Malawi to burn $7.5 million worth of ivory this week

The world’s poorest country is to make the world’s most expensive bonfire. On Thursday, Malawi will set fire to ivory worth more than  $7.5 million, in an extravagant gesture designed to demonstrate its commitment to wildlife conservation and the fight against the colossal worldwide business of wildlife crime.

Impounded ivory in Malawi

Impounded ivory in Malawi

Almost four tons of ivory is held in Malawi’s stockpile, and it is going to burn the lot. This will be done at parliament, and the march to the incineration will be led by the President, Peter Mutharika, wearing a polo shirt bearing the message “Stop Wildlife Crime”, reports The Independent.

The plan follows the burning in Ethiopia earlier this month of six tons of tusks and carved ivory. There are reports that Kenya will burn a further 15 tons in the coming week. But the Malawi burning is the most remarkable.

“It is really inspiring that the Malawi government is prepared to make wildlife conservation a priority in these difficult times,” said Johnny Vaughan, general manager of the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust.

Malawi has been hammered by a devastating corruption scandal, nicknamed Cashgate, in which around £35 m was believed to have been taken out of government funds. Earlier this year, flooding killed nearly 300 people and made 230,000 homeless.

The development has earned Malawi praises from UK newspaper The Independent which reported that Malawi’s bonfire is of “humbling significance”.

It said: “Here is the world’s poorest country putting such money as it has where its mouth is. Saying that elephants matter, that wildlife matters and conservation is not a luxury for when more pressing matters have been seen to.

“There is not a country or a government in the world that can look at Malawi’s efforts and not be a little embarrassed. If Malawi can do this, every country can afford to do its bit, too.”

The ivory bonfire will involve government officials, 600 schoolchildren and dancers dressed as elephants.

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een mabuzi apusi
Stupid malawians, when will you grow up!!! A couple of months ago you forced that dude who was rearing 500 crocodiles to burn them becuase you said he was ill treating them by giving them insuffucient food stuff. Yet the crocs were worthy millions of dollars when sold abroad! Poor and stupid malawians ! Go ahead and burn a cool K3, 400, 000, 000.00. Although selling them is illegal but they could have been sold in anyway. Mwakongola kale 8 billion kwacha meant for the famine, why not use that money for irrigation farming. Blind malawi when will you see,… Read more »

how much is 1?

F kajera

We can make it into finished product give it more value and sell at a much better price which will we can use to breed new elephants to replace the dead ones. This will be putting good use to our valuable natural resource. Why lose twice when we can avoid further loss! It takes many years to have a full grown elephant hence the essence of making the ivory to good use other than burn.


Government cannot sale ivory legally at present. The sale of ivory is banned worldwide. The only sane thing is to keep it for posterity.

Alick Makanjira

It is not true that burning the ivory wll bring more losses than gains to Malawians.We must learn to understand why government is intending to take such a bold step. Yes those few pieces of ivory can generate a little something to the government of Malawi, but for sure it can have long term negatives considering that it will just open up a window for more losses of this national heritage. We should refrain from making statements that have no basis atall.


Poor thinking…
slavish mentality! you want to cheat the world? you crooks,
why burn the ivory whe you know its money. there is always illegal trade happening between govenments and states. who do you want to cheat? zopusa basi. mukuwona ngati chamba chikagwidwa amawotcha chonse? mukunamiza ndani inu. just sell the ivory and buy drugs in malawian Hospitals.


sell the ivory and make money for the poorset country in the world. U mean you want to burn 7.5 million dolars are u crazy???


All I can see here madness.why cant they just sell the Ivory and use the money to help in atleast one of our national development.Are we still in Azungu andituma?Think twice.


Sell the ivory and pump the revenue for supervision to curb this trade


How stupid for burning and you call yourselves educated dumb ass negros !!! What’s the point of burning it ?? At least if it’s sold then quite a bit of money can be raised …watch ivory wars on discovery!!

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