Malawi is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, often described as “the warm heart of Africa” because of the friendliness of its people. Around 65 times smaller than Australia (1), Malawi has an estimated population of around 21 million people (2). The average person in Australia earns nearly 100 times more than an average person in Malawi (3). Although 4 out of 5 Malawians rely on agriculture for income (4), less than 3% of the land is irrigated (4), which makes these small land owners particularly vulnerable to the effects of drought. Population growth has placed additional pressure on the nation’s agricultural sector (2) and a lack of strong democratic leadership (4) has weakened its economy in recent years.
In its mission to evangelise the cities of Africa, in both Word and Deed, African Enterprise has been proclaiming the Gospel and strengthening the Church of Malawi for over 30 years. AE Malawi has also been involved with water and sanitation projects, and since 2009, runs a women’s vocational training centre. Here, vulnerable women, many of whom have turned to prostitution, are trained in tailoring and given their own sewing machines, and thus provided with the opportunity to start their own small businesses.
In the last year, food insecurity has reached crisis point for many individuals in Malawi (5), with a sharp increase in the price of maize. Our church partners in Malawi have reported a decline in church attendance, as congregation members have been out in search of food. In response to this crisis, and in obedience to God’s Word to “look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27), African Enterprise is partnering with the local church to supply maize and legumes to families at risk. These include child-headed households, widows and the elderly.
In addition, AE Malawi founded its Management and Leadership Development Training Centre (MALDEC) in October 2019. MALDEC offers a short course in practical strategic management for community leaders of various professional backgrounds. At the recent graduation of its first and second cohort of students, Mr Rangford Chokotho, chairperson of the African Enterprise Malawi Board, encouraged graduates to use the knowledge gained from this program to contribute to Malawi’s growth and development.
At African Enterprise, as we partner with all levels of society in Malawi, from its most vulnerable to its leaders, we believe that this beautiful nation can look forward to a future filled with hope.
- (1) https://www.mylifeelsewhere.com/country-size-comparison/malawi/australia
- (2) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mi.html
- (3) http://www.ifitweremyhome.com/compare/AU/MW
- (4) https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/january-2013/what-went-wrong-lessons-malawi%E2%80%99s-food-crisis
- (5) http://www.fao.org/giews/countrybrief/country.jsp?code=MWI