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Malawi

 

Malawi

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Rapporto Congiunto (Zambia, Malawi & Botswana) [In Italian]

List of Ministries in the Malawian Government

MALAWI


 
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  • Name: Republic of Malawi;
  • Form of government: Former British protectorate of Nyasaland, it became Independent in 1964;
  • Capital: Lilongwe;
  • Area: 118.480 KM²;
  • Population: 13,600,000 inhabitants (2007 estimate);
  • Life expectancy at birth: 43 years;
  • Fertility Rate: 6 children per woman;
  • Ethnic Group: Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, Ngonde, Asiatic, European;
  • Religion: Christians 79.9%, Muslims 12.8%, others 3% (1998 census);
  • Languages; Chichewa 57.2% (official), Chinyanja 12.8%, Chiyao 10.1%, Chitumbuka 9.5%, Chisena 2.7%, Chilomwe 2.4%, Chitonga 1.7%, altri 3.6% (1998 census);
  • Literacy: 62.7% (Male 76.1; Female 49.8% - 2003 estimate).

Political- Institutional Data: 

  • Administrative Division: 27 districts: Balaka, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Chitipa, Dedza, Dowa, Karonga, Kasungu, Likoma, Lilongwe, Machinga (Kasupe), Mangochi, Mchinji, Mulanje, Mwanza, Mzimba, Ntcheu, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Nsanje, Ntchisi, Phalombe, Rumphi, Salima, Thyolo, Zomba;
  • National Day: Independence Day, 6 July (1964);
  • Constitution: May 1994;
  • Legislative Organ: Unicameral Parliament (National Assembly) with 193 seats. Members are elected through universal suffrage for a 5-year term;
  • Last election results (20th May 2004): UDF 74, MCP 60, Independents 24, RP 16, others 18, vacant 1;
  • Principal Political Parties: United Democratic Front (UDF) [Bakili MULUZI]; Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) [Bingu wa MUTHARIKA]; Malawi Congress Party (MCP) [John TEMBO]; Malawi Democratic Party (MDP) [Kampelo KALUA]; Mgwirizano Coalition (MC: coalition formed by MAFUNDE, MDP, MGODE, NUP, PETRA, PPM, RP) [Gwandaguluwe CHAKUAMBA];
  • Executive Organ: Chief of State and Head of the Government: Joyce BANDA (since 7h April 2012); The Government is appointed by the President, who is elected every 5 years.

The composition of the current Government: click here

Economical and commercial Data:

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and it is the 165° (with a value of 0,404) country in the UNDP Index for Human Development in 2004. Unlike its neighbours, Malawi’s subsoil is poor in minerals; therefore the soil’s fertility is the only population’s resource. In the last years, the alternating drought and floods has seriously damaged the agriculture, giving rise to food emergencies.
 
Since 1981, Malawi, supported by World Bank and IMF, has undertaken many programmes in order to resolve its structural weaknesses. However, the economic improvements have proved to be temporary and they have not turned into a widespread economic growth for the whole population. The lack of a fiscal discipline together with the plague of corruption brought the suspension of  international donors’ aids in support to the national budget until the first half of 2003.

In September 2006, however, Malawi reached the "completion point" of the HIPC initiative. This is a great result for the economy and for the credibility of the country because it will assure the diponibility of 60 millions of US dollars.
 
The “Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper” (PRSP) was lunched in 2002 with the aim to involve the poorest social classes in the participation of the country’s economic development. It is based on 4 focal points which summarize the activities in a coherent framework and which can be summed up as follows: strategies to address

  1. a fast and lasting economic growth and a structural transformation to the poorest classes’ advantage;
  2. the development of the human capital;
  3. the improvement of living conditions of the most vulnerable levels of society;
  4. the achievement of good  government.

Moreover, the document identifies and deals with the issues of HIV/AIDS spreading, gender inequality, environment, and scientific and technological development. The first two issues have a big relevance in the poverty’s problem: Malawi has got one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world, 25% of the pregnant women that go to the clinical centres in the cities are infected, AIDS affects mostly youth between the ages of 15 and 24 and mostly the female population.
 
Development cooperation:

Italian cooperation operates in Malawi through two NGO called “Ricerca e Cooperazione” and "CESTAS" working on projects in the agricultural, health and food security fields.  

Economic Cooperation:  

In the last years, Malawi recorded an excessive increase of internal debt. Due to the greater poverty and the limited availability of export resources (substantially reduced to tobacco and tea), the re-instating of the IMF’s financial assistance, following the improvements in the government’s monetary policy, is considered to be very important for the country.

Even if in 2005 Malawi reached the completion point of the HIPC initiative, it will be necessary that the government continue with a policy of fiscal austerity, which the IMF is determined to review through official missions in the country.

The commercial exchange between Malawi and Italy is growing (€ 4.5 millions during the first semester of 2006, against € 3.2 millions in the same period of 2005) while the external balance is positive. In 2005, GDP rate was 2.6% even if inflation rate is growth (15.5%, source: World Bank).
  
The main items of the Italian exports towards the country are chemical products and that of the paper industry, whereas the principal imports are for agricultural products.

The bilateral agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investments, signed in August 2003 and awaiting ratification, represents a useful instrument to create a favourable climate for a growth of the Italian companies in the Country. The tourism sector has a large margin for growth. The Italian tourism presence in Malawi can find its incentives not only in the natural beauty of the several parks but also in the elements that differentiate Malawi from the neighbouring countries, ie: the greater historical and cultural wealth.

Also the agricultural sector could benefit by the presence of the Italian manufacturers of irrigation plants, considering the need of the Country to diversify its crops and to overcome their seasonal character. Of interest appears to be investment opportunities by firms which can operate in the field of agricultural product’s transformation, especially of tobacco.


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