Malawi has the world’s lowest gross national income (GNI) per capita, according to a latest World Bank report.
GNI per capita is the sum total of finished goods and services produced by residents in a country. In this case, goods produced by Malawians divided by the entire population.
It is also a broad-based economic indicator of income generated by a country’s residents from international and domestic activity and helps to summarise or assess a country’s level of development or the welfare of its citizens.
World Bank latest estimates show that Malawi has the world’s lowest GNI per capita at $250 (roughly K110 000)each while on the contrary, Monaco, an independent State on France’s Mediterranean coastline, has the highest at $100 000 (about K45 million).
In simple terms, this means Malawians today would share K110 000 while at the same time their counterparts in Monaco would share about K45 million each, assuming the total wealth (as measured by GNI) for the respective nations is equally shared among its citizens.
Catholic University head of economics Gilbert Kachamba, reacting to Malawi’s poor ranking on GNI per capita, said it is not shocking that Malawi sits at the bottom, saying the country simply consumes and does not adequately save its wealth unlike other countries worldwide.
“This [poor] trend will continue if we don’t change the way we conduct ourselves as a country,” he said, adding that there is poor capital formation in Malawi and huge over borrowing by government for consumption at both micro and macro level, which he said also explains Malawi’s low rankings in terms of GNI per capita.
The World Bank report has said GNI per capita continues to show improved economic performance in many low-income countries, with Bangladesh, Kenya, Myanmar and Tajikistan now becoming lower-middle income countries.