UN places Malawi as impoverished nation: Minister takes a spin on poorest status

The United Nation is still placing Malawi among the world´s most impoverished and vulnerable countries under the category of the least developed countries (LDCs).

Minister of Information Kondwani Nakhumwa briefing members of press - pic by Roy Nkosi

Minister of Information Kondwani Nakhumwa briefing members of press – pic by Roy Nkosi

Malawi girl eats porridge

Malawi girl eats porridge

The LCDs according to UN are a group of countries that have been classified as “least developed” in terms of their low gross national income (GNI), their weak human assets and their high degree of economic vulnerability.

The information on UN website complement an interpretation of World Bank data indicating that Malawi ranks top of poorest states in the world.

Malawi government spokesman and Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa has admitted that Malawi is a poor country, but not the poorest in the world, saying the media houses has failed to differentiate between Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in US$ currency with GDP per capita in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms.

Nankhumwa, who was flanked by Presidential Advisors on Communication and Economic Affairs, Bright Malopa and Dr. Collins Magalasi respectively, told a news conference in Lilongwe that Malawi is indeed “poor, but not the poorest.”

He said: ” We believe the media, especially business journalists have a very crucial task of interpreting data. These issues are quiet different all together, that is why am saying it is very important that as journalists we need to emphasize much on specialized writing or reporting especially in economic reporting and to that effect my ministry is undertaking to get some scholarships which are available now.”

Nankhumwa said it was imperative for the local media to critically distinguish between gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in current dollar terms and GDP per capita on purchasing power parity (PPP) basis before concluding that Malawi is poorest as reported online.

The minister said the current administration is now concentrating on implementing policies that are designed towards increasing income levels among rural dwellers and enhancing agriculture productivity per unit of land as a way of eradicating poverty.

Nankhumwa also said government is investing hugely in energy and also hopes to improve access to finance by small business operators which, he said, would see the cost of doing business in Malawi easing

Magalasi described poverty measure as a relative process which is broad. But he said overall Malawi is doing fine on education, child mortality and maternal mortality as stipulated in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The World Bank in a statement said it publishes the World Development Indicators [WDI], which among other data sources, includes statistics on GDP per capita for all countries.

“The latest WDI report is for 2014 and it presents data available in 2013,” said the statement.

The bank further said the intention of WDI is not to rank, but to provide a compilation of relevant, high-quality and internationally comparable statistics about global development and the fight against poverty.

It said the purpose of publishing GDP per capita figures is not to measure poverty but levels of income per capita.

“Comparisons of living standards across countries are best made using both monetary and non-monetary parameters such as Human Development Indicators and the Multidimensional Poverty Index,” said the statement.

The bank further said in quoting the data, the media confuse GDP per capita in current United States dollars with GDP per capita in Purchasing Power Parity.

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54 thoughts on “UN places Malawi as impoverished nation: Minister takes a spin on poorest status”

  1. M'Malawi Weniweni says:

    It is interesting to note that Malawi government and citizens alike are debating whether we are the poorest or one of the poorest. The good news is that we agree that we are poor. So why waste time debating the extent of poverty. It is like a student that has failed an exam but debates on whether his failure is better than another student that has also failed.

  2. If we rely on other nations for 40% of our budget support, then what are we? YES Very, Very, Extremely poor.

    Imagine in human terms. Think of that man who cannot feed his family, pay the rent and bills, but has to rely on others to do it for him, how do you describe such a person? Our nation is exactly the same. What is so painful is that there are so many capable people, and a handful of FOOLS who confuse the whole nation. I feel as a nation we should borrow a leaf from GHANA on how they took a very practical and long lasting step to stamp out corruption. Cry my beloved country.

  3. Kulibe kantu says:

    Someone should tell Nankhumwa that govt is pursing very poor economic policies. Look, you are now selling Malawi selling MSB which serving rural people. Who do you think will serve the people?

    All these big banks closed their branches in rural areas. Yet they are make billions per year. They do not want to invest in rural areas. Press Corporation which is a govt entity has closed so many shops. Yet government you are just phwiii and you leave Chikaonda alone.

  4. Cashgate 1 says:

    Malawi Malawi. If we are not poor, why are we struggling to meet our National budget? If we are not poor why are our hospitals without medicine, or blankets (Kamuzu Central is full of Vizwazwa) and you are disputing. If we not poor why are teachers/nurses go unpaid for months, If we are not poor why do the majority of us live on less than 1 dollar a day, If we are not poor the list goes on and on. The best thing govt can do is accepts the story as it is. Of course it may have a few errors but are acceptable.

