The kwacha is the official currency of Malawi since 1971 when it replaced the Malawian pound. The name kwacha is derived from the Chichewa word meaning “it has dawned”, and the Reserve Bank of Malawi is the official issuing entity. In 1971, the first notes were issued in denominations of 50 tambala, 1, 2 and 10 kwacha, followed by 5 kwacha in 1973, 20 kwacha in 1983, 50 and 100 kwacha in 1993, 200 kwacha in 1995, 500 kwacha in 2001, 1000 kwacha in 2012 and 2000 kwacha in 2016.
The 50 Malawian kwacha note front design features Inkosi Ya Makhosi Gomani II – Philip Zitonga Maseko (1894 – 1954), who was the Paramount Chief of the Maseko Ngoni, an influential member of the African Protectorate Council along with Chief Mwase of Kasungu and Inkosi ya Makhosi Mbelwa II of Mzimba. The main design is presented against a background with the headquarters of the Reserve Bank of Malawi in Lilongwe (capital city) under a great bright sun. A sketch of the Malawi map, a sketch of a cichlid fish with the denomination inside (two more without the denomination), and illustrative figures of three fishermen fishing in a lake complete the design of this side of the note. The reverse of the note illustrates a scene representing Sustainable Economic Growth and the Wildlife and Tourism subtopics; elephants in Kasungu National Park and a Safari Rover used to promote the tourism industry in Malawi, and the Reserve Bank of Malawi symbol. This note is part of the 2014 – 2020 series, and its color is light blue, orange and green on a multicolor underprint.
Text: Reserve Bank of Malawi, Promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of K50 Issued Under The Reserve Bank of Malawi Act, Governor, 1st January 2017, Fifty Kwacha, 50 Kwacha, Inkhosi ya Makhosi Philip Gomani II, Kasungu National Park.