Malawi has emerged as one of the gainers in prosperity in the sub-Saharan region, emerging as the 11th prosperous country out of 41 in the region, according to the latest Legatum Prosperity Index.
This means that in terms of poverty levels, Malawi is making strides to improve the well-being of its people with opportunities for developing prosperity, says the report.
On the global scale, Malawi slipped one step to 110 in 2018 from 109 the previous year.
Neighbouring Tanzania and Zambia, at position eight and nine, respectively, are ahead of Malawi while Zimbabwe and Mozambique at 16 and 18, respectively, rank below trail Malawi in terms of prosperity.
The index has pillars which include economic quality, the business environment, governance, personal freedom, social capital, safety and security, education, health and natural environment.
Reads the report in part: “The region as a whole has grown strongly in the business environment pillar over the past decade, in particular in the entrepreneurial environment sub-pillar, where it is now the third highest scoring region.
“There has also been an improvement in the access to credit indicator. Malawi and Cameroon were the world’s largest risers in the pillar overall. Even with a decline last year, sub-Saharan Africa performs strongest relative to the rest of the world in social capital, and is the third-ranked region.”
University of Malawi’s Chancellor College economics professor Ben Kaluwa said in an interview yesterday that while Malawi’s position at regional level is commendable, there is need to see significant progress on the economic front if the gains are to trickle down.
“We need to see more significant progress than marginal improvements on the economic front as this will be able to pull everything else together for a prosperous nation,” he said.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe said in his Mid-Year Budget Statement that for the past five years, despite hostile and catastrophic climate conditions, the country has managed to score economic landmarks.
“If we continue with the fiscal reforms and sound fiscal and monetary policies in tandem with the rigorous public and private investment that have commenced, we should be able to continue to register high quality growth rates and robust poverty reductions,” he said.
Earlier, the minister said he wants to see Malawi move out of the list of the Least Developed Countries (LCDs) by 2020 on account of continued economic growth.
Economists have long argued that the current socio-political environment is one of the contributing factors to slow progress the country is making in its quest to graduate into a middle income country