    Big headed Nankhumwa tell us how the govt will move us for our current state to one that is desirable. Don’t waste people’s time in talking marubbish.

  5. austin says:

    Media what uve by posting a foto of amalawian girl eating porridge is an acceptable just write ur stories do not mock the Poor by advertising their pain povery why dint u put ur own daughter or sisters daughter as an example this thing of imaging pple especially poor is annoying it must stop emmediately concerned malawian

    1. Maunde says:

      I want to agree with you that putting a picture of the young girl here is inhuman. Did they ask for permission before posting her picture here? where is our good minister & CSs to look into the matter of this girl? Do these people really no that it is against laws to take & abuse someone through pictures & if found guilty one can be punished. I personally demand an apology from the one who put the picture of this little one. Why not take your grannies and put them here? tione ngati akudya masoseji? shame

  6. max ajida says:

    Disputing the finding that we’re the poorest nation is just a lip services. The minister would have sat down and come up with best ideas on how to take Malawi out of the poverty line. He is busy denying the truth yet we see ourselves that we’re barried in poverty pit latrine. The minister must know that this isn’t a political propaganda.

  7. nkunthamasese says:

    shame. our minister thinks everyone is like him. latest report says KCH a death trap. no drugs in hospitals and health centres. no piped water. power blackouts. very very bad roads even in cities kumidzi ndiye osanena. go in villages and see the type of houses there. very pathetic. and yet you nankhumwa want WB to rate you the most developed country? Kamuzu stadium shoud just be part of Malawi musium. zikuchititsa manyazi kwabasi. a Comboni better akasewelere ku Sedi Admarc ground.

  8. BigMan says:

    Nyasatimes, you seem intent on proving beyond reasonable doubt that Malawi (your country I hope) is the poorest scum of the world. Everybody knows Malawi is a developing country, reliant on aid. It surely matters not whether we are 8th poorest or 6th poorest etc…. So what is your purpose, what’s your motive? World bank already clarified on the data, yet here you are still barking, barking, barking and barking some more…. for nothing!! Akutumani ndani agalu inu?!

  9. Nyani wa ku Mwananyani says:

    Again, the idea of the government training journalists is a VERY bad one. Don’t go there.
    Their employers should train them; or as someone has already written, the media companies should hire specialist journalists, rather than someone just because he or she is vocal (against the establishment – read government).
    The government should not be spending our hard earned money on this. Period. The money is needed, more desperately, elsewhere, as everyone knows. I hope APM or VP Chilima dismiss this proposal as a non-priority stat.
    We know we are poor. And whether we are the poorest of the poor is not the point. But we have confidence in the present government that they will dig us out of the poverty hole we are in. Slowly but surely. Ditto the THEFT, CORRUPTION and PROFLIGACY entrenched in the past regime of Joisi Banda and PP.

  10. Kadakwiza says:

    Hon. Nankhumwa you know very well that we are poorest in the whole world. Even Somalia is reach. We know why Mr. Minister is trying to deny this, is because DPP contributed to our poverty. DPP swallow your pride and allow the investigation of K92 billion to continue may be donors can come back. Malawians let us stand up and protest about this K92 billion investigation to start. We can’t go forward because of this useless government.

  11. NKHAMANGA says:

    Yeah, let this hard-headed Nankhumwa boy rejuvenate his mind and understand to the effect that as he brags in practicing some cheap Joseph Goebels propaganda in disputing of our current economic status quo, that largely came into being by the endless elitist greed we are cursed with and accelerated by the four post-Kamuzu era top-most henchmen/woman we’ve had, there are a sizable heads in this land whom he, let alone his toothless professor, can’t deceive for some of us, young as we are, hold clear-cut baseline acuity of what we are going through. Good enough that dump as he is he managed to get a rare chance to occupy a hot-shot political seat though far from being a smart chap like the rest of the DPP cronnies. THIS BELOVED COUNTRY HAS BEEN THROWN TO THE DOGS. Pala undapulike titi chalo chakutemweka ichi taponyela ntchewe, mwee mwawanthu.

  12. lesson says:

    If we are no.1 poorest country, I wonder where we will be in the next few years bcoz things are going worse and worse.

  13. Fact says:

    The problem is that when these politicians start defending their position they forget that its we the ordinary Malawians who are suffering from poverty while they eat sausages. Mukamadya nyama mkumaba ndalama za misonkho ya wanthu musamaganize kuti ziko la Malawi zinthu zili bwino, Clue less….!!!

