Malawi ranked fourth poorest

WIDESPREAD—Most Malawians live below the poverty line

WASHINGTON-(MaraviPost)-Malawi has been ranked the fourth poorest country in the world by Global Finance Magazine of the United States.

The report, which the magazine released on April 17, indicates that almost all the top 10 poorest countries, all from Africa, have either recently been through a civil war or other situations hindering development. Ironically, Malawi has enjoyed relative peace since independence.

“All these extremely fragile and underdeveloped economies have either recently been through a civil war or are suffering from ongoing sectarian or ethnic conflicts,” reads the report in part.

According to the magazine, Malawi’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita based on Purchasing-Power- Parity (PPP) is at $1,234 which is worse off than torn Mozambique, South Sudan and Liberia which have GDP per capita – PPP of $1,331, $1,331 and $1,613, respectively.

The magazine, which got its data from the International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database for April 2019 says Malawi is only better off than war-torn Burundi, Central Africa Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo, which are the three poorest countries in the world.

The magazine says Malawi’s GDP, which went from about $975 in 2010 to $1,200 in 2018, is projected to reach $1,580 by 2024 but poverty remains widespread, as the country’s economy, depends on rain-fed agriculture which is vulnerable to weather-related shocks.

Chancellor College economics Professor Ben Kalua told The Daily Times that  the problem lies with the country’s leadership.

Kalua said the country needs leaders who can make hard decisions for the benefit of the country.

“We do not have visionary leadership; leaders who can make hard decisions for the country to move forward. Right now I can say that we are in a quandary,” he said.

But Minister of Information and government spokesperson, Henry Mussa, said the government was putting in place measures to end extreme poverty in the country.

“It cannot be done overnight but we are revamping agriculture, we are into skills development, and all that. Instead of wasting our time looking at reports which say we are poorer that South Sudan, we should be hard-working and patriotic.

“If we give up and throw our hands in the air that this report says we are poor then nothing will happen,” he said.

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