Introduction to Malawi

Malawi is a small geographically diverse country in South Africa located along the western part of the Great Rift Valley. It has an area of 118,484 km2, one-fifth of which is covered by Lake Malawi, but includes also mountains, wooded hills, wetlands, and plateaus. Dependent in a large part upon agriculture – such as tobacco, sugar, tea, cotton, groundnuts and coffee – Malawi has significant resources in fish from large water quantities and extensive arable land and forests. The country has been plagued in recent years by poachers that have endangered many of the natural wildlife species and has just recently approved an anti-poaching initiative to be implemented within its borders by using drones to help fight against the illegal killing of animals.

Nearly one million MSMEs existed in Malawi as of the year 2012, 758,118 of which were owned by persons representing 13% of the adult population in the country. 98% of MSMEs are unregistered, 85% are located in rural areas, and 54% are owned by males. Small business owners are generally young, aged 31 years on average. The sector classification of MSMEs has shown that the Malawian small business economy is led by agriculture (44% of entities), tea, coffee and tobacco. Among agricultural MSMEs, 41% are engaged in growing, producing and selling activities, while 37% have merely pure trading activities. 63% of the workforce of small businesses is involved in agricultural activities, far ahead of trade (23%), and services and manufacturing at 7% each. The second largest broad sector where MSMEs operate is wholesale and retail trade, accounting for 40% of the businesses.




The technical assistance operation is financed under the Cotonou agreement by the EU in support of EIB.
The Technical Assistance component of the project is implemented in a consortium led by Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.