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Malawi’s Joyce Banda ushers in a new kind of African leadership

BLANTYRE, Malawi — By the standards of most African leaders, President Joyce Banda is a renegade.

Since taking office less than four months ago, she has threatened to arrest Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, indicted for war crimes, if he tries to enter her country. She has suggested that Malawi repeal laws criminalizing homosexuality, at a time when many other African countries are moving to strengthen theirs. And in a part of the world where repression of journalists is widespread, she has ushered in media freedoms.

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