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Why are poverty levels still high in Malawi despite numerous interventions?


“Why are most Malawians poor?” This was a thought-provoking question that came from a Zimbabwean friend of mine and I think he was being honest with me abiding by his observation. So I decided to give him an honest response as well.

I think that most Malawians, for those who are employed, are poor because they are poorly paid for the job that they do. For example, how do you expect the lowest-paid person who gets MWK50,000 to survive?

Then think of a civil servant who is getting MWK200,000 each month. It’s practically very difficult for the lowest-paid employees to survive and make meaningful economic development for themselves and their families because there’s literally nothing a person would do with his or her wage as low as that, no matter how hard they try.

A civil servant should be getting MWK600,000 and above with the current cost of living as we speak but that’s not the case.

On the other hand, we have Members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers who are getting MWK5 million and above each month yet they have similar qualifications to those in the civil service, and in some cases, some civil servants are even more highly qualified than the lawmakers and ministers.

As you can see from my argument, the buying power is very different between politicians and the general working populace.

Government and private companies in Malawi must revise salaries to a better scale. Unfortunately, this is more like the book Animal Farm where some animals are more equal than others.

We have some kind of big oppression from the government side and even private companies that employ people in Malawi but the major culprit is government.

Everyone else is looking at the government and how it treats its workers; poor salaries and poor working conditions.

Recent research indicates there is a wealth threshold below which people are stuck in the so-called ‘poverty trap’ – where the initial wealth of a person and a system of oppression keeps them in a cycle of poverty rather than abilities or traits.

Poverty rarely has a single cause. A range of factors including rising living costs, low pay, lack of work, and inadequate social security benefits together mean some people do not have enough resources.

Something might be keeping you poor. Lack of budgeting and/or poor budgeting. You might be documenting everything.

Then again, you might be missing the starting point — a budget! Having a realistic and well-documented budget is the foundation of all your financial planning and success. Make a budget and stick to it!

Poor people can be kept poor. If I wanted to keep poor people poor, I would advocate for higher government-enforced minimum wages.

The law of supply and demand tells us that the higher the price of a good or service, the less of it will be demanded (other things held equal, of course). The demand for low-skilled labor is no exception.

There are reasons why the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. Poor people buy liabilities, rich people buy assets. The disparity in wealth accumulation can also be attributed to divergent spending habits. Poor people tend to spend their money on liabilities — items that depreciate over time — such as luxury goods, excessive entertainment, or expensive cars.

There several factors lead to the poverty trap. Many factors contribute to creating a poverty trap, including limited access to credit and capital markets, extreme environmental degradation (which depletes agricultural production potential), corrupt governance, capital flight, poor education systems, disease ecology, lack of public healthcare, war, and poor.

What is the main cause of poverty essay? The rising population is putting a burden on the resources and budgets of countries.

Governments are finding it difficult to provide food, shelter & employment to the rising population. The other causes are- lack of education, war, natural disasters, lack of employment, lack of infrastructure, political instability, etc.

Finally, Poverty is a condition or state that describes a lack of financial means to either meet one’s basic needs or attain a quality of life much beyond basic needs.

There are four kinds of poverty typically discussed: absolute, relative, situational, and generational.

Burnett Munthali
Burnett Munthali
Burnett Munthali is a Maravipost Political analyst (also known as political scientists) he covers Malawi political systems, how they originated, developed, and operate. he researches and analyzes the Malawi and Regional governments, political ideas, policies, political trends, and foreign relations.
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