World Bank rates Malawi as world’s lowest Gross National Income: 51 years of independence

As Malawi celebrates 51 years of independence from Great Britain on Monday 6 July, the World Bank has stated in its latest global rankings based on per capita Gross National Income (GNI) that the country has the world’s lowest reported GNI per capita at US$250.

President Mutharika and his Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe

President Mutharika and his Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe

Malawi Minister of Foreign Affairs George Chaponda with Kenya vice president William Ruto

Malawi Minister of Foreign Affairs George Chaponda with Kenya vice president William Ruto

The World Bank said at the release of the country ratings: “Gross National Income per capita continues to show improved economic performance in many low-income countries.”

The World Bank noted the chasm between the poorest and richest nations: “Malawi has the world’s lowest reported GNI per capita at US$250, while Monaco has the highest, at more than US$100,000 – more than 400 times more per person than in Malawi.”

The bank also noted that poor nations like Malawi move only very slowly up the earnings brackets over the years: In 1990, the nation’s GNI per capita was US$180; 24 years later, it had grown by just US$70.

GNI is a broad-based measure of income generated by a nation’s residents from international and domestic activity.

World Bank chief economist and senior vice-president Kaushik Basu said: “GNI per capita measures the average amount of resources available to persons residing in a given economy, and reflects the average economic well-being of a population.

“While we need to measure development progress in different ways, income-based measures such as GNI remain the central yardstick for assessing economic performance.

Independence Day

Malawi’s 51st independence celebrations will take place at Kamuzu Stadium, with Zambia President Edgar Lungu and Kenya Deputy President William Ruto expected to be among senior foreign dignitaries gracing the event.

Former Mozambican President Joachim Chissano is also expected to join Malawians in the celebrations under the theme, toward transformation and inclusive development.

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe told reporters on Sunday that Government plans to spend about K300 million.

The Theme is in line with Malawi vision in trying to move the country moving forward in its development agenda countrywide and beyond.

“All this can be achieved if there is delivery of public services. In other 50 years to come, we would like to see Malawi being a producing and exporting country,” said Gondwe.

“This government is looking for unity among all Malawians and it is a function that everyone is supposed to come regardless of any affiliations,” said Gondwe.

Blantyre City Council (BCC) Mayor Noel Chalamanda was excited with government’s choice of Blantyre for the celebrations.

He said the city has iconic features like the Independence Ark, and promised to make it more beautiful with the Keep Blantyre Clean and Green Initiative.

“Despite facing much vandalism, Blantyre is still on the right track. May I ask anybody in the city to look for the infrastructures well? Vandalism has heavily affected BCC operations,” said Chalamanda adding that street lights have been a victim of vandalism in the city.

Later, Minister of Information Tourism and Culture Kondwani Nankhumwa and Blantyre Mayor Noel Chalamanda commissioned independence celebrations lights at the Clock Tower Round About.

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60 thoughts on “World Bank rates Malawi as world’s lowest Gross National Income: 51 years of independence”

  1. Makhuwira says:

    Malawi is the only southern African country without good roads and underdeveloped town and rich in nepotism where only one tribe is favoured this can not take us any far .



  3. The Truthful One from the West says:

    Malawi’s position as the poorest country in the world is due to two major reasons; namely:
    a) natural factors- a large and rapidly growing population on a limited space of land with limited commercially exploitable natural resources.

    b) Man-made factors-bad political and economic governance right from the one party state of Kamuzu Banda to the multiparty era from 1994. For example due to the greed of Bakili Muluzi who wanted to extend his term of office the transition from Muluzi to Bingu wa Mutharika went badly wrong. It led to the birth of DPP and the demise of UDF. DPP therefore spends a lot of energy to keep itself in power rather than promoting development and genuine democracy.

    While there is not much we can do on natural factors there is so much that can be done on man-made factors. It is my sincere hope DPP will not politicise the proposed National Planning Commission.

  4. mbani says:

    stupid that’s what we want

  5. Njavwa says:

    celebrations without salary loli..

