Malawi has been urged by world financial bodies to free up its economy, and has it has privatised many loss-making state-run corporations.
Since 2007 the country has made real progress in achieving economic growth as part of programmes instituted by the government of President Mutharika in 2005. Healthcare, education and environmental conditions have improved, and Malawi has started to move away from reliance on overseas aid.
Its single major natural resource, agricultural land is under severe pressure from rapid population growth, although the government’s programme of fertilizer subsidies has dramatically boosted output in recent years, making Malawi a net food exporter.
Tens of thousands of Malawians die of Aids every year. After years of silence, the authorities spoke out about the crisis. A programme to tackle HIV-Aids was launched in 2004, with President Muluzi revealing that his brother had died from the disease.