Malawi Military, Economy and Transportation

Malawi Military, Economy and Transportation


Economic overview: The landlocked Republic of Malawi is one of the most backward countries in the world. Its economy is predominantly agricultural; about 90% of the population lives in rural areas. The contribution of agriculture to total GDP is 37%; agricultural products provide the country with 85% of the income from export trade. The economy depends on assistance from the IMF, the World Bank and individual donor countries. In late 2000, Malawi was approved to receive assistance from the Indebted Poor Countries Relief Program. The government faces a number of serious challenges; including: the development of a market economy, the improvement of the educational system, the adoption of measures to protect the environment and combat the rapid spread of AIDS. 11GDP: Purchasing power parity $9.4 billion (200 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 3% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $900 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 37%; industry: 29%; services: 34% (1998 est.).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 54% (FY90-91 est.).
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: for the poorest 10% of households: n/a; by top 10% of households: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 29.5% (2000).
Labor force: 3.5 million people
Employment structure: agriculture 86% (1997 est.).
Unemployment rate: no data.
Budget: revenues: $490 million; expenditures: $523 million, including capital expenditures – NA (FY99-2000 est.).
Spheres of economy: cultivation of tobacco, tea, sugar production, woodworking industry, production of cement and consumer goods.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 1.025 million kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 2.44%; hydropower: 97.56%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 950 million kWh (1999).
Electricity export: 3 million kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (tapioca), sorghum, legumes; livestock, goats.
Export: $416 million (free on board, 2000)
Exports: tobacco, tea, sugar, cotton, coffee, peanuts, timber.
Export partners: South Africa 16%, Germany 16%, USA 15%, Netherlands 7%, Japan (1999).
Imports: $435 million (free on board, 2000)
Imports: foodstuffs, petroleum products, semi-finished products, consumer goods, transport equipment.
Import partners: South Africa 43%, Zimbabwe 14%, UK 5%, Germany 5% Zambia, Japan, USA (1999).
External debt: $2.9 billion (2000 est.) Economic aid recipient: $427 million (1999) ~-*V-
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Malawian kwacha.
Currency code: MWK.
Exchange rate: MWK/USD – 80.0946 (December 2000), 59.5438 (1999), 44.0881 (1999), 31.0727 (1998), 16.4442 (1997), 15.3085 (1996).
Fiscal year: July 1-June 30. VT-


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 37,000 (1997).
Mobile cell phones: 7,000 (1997).
Telephone system: internal: mediocre system of landlines, microwave radio relay and radiotelephone stations; international: satellite earth stations – 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean).
Broadcast stations: AM – 9, FM – 4 (and 15 repeaters), shortwave – 3 (1998).
Radio receivers: 2.6 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 1 (1999).
TVs: 0 (1999).
Internet country code: mw
Internet service providers: 8 (2001).
Number of users: 10,000 (2000).


Transport Railways: total length: 789 km; narrow gauge: 789 km (1.067 m gauge).
Roads: total length: 16,451 km; coated: 3,126 km; unpaved: 13,325 km (1997)
Waterways: Lake Nyasa (Malawi) and Shire River – 144 km.
Ports and harbours: Monkey Bay, Nkata Bay, Nkota Kota, Chilumba, Chipoka.
Airports: 44 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 6; over 3,047 m: 1; from 1524 to 2437 m:1; from 914 to 1523 m:4 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 38; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1; from 914 to 1,523 m: 14; less than 914 m: 23 (2000 est.).

Armed forces

Branches of the armed forces: army (includes the Air Force and military flotilla), police (includes paramilitary unit of mobile forces). See to know more about Malawi Military.
Total military manpower: men 15 to 49: 2,466,708 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 1,265,893 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year:
Military spending in dollar terms: $9.5 million (FY00-01).
Military spending as part of GDP: 0.76% (FY00-01)

International Issues

International problems International disputes: the dispute with Tanzania about the border on Lake Nyasa (Malawi).

Malawi Military