  6. Chawanangwa says:

    So we are poorer than Haiti, Djibouti, Cape Verde etc. Zamanyazi and yet Mutharika and co are celebrating this 6th July and wasting taxpayer’s money. There is nothing to celebrate – why celebrate mediocrity? I think we celebrated independence during Kamuzu’s reign and there is no need to celebrate if there is nothing tangible. This is like a 50-year old man celebrating passing standard eight exams that he sat 4 decades ago! Kodi sumupanga manyazi?

  7. Makwasa says:

    Oh no no no we are a rich country… Who paid the World Bank for bad publicity? We are very rich.

  8. Kent Y.G.Mphepo says:

    Andy, actually my worry is not so much have to do with the “running order” of the celebration. My worry has everything to do with the “software” behind the running order of this independence celebratio. My argument is that changing the format of the program is something that they can easily do. The question I am trying to ask is: should we expect them to do anything new or innovative in improving the econony if they are failing to contextualise & innovate on this simple matter? So yes, my worry might sound simplistic at face value. But if you think again you will see that this “small” matter may be symptomatic of a very begin problem that they as a political party and us as a nation, need to deal with. We need to be innovative if our country is to move forward culturally, politically and economically. My point is, therefore, that we need to move away from “path dependency”. Let’s not depend on the past forms. We should always be aware of where our country is and think accordingly. Repeating what MCP used to do 20 years ago on 6July is a clear indicator that our minds are trapped in the one-party mindset. Fellow Malawians, can’t we begin to change our destiny by breaking away from past forms and practices in agriculture, health, commmunicaton? Transport? Tourism, etc? For example, do we still need to ferry people to Blantyre just to dance for the president” Can’ we bring them to Bkantyre to showcase their harvest for the year? Kent Mphepo – Bt

  9. Noel Fabiano says:

    Umbava Ndi Umbanda Mene Wakuliramu ,anthu Kumangophedwa,winawe Nkumati Dziko Lili Pa Ufulu Za Zii,.

  10. agnes wanzeru says:

    Most Malawians are poor coz of laziness. They expect govt to do things for them. They work less than 8 hours a day. Busy with funerals, weddings, gossips, chatting, excessive praying etc. When some people work hard and get rich, basi kuwanena kuti ndi a satanic. Nthawi zonse blaming politicians for their poverty. Malawians wake up to work hard to develop ur homes.
    Poor people are the ones making the country poorer.

  11. jimbo says:

    I have to agree with No. 14. Comment. Many Malawians who are fortunate enough to have paid employment are indeed lazy and unproductive. On the other hand there are many villagers who work hard in their gardens to produce food to feed their families and earn cash from any surplus. Those who live and work in developed countries put in a good solid day’s work five days a week. Many work over-time and at weekends. Of course they get paid on time, unlike many of their Malawi counterparts. The work ethic is largely absent in Malawians and they are useless at planning for the future. Also many people in Malawi lack an education. Having said that the standard of education in Malawi is very poor; one thinks of ‘the blind leading the blind’ because the teachers themselves are poorly educated. Many Malawians suffer from poor health and the standard of healthcare leaves much to be desired. Clearly there are many factors to be considered when analysing the reasons for Malawi’s poor rate of development. The lead though must come from the top and the politicians have done a very poor job since Independence. Until they apply themselves to the development and enrichment of the country instead of their own enrichment, there will not be any progress for many more years to come.

  12. jimbo says:

    No. 3 You are talking utter nonsense. Look at the USA, UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, etc. etc. etc. Zimbabwe is not democratic – Mugabe in power for 35 years – and look how that country has progressed – not! You have referred only to two real countries to support your argument. What about South Korea? It has developed and now exports all over the world. Go back to school and stop being so stupid.

  13. Zanimuwone says:

    God have mercy on my beloved country.

