In 1966 Malaŵi was declared a republic and Dr Hastings Banda became the first president, establishing a one party dictatorship which lasted for 30 years. In 1994 Malaŵi returned to multi-party democracy.
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