Malawi is one of the poorest countries on the planet in terms of GDP per capita. The average person is making less than $700 per year. As hard as that is to conceive, in actuality Malawi is not quite as bad off as some others that presently combine poverty with war and extremist activity. As most Malawians will proudly tell you, this is a peaceful nation. Peace goes a very long way.
Malawians are rich in character, friendship, and family. It’s interesting that when you do not have a house, a car, or land, people become the most valuable commodity. Family and friendships are the most valuable things to people here. A funeral is one of the most widely attended events. People often travel great distances at great expense to be present at the funeral of a very distant relative or neighbor. This doesn’t speak of a person’s sensible cash budgeting, but of their character.
Christianity is the dominate religion in Malawi, with Islam on the rise and Hinduism a distant third. Regardless of religion, 99% of the people living in Malawi believe that there is a God. This means major competition if you’re in the church planting business. Christianity has not helped itself due to its churches being mostly scams to get money out of people. This is a major contributing factor to the rise of Islam as well as millions of dollars poured into building schools and mosques from outside Malawi.
The government of Malawi is surprisingly democratic with 2014 as a showcase for peaceful presidential elections in Africa. As with much of Africa, corruption is a way of life in politics. Government officials from top to bottom are stealing money constantly with little effort to stop it. In combination with corruption, appointing unqualified friends and family members to key government positions is a huge problem. This contributes to little growth in the nation’s infrastructure, which currently fails to meet even the most basic water and electricity needs of the country.