  14. Bololo says:

    That we are at the bottom of GNI per capita is not the worst part. The worst part is that income inequality is also very high in Malawi which means we are poorer than what statistics are talking

  15. Andy says:

    Mr Mphepo, just because the current celebrations have not changed in character but in flavour, favouring the new masters. its bad. The new masters must not use the same program that the old masters used but must come up with their own way of celebrations. The style is MCP so perhaps DPP needs to obtain copy rights.

    I dont know maybe you have a point but surely its not a strong point worthy signing your name for it. Coming up with different celebration program would still be okay but still thinking in the same box and certainly not out of it. Its just a variation of the same thing.

    Perhaps new MCP if they would come back would do away with the celebrations all together after all there is nothing worthy celebrating. I would not be at pains to agree with anybody who would think that had we still be colonized economically we would have been better off. Our public service would still have been very functional and our life styles would have been far ahead of the US250 per capita that is there today. We would have had better economic opportunities for many people and not this dreaded 40% plus interest rate culture that seems to have been officially endorsed as our fate. We are a sorry nation that seems to have no idea how to get out of this state of poverty and helplessness.

    This is not the freedom that our elders fought for to gain independence. The celebrations are misplaced

  16. kwalewera Zinyemba says:

    Thank you for your comments. What i wish to second is the type of dressing on such a day. Yes let the national celebrations committee lead in planning for such occassions. Yes Malawi is still working as a single party state. How can an opposition member fell confortable in sn environment where the language is full of praises for the ruling party and its ledears. Our problem is that our motivation is the next elections but not development of the country. Our leaders let us know that the more we side line opposition leaders the more we will slow down development. Happy 51years indipendence.

  17. Kent Y.G.Mphepo says:

    Today, I have been watching the independence celebrations on MBC TV. It has been a great gathering and event. However, I see that the DPP, just all other post-one-party dispensation parties, has failed to stamp its image on this national event. Think about this: a) everbody is dressed in blue – DPP party colour b) the dances and songs are the same age-old songs mbumba and youth sang for Dr. HKB c) the displays d) the speeches e) the football etc same old system and format! What this means to me is that the multi-party dispensation is failing to bring about the much needed new thinking that would bring about transfornation in the country. It appears that we Malawians stopped thinking when MCP left office. I mean can’t we do things differently? Can’t we do these celebrations in a different format that reflects the current political dispensation? Why should we have the DPP colour on a government function in the multiparty dispensation? Are we surprised that our economy has not improved since 1994? Come on DPP, start doing things differently. Can’t you start changing things so they reflect the current times? Isn’t this path dependence? Do you really think that if MCP came back to power they would repeat this format? I have my doubts. As a post-one- party system party you need to start thinking outside the box. Malawi needs new thinking for things, including the economy, to start improving. Let’s change our mindset first. BUT if today’s function is anything to go by, our thinking has not changed an iorta since MCP left office. We cannot even compose a new song – just replacing “Kamuzu” with “Peter” in all the songs being sang on a day like this one??? Should we expect DPP to move this country forward or backward? My foot!!! Kent Mphepo – Blantyre.

  18. Symon says:

    Malawi the poorest and probably the most disorganized. One of the problems is that some Malawians want to reap where they did not sow.

  19. Bob says:

    Chavuta aMalawi ndi dyera, kuzikundikira, it doesnt matter how we accumulate our wealthy, stealing, bribery, satanism and even killing. Worse still the perpetrators are people who are in higher places and/or their relations. This has made all govt departments and statutory cooperations rotten.

  20. Gogo kumudzi says:

    Chonde che APM chonde njala bwana kuno

  21. Symon says:

    I’m very angry at how independence celebrations are organized esp songs and dances. they are all about the Dpp party and Peter. The party has hijacked Malawians celebration and turned it into a party celebration. It’s a pity. My fellow beautiful Malawians please know that independence is your day not individual’s show. Stop praising a single person. When shall praise yourself for the enormous work you have done in this country.

