Building vibrant and tolerant democracies
The 2006 Human Development Report ranks Malawi among the 10 poorest countries in the world, with about 52% of the population living below the poverty line. Malawi’s economy is fragile, with a narrow base, poor infrastructure and a heavy reliance on agriculture. The volatility of the macroeconomic environment has resulted in Malawi’s debt is rising to dangerous levels. This is further compounded by a high population growth rate, high levels of unemployment, a dismal export base, falling prices of agricultural produce, and high transport costs.
The policies that are implemented to bring about economic growth benefit only a small percentage of the population; the majority of Malawians struggle to eke out a living. The Malawian government has very few policy choices available that adequately tackle these challenges. This creates the need to ensure that ordinary Malawians are able to understand basic economic issues, and use this knowledge to lobby for alternative policies that aim at improving their lives, and at engaging them in the formulation, and implementation, of these policies.
As such, this project builds onto the outcomes of the 2010 grant to The Centre for Social Concern (CFSC). The main goal of this project is to create possibilities of alternative policies that reduce poverty and inequality among urban and rural Malawians. The objectives for this project are to advocate for an increase in the tax-free threshold and an introduction of two more categories in Malawi’s PAYE system.
This project also seeks to bolster the usage of the urban Basic Needs Basket (BNB) as a multipurpose tool for advocacy by December 2014. Additionally, this project aims to strengthen the usage of the BNB tool in highlighting poverty struggles in rural areas, like the Chiwawa district. Finally, the potential for advocacy for the poor, by the poor, will be supported with the establishment of BNB citizens’ advocacy groups.ShareThis