  14. mangochi kabwafu says:

    Tell you the sort of leaders and headless leadership that Malawi has had. THICK, DUNDERHEADS, THIEVES, FULL OF HATE, JOULOUSEY, TRIBALISTIC. Now mr minister, whats our actual position on this poverty list? Kukhalira kuba basi. Worst than Afganistan, pathetic.

  15. patricia says:

    Typical spin doctors at work. The fact remains the same no matter how much the minister tries to spin the story. Malawi is poor of the poorest period! Nothing you can say will change that. What this country needs are leaders who are committed to the welfare of its people and development of the country. Sadly what we have are corrupt and greedy leaders whose motive and interest lies in how much they can swindle the treasury! Leaders that are not inspiring. They instill hand out mentality to its people due to corruption. I do hope the donors will not inject resources directly into government. They should use parallel structures to develop our country. NAC resources with draw al is a great example I hope this will extend to other arms of government managed donor projects.

  16. mwika says:

    Some good comments. Let me add this: are we just poor and not the poorest when we feed children in schools? Are we poor and not very poor when children are sitting on the floor under the tree even in rainy season? Iam wondering also, are we just poor and not poorest when we are subsidising a bag of fertiliser at about 1 dollar to 1.5 million farmers to produce. How about the malata and cement programs including the housing scheme of the retired lady president? Why don’t we have a public transport system in our cities if we are just poor and not the poorest? If you look at certain state public infrastructure you will have a general feeling that we are becoming worse off in our being just poor and not poorest. If we we are developing we should be engaging higher gears instead of going fast speed in reverse gear.
    Those who are saying we are just poor and not poorest quickly get pictures of how their villages look like, how their people look like and compare those in countries of similar status.
    Saying no is also refusing that we don’t need to work hard to get out of this not so prestigious classification. I fear this attitude will leave us stuck there for the next many generations. Oodi uko

  17. mwika says:

    Some good comments. Let me add this: are we just poor and not the poorest when we feed children in schools? Are we poor and not very poor when children are sitting on the floor under the tree even in rainy season? Iam wondering also, are we just poor and not poorest when we are subsidising a bag of fertiliser at about 1 dollar to 1.5 million farmers to produce. How about the malata and cement programs? Why don’t we have a public transport system in our cities if we are just poor and not the poorest? If you look at certain state public infrastructure you will have a general feeling that we are becoming worse off in our being just poor and not poorest. If we we are developing we should be engaging higher gears instead of going fast speed in reverse gear.
    Those who are saying we are just poor and not poorest quickly get pictures of how their villages look like, how their people look like and compare those in countries of similar status.
    Saying no is also refusing that we don’t need to work hard to get out of this not so prestigious classification. I fear this attitude will leave us stuck there for the next many generations. Oodi uko

  18. mangochi kabwafu says:

    White house in Thyolo. Dpp woyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  19. Moving copse says:

    Stupid Minister. Does it make any difference if you deny. Stupid. We are the poorest period. Tell us at what position if it is not true. Bushit

  20. kodi world bankyo imalembera kwa ambuyanu?which website were you taking your information?Be patriotic and stop day dreaming next election is in 2019 period.

  21. Nkhombokombo says:

    Bwana Minister, I belive World Bank and UN deploys highly compitent people to broadcast such reports. Lets not claim the unclaimables. Just don’t make these unmeaningful Press Briefs otherwise people have lost for you two.

  22. Vyachalo says:

    Ndife osauka. Ana ku primary school amamwa phala kodi boma lanthu likupeleka phala kuti? Mu malawi kuti zinthu ziyende mbwino zifunika ma donors. Budget likulephela chifukwa cha ma donors. Sitalaka kuwili kawili chifukwa boma lirimbe ndalama. Akazimbe 50 abwelako, zipatala za boma azilipilitsa chifukwa cha ndalama.

  23. Dr Callister Daniel Phiri says:

    Kkkkkkkk

  24. Zabwino says:

    Whatever we use, we are the poorest. Using the so called purchasing power parity method we are at number 3 from the bottom, only beating Burundi and the war torn Central African Republic. check your data on the world bank website you are talking about http://data.worldbank.org. We are indeed a failed state – shame!!!!!!

