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Causes of poverty in Malawi

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Causes of poverty in Malawi
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Date of reg.: 26.06.2018
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Sent: 02.07.2019 | 18:30:34

     There is no clear definition of what a poor country is. The general understanding is that a country is poor if the majority of its citizens do not reach a certain minimum standard of living.

     Africa, as is known, is the second largest continent in the world. More than 1.1 billion people live here (2013), which is 15% of the world's population. The African continent is abundant in many natural resources. Despite a large population (abundance of labor) and rich natural resources, African countries are among the poorest in the world. And Malawi is no exception.

     Let's clarify the causes of poverty in Malawi and Africa as a whole.

High fertility rate

     In Malawi, the birth rate is about 4-8 children per woman. High fertility has an impressive effect on population growth. As a rule, with a high birth rate, the growth of the economy lags behind the growth of the population. A general view of the level of malnutrition in the world shows that the more children there are in a country, the more likely they are to be malnourished.

Dependency syndrome

     The dependency syndrome in Malawi and other countries arose after the collapse of colonialism. Dependency syndrome is when the people is waiting for help from sponsors. People in Africa are always looking for someone who can help. Here, the ability to be entrepreneurial was lost. Therefore, if there are no sponsors, people remain in poverty.


     Malawi's population suffers from serious diseases. These are HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and others. Diseases make people unable to make a living. Affected people lose most of their quality of life, they suffer physically, psychologically and socially. Families suffer when they see that one of their members is doomed to die young. If a parent dies, his children become orphans.

Bad governance

     In poor countries, the government does not function as it should. It does not provide a reliable law and its reliable application, and the administration and the judicial system do not work the way they should.

     People in power cling to their power. They have an interest in maintaining the status quo, no matter how bad the status quo is for the rest of the population. People below are too poor or uneducated to engage in politics.

     The weakness of state institutions creates the conditions for the emergence of organized crime.


     It seems that corruption is a disease that is deeply rooted in the local community. Those who do not take part in it, in the end, simply find themselves at a disadvantage. Therefore, most people are involved in corruption at all levels. Corruption becomes a part of the general culture and people perceive it as a familiar side of life.

Poor education system

     In Malawi, most likely, you will easily meet a person who cannot read and write. A good education could be a solution to many problems. More educated people, as a rule, earn more, contribute more to the national economy, have fewer children, and their children are more educated. Education for women is considered the most effective way of birth control.


     One reason to skip work may be low wages. Government employees (for example, teachers or medical workers) are usually paid very little. Consequently, they can do other work in parallel. In addition, poor career opportunities simply do not give people enough incentive to work. Absenteeism in general in all professions has a negative impact on the economy. The problem is that absenteeism is largely tolerated by society.


     Sewer pipes can be blocked by garbage, water will accumulate in the streets and soften the ground, destabilizing nearby houses, which is very common in Malawi.

     Garbage is the source of a lot of health problems. Goats eat garbage, and people eat goats. So people eat garbage. Garbage attracts rats, dogs and insects, they spread the disease.

     Garbage poisons groundwater. One of the main problems of poor countries such as Malawi today is the lack of clean drinking water. If water is poisoned with garbage, it will contain pathogens and toxins. Drinking or using such water in cooking leads to diseases and even death.

     The presence of garbage makes the city less attractive for tourists. Ultimately, the abundance of garbage reduces the income that tourism brings.

Bad land utilization

     In Malawi, people often own large plots of land, but do not use these plots to the fullest extent, and sometimes do not use them at all. This is partly because they either do not know what to do with the land, or because they are simply stuck in the primitive way of doing household. They use their land for growing crops, which is enough for one family. Nothing is sent to the market for sale.

Bad network service

     Network service is one of the worst and most expensive things in Malawi. The Internet is mostly mobile. 1 Gb of traffic costs up to 3,500 Kwacha ($ 4.5). Only a very limited number (10%) of people in Malawi use the Internet, understanding how the world is changing.

     These are just some of the causes of poverty in Malawi and other African countries. There are so many reasons, I gave only the most important of them.

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