A History of the Lake Nyasa Border Dispute between Tanzania and Malawi


African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships




The Lake Nyasa border dispute between Tanzania and Malawi is historical and requires a historical analysis. The border between the two countries was established by the Anglo-Germany Agreement of 1890, which put the boundary in the shore of Lake Nyasa in modern day Tanzania. However, in 1919 German lost sovereignty and her colonies were administered under mandate system.A part of German East Africa was administered by Britain and named Tanganyika (Tanzania). In reviewing the boundaries of Tanganyika, Britain shifted the boundary from the shore to the middle of Lake Nyasa. When Tanzania got independence, she maintained a water-line boundary while Malawi claimed a shore-line boundary. The boundary alignment causes conflict which requires analysis of historical processes.This helps to understand the causes of the dispute and how the dispute shapes changes and continuities of cross-border relations of the two countries.