    Leaders please educate the pple so that they differentiate between party and national matters. These are some of the reasons why we are developing at a snails pace. Because pple give a credit to few individuals on the work all of us have. Give credit, sing about Malawi and our forefathers. not only about the current president who is simply a Malawian like you. We are equally important. No one is more important than the other. If you think someone is important than you, that is why you can’t develop your country.

    Look at the celebration cloth. Does it represent us. Oh Malawians.

    Let us change. It begins with the leaders it begins with you.

  22. LORENI says:

    Dont worry Malawians the President will soon use the powers invested in him to improve the situation. The president if not Mr. IBU. will soon make things better. Malawi well known with stupid things

    The so called information minister will very soon address Malawians refuting. Dare you waste your time. We are not kids. Stupid Nankhumwa

  23. Mafuta says:

    We can’t progress if government is littered with thieves

  24. mangochi kabwafu says:

    Ironically celebrating 51 years of POVERTY, BEGGING, QUOTA, NEPOTISM, REGIONALISM, THEFT etc. Pathetic.

  25. mbwiye wapata says:

    And Yet today 6th July,some dunderhead will have the audacity and the guts to stand up in front of thousands of people and with great deal explain with carefully chosen “selectve examples”how much this nation has achieved under their leadership!!….how much we are a Nation on the move and how much we are on an upward developmental trajectory..and people will cheer him.
    After 51 years there is just nothing to celebrate here…we should be a Nation in mourning,bury our heads in sand,we are a failed state!! and its getting worse by the day.
    We need a leader who will go back to basics,start all over again,right from basics,get the educaton system right, lay down the policies and infrastructure,….in short,build or establish an economy….and not stimulate it because there is just no economy here to stimulate..learn from Mauritius,a country with known mineral deposits,how did they do it?
    This dreaming in colour is not working….
    We had the vision 2020 blue print..well,we have taken huge leaps …backwards of course.This is now 2015…where are we? and what went wrong?…Too many dreams too little action..this nation aint going nowhere….bola kwa Farao konkuja tinkadya Nyama

  26. chatonda says:

    We are indeed the poorest country to say it plain. It pains us when we travel outside the country to see how developed other countries are. we are in this predicament because of laziness and poor and greedy leaders who are busy stealing instead of putting our money to good use and develop the country. This is another wake up call.

  27. opportunist says:


  28. Angel of Doom says:

    No one is mentioning the fact that we in Malawi are populating the country like no body’s business.

    The Majority of the Malawian population does not produce anything, because they are either too young, sick, old or ignorant, like the majority of people on this page.

    Government does not produce wealth, the citizens do.

    So if Malawi is at the bottom, it has nothing to do with DPP, but the population explosion and the inactivity of the citizens.

    The few that are active are rich, and always being accused of “Kuba”

    1. Bob says:

      Yes you are indeed an Angel of doom nanga sukudziwa za K577B. Za George Chaponda and HTD saga. How fertilizer coupons are messed up and dont reach the intended beneficiaries. Ndiwe kaye eti.

      1. Angel of Doom says:

        That is the foolishness I am talking about.

        K577B, what will it do for you when we find out who took it? mind it was not one person, and most of them are not politicians, so what did they do with the money, KUMWELA MOWA?

        Get off your stupid behind, and do something for yourself, that is how GDP improves not by talking about Chaponda and HTD, what ever HTD is, is it a sexually transmitted disease? We has law enforcement for such things, if our law enforcement is not up to it, do you think talking about it will make a difference?

  29. Dr. Godfrey Ganizani Mvuma says:

    Malawi, a sad story. Overdone by Mozambique and Rwanda. What a shame. Celebrating independence what for, when millions live in dire situations. God help us.

  30. chitete says:

    Its so sad

  31. Samarakunjuta says:

    Federal government is the only option left to save us from all this embarrassment.I said it and I will say it again,federation federation federation is the only way to go!!!!!