  25. charlie hebdo says:

    Ok Mr Minister, they made a mistake. Malawi should have been on nr 93 out of the 186 nations of the world… happy? How about the 65%illiteracy? World bank are lying. High human fertility in a small country? Lying. 70% below the UN threshold of poverty.., Lying. One Doctor per 100,000 people, ..Lying.one policeman per 7000 people, …Lying. 4 major hospitals for 17million people….Lying. only 5 national universities ….Lying. should I continue?

  26. Dziko says:

    Eyaaaa! What a shame!Nankhumwa ndi ndomo yake tsopano….koma man wa ali ndi pakamwa,papakulu ngati bowo la chimbudzi.Basi kunyamula ka brain kake,ati kubwera nako kwa ma journalist,ndikudzangochepetsako kusauka ndi kuvutika kwathu,kukuveka nsalu kuvutika kwathu.Alhomwe anakhala bwanji koma guys?Alhomwe,mulipo?Nzeru zimakucheperani koma anthu inu.Muli ndi tinzeru tochepa Malawi yonse,if not central Africa yonse.
    Ati ndife osauka,koma siife osaukitsitsa,what difference does it make?Or else,can he mention a country that is worse off than Malawi?Which country on earth?

  27. Diplomat Mshosho says:

    Honorable Minister please it is high time you stopped being on the defensive!! It doesn’t take a child to be told about our poverty. It is high time you simply urged people to join hands to fight our way out of the mess. If everything continues to e politicized then we cannot move.

  28. truth says:

    MALAWIANS LETS ACCEPT WE ARE POOR. NANKHUMWA AND HIS FELLOW MINISTERS THEY DONT THAT MALAWIANS ARE POOR, BECAUSE THEY GET EVERYTHING THEY WANT FROM BINGU.GO TO THE VILLAGE AND SEE YOURS HOW POOR MALAWIANS ARE. SO UN IS RIGHT.

  29. mphwaye says:

    Mr.Nankhumwa please give us a break at least for now.Where are CCTVS.

  30. chims says:

    many people in Malawi are regarded as being rich chifukwa chakuba.many are regarded as successful business people chifukwa cha cashgate.if I mention them one by one and you look at their businesses you will agree with me.without stealing they would have been as poor as I’m. our leaders must accept that we are the pooresy and must work towards uplifting lives of their people because by insisting that we are poor but not the poorest, they are equally ashamed.or else they are the ones who are rich and the rest of us are the poorest. shameless leaders.

  31. Thyolo says:

    A Magalasi education ikuyenda bwino? Sukuluyanu kwa mitengo isowa zimbuzi ija simufikako eti?Aphunzitsi adakuphunzitsani aja nyumba ankagona zija ndimaesa zonse zidagwapo!High fees in tertiary education compared to malawian income,is that doing well in educatioo? Ukakhala pamsana wanjovu usamati kulibe mame!

  32. Zebe says:

    So what shall it benefit the nation to refute the facts and still remain poor. It doesn’t matter the degree of but it still hurts to be poor. I am not the poorest but I hate the fact that I am poor. Having traveled across Africa and to some countries around the world. But I have never come across an impoverished country like ours. That we are the poorest might be the fact and we don’t have to deny this unless we know of a country poorer than us. Mr Minister should name the countries that he knows are worse than Malawi then may be there is an argument. But that still we should be ashamed the fact we are poor with all the resources at our disposal

  33. wanda says:

    Nankhomwa is not an economist, Magalasi is a fine art lecturer and Malopa is half baked journalist. So, what can you tell Malawians. The truth is : we are the poorest of the poor. A university graduate is failing to buy even a motor cycle- what is that? Richness or poverty? With you guys, Malawi will become poorer than ever.

  34. MALAWI MADE POOR BY ROGUE LEADERSHIP says:

    ITS TRUE THE LEADERSHIP HAS PLUNDERED NATIONAL COFERS AND BROUGHT MALAWI TO ITS KNEES-NO DRUGS,NO WATER,NO ELECTRICHITY,NO SALARIES,NO REFUSE COLLECTION ETC

  35. ine says:

    Malawi koma kukula mtima si umphawi ayi.

  36. Big man says:

    Abwana if you think Malawi is not the poorest then tell us( based on your bush economics) the poorest country in the world.Zinazi kumangozisiya. Dont you have something better to do other than wasting government money on these senseless press conferences?

  37. Special advisor says:

    DO NOT LIVE A LIE. If you repeat a lie often enough to someone, they start to believe, then they start to live it. We are a blessed nation. Sing the second verse of Michael Fred Sauka’s creation. Next time we sing the National Anthem, we should sing all its verses/stanzas. DO NOT LIVE A LIE.

