The British Central Africa Protectorate existed in the area of present-day Malawi between 1891 and 1907.
The Shire Highlands south of Lake Nyasa and the lands west of the lake had been of interest to the British since they were first explored by David Livingstone in the 1850s, and commercial interests began moving in during the 1880s. In 1889, the Anglo-Portuguese Crisis erupted over control of the area, and Britain declared a Shire Highlands Protectorate, extending it to a Nyasaland Districts Protectorate in 1891, and renaming to British Central Africa Protectorate in 1893.
Sir Henry Hamilton Johnston was commissioner from 1 February 1891 to 16 April 1896. In addition to establishing the administration and police force, he granted land to plantation farmers, and mining companies, gradually dispossessing the natives, who were not familiar with the legal process. Coffee became the chief cash crop.
The protectorate was changed to the Nyasaland Protectorate on 6 July 1907.
Main article at Postage stamps and postal history of British Central Africa.