  32. The real Ujeni says:

    How can GNI increase or improve when our district towns don’t have the infrastructure to enable people to prosper and start thinking of moving up the ladder. Roads are not there, Electricity is not there, industries are not there. All the resources and time I spent on mapwevupwevu in Blantyre and Lilongwe. We have a long way to move away from the bottom.

  33. Bob says:

    Malawi always in the news for wrong reasons,

  34. BigMan says:

    A Yardstick, but not a very accurate one due to the vast differences in the social and economic structure of different countries. Most people in our country are in self employment in that they farm, and generate their day to day livelihood that way and most operate outside of the organized economy.

    The world bank is comparing Apples and Oranges.

    Still everybody knows that we are poor, that is not under dispute and that is why we are all trying to attract foreign direct investment, diversify from agriculture into mining and commercial farming etc…

    Its up to us all to develop this nation and make our nation prosper. Unity of purpose is what is required but unfortunately in Malawi people are much more interested in seeing other fail.

  35. matutu says:

    Where is the economic boom talked about so publicly & frequently? Shame?

  36. JB says:

    Too much ignorance is the problem. People dont think when voting basi kumangoti wakumwera look what they are doing. Things will only change with a mtumbuka as president this lot has humiliated us enough

  37. political scientist says:

    We received democracy in a wrong way; much hope for development. We thought it’s an answer. Democracy never fails who fail are the people. Let’s wake up and know what this really is otherwise we will keep on crying. And let’s not point fingers it’s all about us. Leave stereotype and prejudice and work towards developing ourselves

  38. Achimidzimidzi says:

    1. I am sure the DPP government or state house will make a statement that
    these are incorrect figures, and that they were worked out by MCP
    and PP or Joyce Banda paid the reporter to produce these figures

    2. Hon. Gondwe will tell the nation that the president will use his
    constitutional powers to raise the GNI,president is committed.

    3. Hon. Grace Chiumia will tell the nation that Peter Munthalika is the
    democratically elected president and if you people are jealousy wait

    4. Hon. Kasaila will say government is doing everything possible to
    improve the economy. after 50 years things will not be same.

    1. JJB says:

      Its this kind of frivolous comment to a serious issue that makes some of us conclude that either Malawians are so dull that that they have nothing to offer or so stupid that they can not see the looming disaster, so much so that they are content just blaming Government.

      Mpoaka liti?

      In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty. Its always Mozambique this Zambia this Tanzania that, you are in the same catchment area. Their politicians are no better than yours, its the citizens that are better than yours.

  39. tsetsefly says:

    We said it. The big chunk of Malawi wealth goes into the pocket of a few stupid and greedy idiots in the name of president and his group of thieves in cabinet and DPP inner circle. If Peter is a real professor this is the time to turn around things. I am afraid however that with this cluelessness we shouldn’t expect anything from this lazy cattle.

  40. pat says:

    Just wait and be patient. Humans have failed, malawians have failed and now God is taking over malawi to prosperity. If you dont believe it, just wait and see

  41. come 2019 same will go back to government and will be Atupele. Such leaders you expect a country to develop

  42. Mhesha says:

    Malawi will remain poor because of its stupid citizens who feel government will feed them even if they don’t produce anything! When it comes to the news men and their cousins CSOs, then they are all non productive lots having nothing per day apart from begging for alms from politicians or donors with the single aim of tarnishing any ruling party’s image. …so with this attitude can you take your country upwards? Stupid citizens. ..

    1. x large says:

