She was born on April 12, 1950 and was the President of Malawi from April 7, 2012 to May 31, 2014. She is the founder and leader of the People’s Party.
Banda is a women’s rights activist, who once served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and Vice-President of Malawi from May 2009 to April 2012.
She was Malawi’s first female president following the death of Bingu Wa Mutharika. Before becoming president, she served as the country’s first female vice-president.
Banda was a Member of Parliament and Minister for Gender, Children’s Affairs and Community Services. 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.
The former president has a Cambridge School Certificate, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from Columbus University, a distance education institution, a Bachelor of Social Studies in Gender Studies from the Atlantic International University, USA, another distance education institution and a Diploma in Management of NGOs from the International Labour Organization (ILO) Centre in Turin, Italy.
She received an honorary doctorate in 2013 from Jeonju University.
She married Roy Kachale with whom she had three children. By age 25, she was living in Nairobi, Kenya. Her marriage to Roy Kachele ended in 1981. She is now married to Richard Banda, retired Chief Justice of the Republic of Malawi with whom she has two children.
Joyce Banda entered politics in 1999. She won a parliamentary seat in Malawi’s third democratic election as a member of president Bakili Muluzi’s party. She represented the Zomba-Malosa constituency.
Muluzi appointed her minister for Gender and Community Services. As minister, she fought to enact the Domestic Violence Bill, which had failed for seven years. She designed the National Platform for Action on Orphans and Vulnerable Children and the Zero Tolerance Campaign Against Child Abuse.
In 2004, she was re-elected as a member of Muluzi’s Party.
Bingu Wa Mutharika chose her as his running mate on a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ticket in the 2009 presidential election.
Following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika on 5 April 2012, Joyce Banda was sworn in on 7 April 2012 as President of Malawi