The United States established diplomatic relations with Malawi in 1964, following its full independence from the United Kingdom. Malawi was a one-party state from 1966 to 1994. The transition to multi-party democracy in 1994 strengthened bilateral relations between the United States and Malawi. The two countries have worked together to advance health, education, agriculture, energy, and environmental stewardship in Malawi. In 2012, the U.S. reinstated the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact partnership with Malawi following a number of reforms enacted by the Government of Malawi.
U.S. and Malawian views on the necessity of economic and political stability in southern Africa generally coincide. Malawi advocates peaceful solutions to the region's problems through negotiation. The country works to achieve these objectives in a variety of regional and international forums. The United States and Malawi engage in military-to-military programs. Malawi was the first southern African nation to receive peacekeeping training under the U.S.-sponsored African Crisis Response Force Initiative and has joined its successor, the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program.