When Banda, the new president of Malawi, was sworn into office on April 7, following the sudden death of President Bingu wa Mutharika from a heart attack, few expected her to pull her troubled southern African nation from the brink of an economic meltdown. But today, she is doing just that — and more.
April 7, 2012 Joyce Banda gets out of a car during her inauguration as Malawi's new president in a ceremony in the capital, Lilongwe. Banda became the country's first female leader, and Africa's second female president, after Liberia's Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. "For me, Malawi comes first," Banda said. After her swearing in, she told her supporters there was "no room for revenge" after the previous president, the divisive Bingu wa Mutharika, died in office.Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images