The Country

Intro

Malawi – The Warm Heart of Africa

Life, Society and Challenges of an aspiring country

Life and people

Malawi – a comparatively small country in the Southeast of the giant African continent. Malawians like to call their country “The Warm heart of Africa”. That warmth can actually be felt there: The people are extraordinarily hospital, curious and open. As this friendly, calm, peaceful, but truly fascinating country, Malawi is also an interesting destination for tourists: Africa for beginners.

Kind am Malawisee während des Sonnenaufgangs
At the Lake Malawi

Malawi is oftentimes known for its impressive Lake Malawi, which extends over unbelievable 570km and ranks as Africa’s largest fresh water reservoir and the lake with the highest diversity in fish species worldwide. Malawi is a very poor developing country, but luckily does not suffer from religious conflicts, terrorism or any other form of armed violence. That is why it is less present than other African countries in western news coverage.

Fischer im Einstamm-Boot auf dem Malawisee
Social situation: Overview

Still, Malawi faces big challenges. The extensive poverty and in many places lacking medical supply and subsequently the high infant mortality and low life expectancy are hard to overcome. With its HDI (Human Development Index) of 0.476 (Germany in comparison: 0.926; the HDI ranges from 0 to 1), Malawi is in the 170th place out of 188 on the United Nations’ ranking of HDIs.

Malawisches Dorf an einer Straße

An economic recovery which would fuel development in the said areas of medical supply and nourishment cannot be expected in the near future. Besides qualitatively mediocre tobacco, Malawi has only few export goods. In addition, the country has virtually no industrial sector. The people are working mainly in the family-owned fields or patches: Other than agriculture, there are not many safe job opportunities.

Auf dem Malawisee


  1. United Nations Development Programme: Overview Human Development Report 2016, p. 22-25. Accessed on 5/21/2017.