Malawi

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Landlocked Malawi ranks among the world's most densely populated and least developed countries. The economy is predominately agricultural with about 80% of the population living in rural areas. The country’s economic performance has historically been constrained by policy inconsistency, macroeconomic instability, limited connectivity to the region and the world, and poor health and education outcomes that limit labor productivity. Agriculture accounts for about one-third of GDP and 90% of export revenues. The performance of the tobacco sector is key to short-term growth as tobacco accounts for more than half of exports. The economy depends on substantial inflows of economic assistance from the IMF, the World Bank, and individual donor nations. In 2006, Malawi was approved for relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries program. The government faces many challenges including developing a market economy, improving educational facilities, addressing environmental problems, dealing with HIV/AIDS, and satisfying foreign donors on anti-corruption efforts. Between 2005 and 2009 Malawi’s government exhibited improved financial discipline under the guidance of Finance Minister Goodall GONDWE and signed a three year IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility worth $56 million. The government announced infrastructure projects that could yield improvements, such as a new oil pipeline for better fuel access, and the potential for a waterway link through Mozambican rivers to the ocean for better transportation options. Since 2009, however, Malawi has experienced some setbacks, including a general shortage of foreign exchange, which has damaged its ability to pay for imports, and fuel shortages that hinder transportation and productivity. In October 2013, the African Development Bank, the IMF, several European countries, and the US indefinitely froze $150 million in direct budgetary support in response to a high level corruption scandal called “Cashgate,” citing a lack of trust in the government’s financial management system and civil service. Most of the frozen donor funds—which accounted for 40% of the budget—have been channeled through non-governmental organizations in the country. Investment had fallen continuously for several years, but rose 4 percentage points in 2014 to 17% of GDP. The government has failed to address barriers to investment such as unreliable power, water shortages, poor telecommunications infrastructure, and the high costs of services. The government faces many challenges including developing a market economy, improving educational facilities, addressing environmental problems, dealing with HIV/AIDS, and satisfying foreign donors on anti-corruption efforts.. Between 2005 and 2009 Malawi’s government exhibited improved financial discipline under the guidance of Finance Minister Goodall GONDWE and signed a three year IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility worth $56 million. The government announced infrastructure projects that could yield improvements, such as a new oil pipeline for better fuel access, and the potential for a waterway link through Mozambican rivers to the ocean for better transportation options. Since 2009, however, Malawi has experienced some setbacks, including a general shortage of foreign exchange, which has damaged its ability to pay for imports, and fuel shortages that hinder transportation and productivity. In October 2013, the African Development Bank, the IMF, several European countries, and the US indefinitely froze $150 million in direct budgetary support in response to a high level corruption scandal called “Cashgate,” citing a lack of trust in the government’s financial management system and civil service. Most of the frozen donor funds—which accounted for 40% of the budget—have been channeled through non-governmental organizations in the country. Investment had fallen continuously for several years, but rose 4 percentage points in 2014 to 17% of GDP. The government has failed to address barriers to investment such as unreliable power, water shortages, poor telecommunications infrastructure, and the high costs of services.

$13.73 billion (2014 est.)
$12.98 billion (2013 est.)
$12.34 billion (2012 est.)
note: data are in 2014 US dollars
country comparison to the world: 152
$4.263 billion (2014 est.)
5.7% (2014 est.)
5.2% (2013 est.)
1.9% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
$800 (2014 est.)
$700 (2013 est.)
$700 (2012 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
country comparison to the world: 227
household consumption: 95%
government consumption:11%
investment in fixed capital: 16.5%
investment in inventories: 6.6%
exports of goods and services: 28.1%%
imports of goods and services: -57.1%
(2014 est.)
agriculture: 30.1%
industry: 18.5%
services: 51.3% (2014 est.)
28.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
-7% of GDP (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 190
$2.498 billion (2014 est.)
$2.52 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156
$2.742 billion (2014 est.)
$2.681 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
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