Malawi may not be poorest of the poor in 2015 ranking –World Bank

The World Bank has explained its recent ranking of world’s 10 poorest countries where Malawi topped the list says the bank is yet to release the 2015 ranking.

Laura Kullenberg, World Bank boss in Malawi

Laura Kullenberg, World Bank boss in Malawi

The World Bank’s Communications Officers in Malawi, Zeria Banda, says the recently published ranking is inaccurate as it is a mixture of the World Bank’s 2013 figures with comparative information which the bank has no knowledge of.

“What is ours in the ranking are the GDP figures but those were for 2013. The ranking is not ours. If it was us we would have explained in the ranking what happened to reach those figures,” Banda stated.

Banda said people who produced the ranking only had access to those 2013 numbers “and that’s why they decided to use them.”

“In fact we didn’t release the comparative report as what has been published. We released the GDP numbers and that’s information for 2013 and this is 2015. And right now we are working on 2014 numbers,” she emphasized.

In his popular Muckraking column published on Sunday, columnist Raphael Tenthani pointed out that “Poorest of the poor” is one ‘Badge of Dishonour’ Malawi would rather not have.

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40 thoughts on “Malawi may not be poorest of the poor in 2015 ranking –World Bank”

  1. Mbolo Sidwala! says:

    A bank of the world bank calibre cannot be careless wth the figures, what do u stand to gain by releasing 2013 figures? Ndiye mutipepesetu ife a Malawi. I thought world bank officials are supposed to be knowledgeable in these matters?

  2. Malawi may be poor, but it has big heart and a will to succeed

  3. honey comb Chidyauzu says:

    You do not need to be a rocket scientist to know that Malawi is a poorest nation on earth.
    Just go in the villages and shanty townships and see how people are living. People cannot aford a descent meal . Moreever commodities are very expensive here compared to other countries yet salaries are the lowest.

  4. Nediek says:

    What is the real fact of the matter for me:
    . There are some facking rich Malawians-very few
    . There are the very poor Malawians- Paupers- Plenty
    . Whether we use 1964 as a benchmark or starting point or just remember that we are in 2015. It does not really change facts
    . When World Bank cooks other figures suiting 2015 and they appear to tell a different story, would it really change facts”Pa CHICHEWA AMATI KUDZIKWATA NDI CHALA”
    .Committee ya Golden Jubillee ya Independence ya Malawi kodi zotsatira zake zinali zotani. Was there anything really to show off to the world?
    . We have a beautiful, peaceful small poor Country where we have plenty of UNTAPPED resources and I AM PROUDLY MALAWIAN

  5. The Truthful One from the West says:

    For Malawi to move ahead economically we have to accept that we are the poorest country in the world. Indeed we are. Then we should be debating, in a non partisan way, what we should be doing to start uplifting ourselves. The DPP is doing things in the same way it has been done over the past 50years. It cannot improve things.

    1. Jang`ala says:

      @Truthful from the west. R u sure if we can start debating unpartisan right now Malawi can prosper?Zachamba eti! Think b4 commentin on de net.

  6. Havez al Sahalaaw says:

    A spokesperson for world bank cannot be a ‘Banda’. This is fellow Malawi at City Centre who just loves her country. But the ‘World’ views Malawi as the ‘Poorest’. Lets take it and work hard so that we will not be branded ‘Poorest’ again.

  7. Please!! says:

    What ever indicators or data we use , the fact that we can not deny is that we are a poor nation, poorest or not we are a poor nation………’s as simple as that

  8. MunthuWanzeru says:

    So the figures were 2013. Its JB who dwindled our economy. No wonder umbava unafika poopsa. Pano anathawa kuopa kumangidwa. Akuziwapo kanthu

  9. Thitherward Wendo says:

    We create wealth by adding value to our assets. Our greatest assets are our young people. Until we start to spend the bulk of our budget on maximizing the education and health of our young people, we will remain impoverished.

  10. Zeria Banda says:

    The World Bank has issued a press release clarifying the GDP per capita numbers being refered to. Press reports confuse GDP per capita in current USD with GDP per capita Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms. The Bank has not released any report ranking countries according to poverty levels based on GDP per capita. Poverty levels are determined by both monetary and non-monetary dimensions. By providing this clarification we are not denying that poverty remains prevalent in Malawi. It is to ensure that statistics are correctly qouted and those whose duty is to share information with the public use credible sources. Anyone can access World Bank data at It is actually commendable that there has been such vibrant discussions on Malawi’s poverty situation. It’s important to reflect together how to more effectively reduce this poverty.

  11. make says:

    From the comments I see that there is a lot of misunderstanding of the issue. 1. World bank has not released the figures for 2015. The website called cheatsheet was the one which released figures claiming that Malawi is the poorest in the world 3. Cheatsheet did not give a breakdown of how it came to rank countries apart from alluding to world Bank 2013 gdp figures. zeria is refuting bcoz the 2015figures are not from world Bank but from cheatsheet. Cheatsheet based it’s calculations on old world Bank data. The onus is not on world Bank to take cheat sheet to task– they really have no control over what people do with their data. It should have been the job of local journalists to take cheatsheet to task and to verify it’s authenticity before quoting it.

