Country FilesSouthCountry Profile: MALAWI

Wed,22Nov2017

Posted on Friday, 12 November 2010 00:00

Country Profile: MALAWI

This country profile was published in November 2010 in our annual 'Africa in 2011' issue. The next edition, 'Africa in 2012' will be on sale in November 2011.

 

CountryProfile StatsMalawi

contents :

Country Profile

Top Malawian Companies

Top Malawian Banks

 

 

Fertiliser and rubber stamps

Since the elections of May 2009, Malawi’s ­political and econo­­mic fortunes have been closely tied to those of 76-year-old President Bingu wa Mutharika. His Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), whose leaders he chooses personally, has the numbers in parliament to rubber-stamp his proposals. Its 14 standing committees, dominated by DPP chairpersons, fail to provide checks on executive power.?

The main opposition parties, the Malawi Congress Party and the United Democratic Front, which ruled under Hastings Banda and Bakili Muluzi respectively, are paralysed by infighting and funding crises. The new Chinese-built parliament building in Lilongwe sees little debate, even on unpopular measures such as the costly changes to the Malawian flag in July.?

Mutharika appears set on modelling his presidency on that of Hastings Banda (1964-1994), for whom he has great admiration. His threats to close down newspapers for reporting “lies” that “tarnish my government’s image” are in the Banda mould. Western embassies that once lectured the government about democratic freedoms and economic prudence now feel similarly chastised.?

The president’s main political concern is to ensure a smooth succession at the end of his term in 2014. His younger brother, Peter, has been moved from his academic career in the US through several cabinet ministries in a process viewed by many as an apprenticeship.?

Mutharika’s reputation in Malawi and on the international stage – he is current chairperson of the AU and prospective chair of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa – is dependent on Malawi’s economic performance and the political calm that prevails. Four consecutive years of surplus maize production have been hailed as something of a miracle, although imports of fertiliser are a more down-to-earth explanation. The million-tonne maize surplus does not translate ­automatically into a surplus at the household level, and various international agencies have warned of impending food shortages in the populous southern region. Although sales of Malawi’s export staple, burley tobacco, concluded on a reasonably buoyant note, a possible international ban by the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on additives to cigarette tobacco continues to loom. The market for burley tobacco is heavily dependent upon them. ?

The development of the Kayelekera uranium mine, which is now approaching full production of 3.3m lbs of yellowcake per annum, is not yet compensating for the threat to the all-important tobacco industry. It has the potential to yield royalties of around $45m a year. Other business initiatives are a cigarette-manufacturing facility and the opening up of a new commercial link to the Indian Ocean via the Shire and Zambezi rivers.

?Foreign aid will continue to underpin the country’s macroeconomic statistics and help to keep GDP growth projections above 6% in 2010 and 2011. Aid patterns are showing signs of moving from the West to the East, as China and Iran take an interest in the country and as traditional donors begin to question the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of their programmes. ?

As long as the macroeconomic statistics are positive and maize is plentiful, not everybody will be worried about questions of democracy or continued dependence on foreign aid, or even the increasingly nationalistic rhetoric of the president. Of more general concern is the 3% population-growth rate, which means that half of Malawi’s 15 million people are under the age of 15, while unemployment remains high. Fuel shortages, a serious scarcity of foreign exchange and frequent power cuts are ?reminders of the challenges that remain.

 

 

Malawi's Top Companies

 

 
Rank 2010
The Afrique report
TOP 500 companies the africa report
Rank 2009
TOP 500 companies
The Afrique report
Company name

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Country

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Sector

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TOP 500 companies egypt
Turnover (Thds $)
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TOP 500 companies tunisia
Turnover change
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Net profits

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310366PRESS CORPORATIONMALAWIDIVERSIFIED319 60325,58%38
397450ILLOVO MALAWIMALAWIAGRIBUSINESS230 71725,53%85

 

2009 RESULTS IN THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS - *IN ITALICS 2008 RESULTS - ND: NO DATA

Taken from the Top 500 Companies

 

 

 

Malawi's Top Banks

 

Rank 2010
The Afrique report
TOP 500 companies the africa report
Rank 2009
TOP 500 companies
The Afrique report
Company name

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Country

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TOTAL ASSETS
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TOP 500 companies egypt
NET EARNINGS
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TOP 500 companies
CREDIT

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TOP 500 companies tunisia
DEPOSITS

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173185NATIONAL BANK OF MALAWIMALAWI511 65675 270252 631370 135

 

FIGURES FOR 2009. US$ THOUSANDS. *2008 FIGURES.

Taken from the Top 200 Banks

 

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