  38. edu says:

    M r minister when you explain some of the national issues please, be serious, Taonani picture ya mwana akudya phala kwanu kulibe anthu ngati amenewa?iweyo ukupita maiko osiyana siyana sumaona kuti health ya Malawian ambiri ndi anthu aku south Africa timasiyana chifukwa cha njala kuno kumudzi.

  39. j cholomandenga says:

    No matter how much we try to jazz up the data, the situation on the ground is pretty grim, for arguementºs sake,using both sets of data, where does Malawi stand?,(1) when you rate it according to GDP per capita in current USD , and (2) GDP per capita in PPP. I am sure Malawi will be on almost the same position. And anyway, we really do not need this data to know how dire the situation is . Poverty pokes in our faces daily , thank you.The little aid we get goes into the pockets of a handful gringos, to build 20 bedroom mansions, while hospitals have no medicines.

  40. John says:

    Pakamwa tho!!!! Kupanga zinthu kukukikanikani apa! Dzulodziloli APM amati Malawi sopano akupanga bwino pa zachuma, nazitu apa,zaumbonitu izi! Opanda ndi manyazi kumanamiza dziko lonseli!

  41. Nowa says:

    We are poor no need for some to remaind us.we feel the heat yourself

  42. Umphawi uli Mdziko muno zoona wina ndikumanena kuti we are better off Iweyo Nankhumwa umalandira Salary komanso ma allowance ochuluka Machende wako kaamba kosaganizira anthu osauka

  43. ujeni says:

    Tell the national if we have a 5 star General Hospital in Malawi, what about roads, Bus Station. Do we have electricity, nanga water bwanji, any industries on 24/7 shift across the country. Are all kids in Primary schools in cities alone provided with desks? What about in district schools

  44. Chembe lumbe says:

    Mr minister here at it again playing with people’s lives. What report didn’t do is to point who made Malawi poor and as far as I know all the past governments are responsible for not puting in place deliberate measures to come out of this shit hole. Okay let’s say the bank erred and we are somewhere in the mix does that help matters because at the end of the day people are poor poor. Mr minister the ranking just helps your government to work hard to alleviate the pain of the citizenry

  45. sabiti says:

    Spin at thier best,what are u disputing here lets call a spade by its name we are very poor, the facts are clear that 80 percent we are below poverty line ,energy and potable water is a white dream even in cities,clothes depend on kaunjika, unadequate health facilities and services,poor public infrustractures, lets admit en see way foward

  46. mbwaxe says:

    No matter what you can say, malawi still remains the poorest nation in the world!!!! This country can only come normality if we eliminate all the politicians!!!! They are the ones who have all this misery around!!! Chinanso ndi chitidwe womango beleka chisawawa pliz a malawi chepesani kunyengana!!! Kubeleka ngati ngumbi!!!

  47. Kanthu Ako! says:

    Why do we waste time with cheap talk!!

    What good does it do?

    Will Malawians build good houses for themselves if you tell them they are the poorest?

    Will they go to school and get some meaningful education?

    Will the they plant twice a year?

    Will they stop having children that they are unable to support?

    Some of these “Oh Malawi is still the poorest just show the shallow mindedness of the writers.

  48. Munthuwazeru says:

    Upon looking the major INDICATORS of Development, Malawi is indeed the POOREST OF THE POORS in the World so mr Minister you are not aperson to be trusted and you must know this.

  49. ujeni says:

    Ok if Malawi is not the poorest as per your argument Nankumwa, tell the nation then on what position is Malawi in the world on prosperity index. You waste time arguing when all Bodies like World Bank, IMF and now World Bank tell you in black and white that you are poorest. The people running these organisations are in every country and they differentiate

  50. Joyce Chanthunya says:

    So, Wanga Gwede, what are you trying to tell the nation and the world at large? This information is no more news. Perhaps you want to re-iterate that you are the one who wrote that bogus report deceiving even the Malawian intelligentsia to believe that it was written by the World Bank. Some Malawian journalists are the most pathetic people I have ever seen. “He who undresses his mother without a cause is worse than a lunatic, so says the Hausa proverb.

  51. manyasa says:

    Mukukana chani kodi, ndalama ndiizi mukubazi

  52. preckad says:

    Ndife osauka koma osasaukitsitsa……….??????? which is which my brother …!!! this guy makes me laugh….!..He needs to enroll himself in one of those scholarship programmes he is talking about….!

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