  12. Nkhwatakwata says:

    No matter our political differences, Malawi can never be the poorest, in this age of global TV do you need rocket science to know that most countries in West Africa are poorer than Malawi? Malawians do not go to West Africa as economic asylum seekers but we have an influx of West Africans, Somalis and Ethiopians into Malawi. Probably the countries that Malawians go to in search of greener pastures are Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and probably Mozambique. Even Zimbabweans are flooding Malawi, there is less of Zambian business ladies in Lilongwe now an indication that Zambian is now better than Malawi’s, from the law of nature: heat flow high temperature to low, I would expect migration to be from poor to rich, why do we have more influx from West Africa and East Africa into Malawi than vice-a-versa?

  13. Aidgate says:

    Malawi does not need a scientific analysis of its poverty standing in the world it’s pretty clear that this nation is as poor as a church mouse. The Indicators are visible to the naked eye. We may want to deny the World Bank analysis but it is what it is. 50 years after our colonial masters left majority of Malawians:
    1. Leave on less than a Dollar a day
    2. Have no access to running water ( including in the big cities)
    3. Healthcare is in tatters
    4. Infrastructure is in shambles
    5. People still leave in grass-thatched mud houses
    6. Farmers still use outdated/crude farming techniques
    7. Electricity is sporadic if any at all ( this is in big cities not some remote towns)
    8. Corruption by public servants is at its highest
    9. The gap between the rich and the poor is as wide as can be
    10. Quality of Education is in the toilet
    11. Cost of basic commodities is exorbitantly high
    12. Our leadership has no clue how to lift this nation out of this mess. They are going to reform the civil service first while people are dying of hunger, abjunct poverty and poor health care.

    Don’t you dare label us a poor of the poorest nation!!!! Oh no no no we are a Rich Nation !!! We stink Money!!!! …………ain’t we pathetic!!

  14. Okay says:

    If Malawi is really poorest of the poor, then Malawians are poor in a land of plenty. Just check what cashgaters looted in this so called impoverished nation. I and my family have made up our mind never to confess poverty. The God we serve is God of everything. he is providing for our needs and will never stop doing so. We choose to take God’s report in the presence of that of World bank because God has the final say over our lives. This is not denial if you look at things optimistically and with a spiritual eye and faith.

  15. Diplomat Mshosho says:

    Poor or not poor anyone can argue here but have we ever been better off as a nation? Can someone come to light to tell the world if there is any country we are ahead of in terms of socioeconomic development. Nthawi zinatu kukhalitsa muumphawi umapangitsa munthu kumaziwona ngati ndiwe wochita bwino. That is the case with those who are arguing here that we are not poor.

  16. j cholomandenga says:

    Anyone with an open mind does not need to look at World Bank figures to see the state of poverty in our country, it is so perverse .

  17. Babalu says:

    Koma akuluakulu,zina kambu zina leku, azibale athu mmidzimu ali pa umphawi.Kumamwa madzi a mzitsime lero!Ana kumaphunzira pansi pa mtengo atakhala pa dothi,tizigayo ta dizilu tongokhazika popanda structure, zoona??? Ma indicators a umphawi. Inu a world bank musatichekenele apa.Ana ambiri kupita kusukulu bare footed zoona, 50 years down the line.Cry my beloved malawi

  18. Ntchona says:

    Give us the ranking ASAP. It feels terrible to be classified the poorest nation on earth. I still carry my malawian passport where ever I go but this classification tempts one to bury it at times. Come on those in echelons of power you should also be ashamed to run a country in this state . The least we could do is nip corruption on the bud and put this country back on it’s feet

  19. ELHAPO says:

    What is the good Lady saying? Are the figures correct or not? Is she attempting to make $200 appear better than $300?

  20. NKHAMANGA says:

    Much as I am far from being content with our current status quo vis-a-vis the ailing economic plater mingled with the dissatisfaftion I have towards our current flabby political masters on the driving seat, I concurr with the sentiments expressed in this article.

  21. Jose' says:

    Is somebody out to confuse Malawians? World bank ranking: poorest – 7 days down the line – World Bank Malawi: inaccurate information. Which side of the bank should Malawians take seriously?

    But one thing I know is that malawi is a poor country – no two ways about that!

  22. Phaghlani Vwavwa says:

    The explanation makes no difference. We are among the poorest, and that is enough for us to do something about this poverty

  23. wanda says:

    Well, very interesting news. With DPP at the helm of govt, anticipate doctoring of info as it did when late Mutharika was president. Telling lies that Malawi’s economy was growing @ the rate of 7 per cent when in fact it was @3.5 per cent. Here they are, trying to doctor the figures again. Never the less, Malawi will remain the poorest country and that’s the truth. Period!

  24. Frodo says:

    However you tweak the figures, Malawian will remain the poorest country in so many aspects: science & tech, literacy & education and general civilisation.

