Over 80% of people live in rural areas

Malawi’s population has grown rapidly over the last decade and is forecast to have tripled to 45 million by 2020. Many of its 18 million population live below the poverty line and rely on subsistence farming. The region is vulnerable to the impact of extreme weather conditions, particularly floods and drought. Malnutrition is a real issue for many Malawians and life expectancy remains low, at around 57 years, compared to 82 years in the UK. The country has also been badly affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic (with an estimated one million children orphaned by the disease and infection rates which remain high at 10%).

The expanding population has put substantial pressure on resources including on the educational provision. In 1994 Malawi announced universal primary education and school enrolment consequently rose from 58% in 1992 to 75% in 2007. However over 50% of children leave school before completing their primary education and only 25% go on to attend secondary school. The increased population has put pressure on class sizes, which are often over 100 pupils. 

The time has come for Malawi’s next General Election on 21st May 2019. Will a new party be elected and if so will there be any change from a history of corruption and poverty? 

What were the results?

The MEC say President Mutharika, who heads the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), gained a narrow victory by about 159,000 votes.

Mr Chakwera, from the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), came close behind with about 35.4% of the vote. He had also placed as runner-up five years ago.

President Mutharika's deputy, Saulos Chilima, finished in third place - winning just over 20% of the ballot. He had earlier said his name was initially not on the electoral register when he turned up to vote.

With high levels of national poverty, the economy and corruption were key election issues. The vote was seen as one of the most unpredictable the country had seen. Turnout was 74% among the 6.8m residents who were registered to vote. Malawi has been independent since 1964. This was the sixth presidential election held since single-party rule ended in 1994.

This is disappointing news for millions of Malawians who are ready for changes. Will there be any changes over the coming months and next 5 years or a continuation of poverty for Malawi?



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Hope Africa is an International Christian Charity dedicated to bringing hope to people in Africa. We ask you to stand in prayer with us and to believe God for increase, opportunity and open doors to end sickness, disease and poverty.


Africa is a continent with 54 countries and with huge contrasts in levels of development and poverty. Malawi is one of the poorest countries with 50% of the population living below the poverty line and 25% living in extreme poverty.


Our vision is a world where everyone has access to safe drinking water; has food to eat every day and has a good quality education – so they can dream and hope for a better future. Our aim is to impact one life at a time.