When Malawians go to vote on May 19, they are expected to put their cross next to the party they believe will do most to reduce poverty. Political campaigns in the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections have centred around poverty, agriculture, food security and employment.
A group of civil society organisations in Malawi is pushing for changes to the country’s controversial social cash transfer scheme which has caused tension in communities as it attempts to separate the poor from the ‘‘very poor’’ in a country where some 65 percent of people live on less than a dollar a day.
An influential women rights organisation in Malawi, Women in Law in Southern Africa-Malawi (WILSA-Malawi), is suing the government of Malawi for preventing women from accessing safe abortion.
Malawi does not have accurate statistics that define the extent of tuberculosis (TB) cases within its borders, and there are fears that only half of those infected with the disease are able to access testing and treatment.
Water has become the very essence of economic development for a rural community of Ngolowindo, in Malawi’s lake district of Salima, where households are reducing poverty thanks to irrigation.
Sitting side by side, clothed in bright traditional outfits complete with headgear, they looked like any of the women who always dance and ululate for politicians at rallies.
Malawi has taken major strides towards reducing poverty and hunger in the country. Government’s cash transfer scheme has managed to reach many of those usually unable to access grants due to lengthy and complicated bureaucratic processes and assessments.
Zimbabwe - where cholera has claimed more than 2,700 lives so far according to the Red Cross - is not the only southern African country facing increased disease as rains set in across the region. Malawi is also battling a cholera outbreak which has killed 19 people since the onset of the rainy season, an unusually high death toll.
Climate change will affect the Zambezi River basin more severely than any other river system in the world, according to Kenneth Msibi, Water Policy and Strategy Expert for the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Increased floods, drought and increased levels of disease threaten lives and livelihoods all along the river’s length.
If the socio-economic development goals of the eight countries that share the Zambezi River basin are to be met, countries along the river should quickly implement plans towards managing water resources in an efficient, effective and sustainable manner.
Malawi’s primary elections are getting ugly for women candidates. Shoving, derogatory songs and being pelted with stones are just some of the intimidating tactics aimed at discouraging women from contesting the primary elections that will select candidates for the parliamentary polls in May 2009.
Civil society organisations in Malawi are keen on the newly introduced Governance and Transparency Fund (GTF) which, they hope, will provide people with more power to ensure that there is proper governance and transparency in the country.
Women suffering from obstetric fistula in Malawi received free medical care to reverse their condition during the country’s Fistula Week.
The reigning Miss Malawi, Peth Msiska, has hit the campaign trail, not seeking another crown but to be voted into Parliament in her country’s general elections in May 2009.
Through hard work and resilience, Malawian entrepreneur Mary Phombeya has developed her once small and struggling business outfit into a fully fledged company. She imports fashionable clothes – for women, children and men – from Dubai, Thailand and Hong Kong which she sells locally.
A group of 138 unhappy and mostly destitute women from Malawi’s lake district of Mangochi have something to look forward to this week: They will have a chance to restore their dignity and pride by accessing a medical service usually not available to them.
Wyson Chandanga, a small-holder Malawian farmer from the northern district of Mzimba, does not care if the country receives enough rain this year. He is also not concerned on whether the rains come on time or not.
Malawi is on the prowl to extend its trade connections to different corners of the world, west and east. The small southern African country is hoping foreign investment will help it to become a producer and exporter rather than a consumer and importer economy, as is presently the case.
Gladys Mawera's face is contorted with pain -– both she and her newborn baby survived a complicated birth three days ago - but she has not been able to take the painkillers and antibiotics prescribed to her by the medical personnel at the Chiradzulu District Hospital in southern Malawi. The hospital has been without water for five days.
China continues to grow its presence in Africa, having just roped in the small southern African country of Malawi as another one of many trading partners on the continent. But some Malawians have adopted a cautious attitude towards their government’s new ally.
The European Commission (EC) has assured Malawi that the country will continue receiving cooperation aid even if it does not sign an economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union.