The Warm Heart of Africa
Malawi is nicknamed "The Warm Heart of Africa" because of the friendliness of the people.
A Country Located in Southeastern Africa
Malawi is located in southeastern Africa and is slightly larger than the state of Virginia. It is a landlocked country surrounded by Zambia, Mozambique, and Tanzania, which makes it difficult to send and receive goods. High taxes and high fuel costs also make it impossible for the country to access the ports in Mozambique. Lake Malawi makes up about one-third of the country’s area.
Poverty in Malawi
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a largely rural population. Agriculture is the foundation for the country’s economy, which makes the livelihoods of two-thirds of Malawi’s population extremely vulnerable to climate-related shocks. In recent years Malawi’s economy has been rocked by both large-scale flooding and major drought conditions, which led to massive food shortages. Approximately 70% of the population in Malawi lives below the international poverty line with about 25% of the population living in extreme poverty, defined as the inability to satisfy basic food needs.
Malawi has one of the lowest per capita incomes in the world, and the economy relies heavily on aid from other countries and international monetary organizations. Tobacco, tea, and sugar are important exports, making up about 75% of trade markets. Energy shortages are a part of daily life, with about only 11% of the population having access to electricity. Infrastructure and manufacturing development is poor, and the adoption of new technology remains low. Corruption levels remain high throughout the country. Transparency International ranked Malawi at 122 of 180 world economies in 2018.
The Education Crisis in Malawi
Free primary education has only existed in Malawi since 2012. Child illiteracy remains high due to a lack of resources, overcrowding, and unqualified teachers. The student/teacher ratio in Malawi is 99 to 1. The high cost of secondary education makes it impossible for most children to attend school. Improving educational opportunities is among Malawi’s greatest challenges.