Building vibrant and tolerant democracies
In the past three decades Malawi has had varied inequality measures, with the highest being a Gini Coefficient measure of 0.62, reflecting profound inequities in access to assets, services and opportunities across the population. Supporting the high levels of inequality are the alarming poverty levels in the country with varied proportions; the highest in rural areas of the southernmost and northernmost parts of the country. The central region is relatively less poor and so are the urban areas. Income measures of poverty indicate that more than half of the population (52 percent) lives below the poverty line and about one fifth (22 percent) is living in ultra-poverty.
This chapter looks at the structural causes of inequality in Malawi as well as its economic and social aspects. It further contextualises inequality from the precolonial era to the present, capturing the key role of the state in tackling related issues and advancing the rights and welfare of the people.
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