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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
Vice President Khumbo Kachali
Preceded by Bingu wa Mutharika
Succeeded by Peter Mutharika
Vice President of Malawi
In office
29 May 2009 – 7 April 2012
President Bingu wa Mutharika
Preceded by Cassim Chilumpha
Succeeded by Khumbo Kachali
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
1 June 2006 – 29 May 2009
President Bingu wa Mutharika
Preceded by George Chaponda
Succeeded by Etta Banda
Minister of Gender, Child Welfare, and Community Service
In office
President Bingu wa Mutharika
Personal details
Joyce Hilda Ntila

(1950-04-12) 12 April 1950 (age 73)
Malemia, Nyasaland
(now Malawi)
Political party United Democratic Front (Before 2004)
Democratic Progressive Party (2004–2010)
People's Party (2011–present)
Spouses Roy Kachale (Before 1981)
Richard Banda
Children 5
Alma mater Columbus University
Atlantic International University
Royal Roads University

Joyce Hilda Banda (née Ntila; born 12 April 1950) is a Malawian politician who was the President of Malawi from 7 April 2012 to 31 May 2014. Banda took office as President following the sudden death of President Bingu wa Mutharika. She is the founder and leader of the People's Party, created in 2011. An educator and grassroots women's rights activist, she was the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and the Vice-President of Malawi from May 2009 to April 2012. She had served in various roles as a member of Parliament and as Minister of Gender and Child Welfare before she became the President of the Republic of Malawi.

Before her active career in politics, she was the founder of the Joyce Banda Foundation, founder of the National Association of Business Women (NABW), Young Women Leaders Network and the Hunger Project.

Banda was Malawi's fourth president and its first female president and second female head of state, after Elizabeth II. She was the second woman to become the president in the African continent, after Liberia's Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She was also the country's first female vice-president. In June 2014, Forbes named President Banda as the 40th most powerful woman in the world and the most powerful woman in Africa. In October 2014, she was included in the BBC's 100 Women.

Personal and family life

Joyce Hilda Ntila was born on 12 April 1950 in Malemia, a village in the Zomba District of Nyasaland (now Malawi). Her father was a police brass band musician. She began her career as a secretary and became a well-known figure during the rule of dictator Hastings Banda (no relation).

She has a Cambridge School Certificate, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from Columbus University (an unaccredited distance education institution), a Bachelor of Social Studies in Gender Studies from Atlantic International University (also a distance learning institution) and a Diploma in Management of NGOs from the International Labour Organization (ILO) Centre in Turin, Italy. Currently, she is studying for a Master of Arts Degree in Leadership at Royal Roads University in Canada. She received an honorary doctorate in 2013 from Jeonju University.

She married Roy Kachale, with whom she had three children. At the age 25, she was living in Nairobi, Kenya.

In 1975, a growing women's movement in Kenya motivated Banda to take her three children and leave what she has described as an abusive marriage. Her marriage to Roy Kachele ended in 1981. She is now married to Richard Banda, retired Chief Justice of Malawi, with whom she has two children.

Between 1985 and 1997 Banda managed and established various businesses and organisations including Ndekani Garments (1985), Akajuwe Enterprises (1992), and Kalingidza Bakery (1995). Her success inspired her to help other women achieve financial independence and break the cycles of abuse and poverty.

She is sister to Anjimile Oponyo, former CEO of the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, financed by Madonna.

Joyce Banda Foundation

Before becoming vice-president, she was the founder and CEO of the Joyce Banda Foundation. 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. 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. The association aims to lift women out of poverty by strengthening their capacity and empowering them economically. 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. They work towards creating dialogue with policymakers to make policies favourable to women business owners. Its current director is Mary Malunga. The foundation has had a partnership with the Netherlands-based Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos) at The Hague since 2003.

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. 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.

She served as commissioner for "Bridging a World Divided" alongside personalities such as Bishop Desmond Tutu, and United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Mary Robinson. 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).

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.


National awards

  • Woman of the Year, Malawi, 1997
  • Woman of the Year, Malawi, 1998
  • Nyasa Times Multimedia 'Person of the Year', 2010

International awards

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


  • Most powerful woman in the world 2014, Forbes Magazine – rank #40
  • 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

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Joyce Banda para niños

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