  25. Kanonono says:

    Men and Women lie but numbers don’t. Facts are stubborn things. It requires a lot of miracles to come out of the world’s ten worst economies. It is not one man’s problem. It is about job discipline. It is about understanding that farming can be a serious commercial undertaking if taken seriously. It is about understanding the need to have the right number of kids that you can take care of without the help of your uncle, aunt, father or mother. It is about understanding that at the age of 20, a boy is still too young to get into family affairs. It is about understanding that there is time for political campaigns and time to concentrate on building the economy of a country. It is about a leadership that is capable of directing people what to do and at what time. It is about understanding that no region is more important than the country. It is about creating an effective workforce that can think outside the box and if need be, exporting the same so they can send forex back home. Ending poverty is a mixture of a number of issues that need concerted efforts of all well-wishers.

  26. makito says:

    Obvious. Government took the Bank to task. Diplomatic game.

  27. wafederation says:

    Why do we celebrate bad news? Look at that hypocrite who wrote Global Fund to stop giving grants to NAC now saying “it is very sad that the Global Fund has stopped funding Malawi”! Really? Let us love our country, why do we spend a lot of negative energy bad mouthing our own country? Its one party and one president ruling at a time, stop fantasizing that if ur party was ruling ur president would manage the affairs of the country better, that’s nonsense and wishiful thinking. Let us build our Nation together!

  28. John says:

    Jah jah jah. Its not our figures my foot! So what, the world bank did not check their figures? YOU did not check the figures before they were released? And why 2013 figures? Oooh we know why, because thats when Joyce Banda was in power and you shelving the blame onto her! Idiots!!!!!!

  29. ant -Balaka says:

    Anyway your explaination does not add up, we know already that we are poor nation but not the least of all poor nations in the World, like myself I didn’t buy your story from the start, it was obvious another bunch of witch hunting by the West to create disapproval with of people in this new government bcoz the West are still fighting for gay right in this country and this new government says No! Ways.

  30. ujeni says:

    Things have even got worse in 2014-2015. Nothing will change when 2014 figures are released in 2016.

  31. phodogoma says:

    Laura you smiling over that. We knew that you are doing all that because you are not in good terms with Malawi Government. If you are not providing anything to Malawi there is no reason you can say anything good about Malawi. How can you destroy Malawi just like that?

  32. just got says:

    Good but you will see that the mainstream media will not publicize this information. that data was from a dubious website with no known information. Malawian journalists who are always eager to assert anything negative about Malawi did not even care to critically analyse the data. All over sudden everybody became a learned economist and started regurgitating meanings of gdp off of Wikipedia. Malawians are becoming more knowledgeable and journalists better pull up their socks to match sophisticated readers. Days of simply copying information from the Internet without understanding it are long gone, muzagwidwa bodza.

  33. one malawi one people says:

    we knew that was jb’s work to discredit the current gvt….akutaya nthawi. …one Malawi one people, tigwira ntchito titukula dziko lathu…sinthawi yotetteza ndi kubakila anthu akuba ngati jb…..she wants to look like a saint ili mbava yachabechabe. mfiti yayikazi yopanda chisoni!

    1. Think Tank says:

      when they say jb is powerful woman you accuse the West of elevating her too much. Now here you are admitting she has powers to dictate to the World Bank. Stop making her a scapegoat and face the realities of life.

  34. vinjeru Limbani Kachali says:

    Malawians should not be taken for granted pls. If its not you the wolrd bank who was our president talking to and why would someone use the world bank to claim such kind of serious and sensitive issues, suplisingly enough why is it that you ( the world bank)are not talking hard on who ever your are claiming that he or she or it is not the right entity to talk on behalf of world bank.

    Please answer these question , who collects the GDP data, when, where and how and how transparent and accountable is the system and how do you convience us that the information that your generate from the data is not used to spearhead ur neo-liberal agendas.

    I would also like to mention it clealy here that the world bank and your other brother organisations like IMF, WTO etc we know your agendas and we also know that ur agendas are hurting us alot especially the developing countries and we also know that there is a huge evidence of literature and practical information that talks against ur intervention into government affairs especially at macro-economic policy, i tell u we know and i assure u that one day Malawians will be tired and they will rise …..

  35. kanchenga says:

    If you are working on the 2014 figures that are not yours anyway it means we will know about yours in 2017 and all this time we will be the poorest nation on earth. One of the reasons is stealing government time. In a ideal situation these figures should be available every three month. But not in Malawi. We are too busy attending public functions or presidential parades or collecting allowances by creating seminars we don’t need.

  36. Think Tank says:

    Dont be diplomatic here Zeria Banda. You are toning down the disgrace and shifting it to someone’s period. The truth is we have always been in this log table. Whatever gymnastics you will demostrate to drop us from number one will not change the fact that we are poor.

  37. special advisor says:

    I am confused. Does it mean that there is a cmake nspiracy thay doctor a doctoring figures so that when world bank releases their 2015 report we are rated as growing faster than Qatar?

  38. nganga bulawayo says:

    World Bank mukupepesa chiani? The damage has already been done. We have accepted the badge of honor. And we are working hard to prove the world bank to be wrong. But thank you this has helped to shake us pang’ono from out comfort zone

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