      in fact I agree with you Mhesha on 12. Malawians are just one bunch of funny creatures. Most of us just sit phwiii and expect that politicians will develop us, our lives, our families. We blame our poverty on politicians, like seriously?? Yes Malawi has been independent for 50 years, but can we point out on what each one of us has achieved in our lives as individuals in these 50 years?? Most of are still stagnant on the same place while our friends have improved their status. To me, Malawi’s poor status is a collective thing, not one man’s or one political party’s show alone. Even we citizens of Malawi are to blame for this. We’ve not helped our governments to develop this country. We are not productive enough.
      1. Most of us are lazy and do not want to work. Even in our offices, we work when the Bwana is there. We only look to what our companies should give us. If I visit most companies owned by Chinese, most people will whisper in me, “Bwana anthu awa ndiankhanza amatizunza, ntchito from six kolokoo mpaka six kolokoo”. But that’s so typical of Chinese, that’s how they work. They are hardworking, Malawians can’t cope with their working style.
      2. Malawians we are multiplying a lot. Look at our population, around 17,000,000. More than Zambia or Zimbabwe. Where are we going to get resources to support this population?? Can we buy enough medicine to heal this population?? Olo boma litiuze kuti tizilera, timamva???
      3. Malawians love short cuts, to get rich or get whatever they want. Look at cashgate, look at depletion of our environment. Why?? Because most of us believe in easy money. If you employ a Malawian, he will work for you when you are around or steal from you when you are not around, or when he finds a chance to do so.
      So seriously, let us also take the blame as citizens. Let us think seriously on what we as individuals could contribute to the development of this very small country. Osamangothamangila commenting bad on negative stories about Malawi, let us also seriously reflect on ourselves. Tichepeae kupanga ana mmidzimu, let us work hard

  43. Trevor Manyi says:

    577 BILLION woyeeee

  44. Kadakwiza says:

    Very bad Indeed


    Silly country.
    The weird manner in which your president, Mr Puppet, has sold MSB confirms what others have said about him: a DUBIOUS scholar!!! How can he tell the nation that he has suspended the sale for further consultation only to sell it a fortnight later? Ndiyeno nkumanena kuti you have an intelligent president???
    Mr Puppet will actually be selling ESCOM, LLWB, BWB, KCH, QECH, er… and that will be the beginning of real suffering for the urban poor. Just wait and see what he does next. We aint seen nothing yet: most parastatals will go.
    But then, the DPP goes on for a decade fwe fwe fwe nfwe “producing and exporting”. Producing and exporting what? Mapwevupwevu or some other Thyolo garbage?

    1. Sapitwa kakulanye says:

      Is there a time most Malawians have not suffered? Give me the years Malawians were rich and comfortable in all aspects? It has nothing to do with leadership but Malawians themselves.

  46. CHECHISYANO says:

    malawi sazatheka

  47. Patriot says:

    Malawi will have a relief mbava za DPP (K577 billion) ndi PP (K24 billion) zikazachoka.

  48. Munnyabu says:

    Since voted in office this fake prof Malawi’s story is:the poorest in the world,lowest etc etc is he really a proffesar? Atipinyulisatu uyu! Kodi ku Malawi tili ndi tsoka lanji?

  49. Kapolo Sakwiya says:

    Ife Kukhosi Kunatiwuma

  50. Charter says:

    If I were Peter!

  51. Shushe says:

    We can dream in colors bt to no avail. Until this generation of greedy politicians is naturally phased out. God hav mercy on malawi.

  52. ambuje says:

    With APM and DPP, these are the kind of stories- they just can’t turn things around like what Amayi did with fuel and forex in just within 3 months…idiots.

  53. geo stream says:

    Which citizens listen to? These empty tins? In fact we started to retrograde when we started creating space for these citizens. Our economy grew in Dr kamuzu banda’s days when CSOs had no platform at all. Democracy has never produced economic growth and development anywhere in the world. Countries that have made progress are command based economies like CHINA, KOREA, SINGAPORE etc. Watch out what is happening to Libya Egypt after embracing citizens voices. They are on a downward path.

  54. m.m says:

    malawian leaders are a problem samva maganizo a ma citizen amazitenga ngati oziwa zinthu kuposa ena thats y pa 51yrs u can see that no devpt koma kuba taxpayers money ma civil servants still remain anthu omvetsa chisoni kukanika kuwawonjezera malipiro,kuchedwa kulandira mpaka adzigona osadya ma reforms aja its just zokamba u will neva make it believe me.

  55. Kutchuka mkusauka basi. Dzuka Malawi dzuka

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