Malawi's state radio has confirmed that President Bingu wa Mutharika has died. Mr Mutharika suffered a cardiac arrest on Thursday.
The announcement brings to an end 24 hours of confusion after rumours spread of his death but there was no official announcement.
Vice-president Joyce Banda is due to hold a news conference today, officials said, as well as meet the Attorney General and head of the armed forces. She is expected to succeed Mr Mutharika although this has not been officially announced.