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Malawi’s Economic Crisis: Uniting for Solutions and Recovery

By Undule Mwakasungula

Mwakasungula: By working together, we can overcome this crisis


On Sunday, August 20th 2023, the Human Rights Defenders Forum (HRDC) issued a statement highlighting the economic challenges the country is currently facing and expressing concern about the country’s trajectory. The HRDC statement identified several pressing issues, including the escalating cost of living, the fertilizer procurement fiasco, an imminent food crisis, fuel and forex shortages, and an escalating debt crisis.

The HRDC’s statement highlights the pressing requirement for accountable leadership, effective governance, and the pursuit of solutions to tackle the country’s challenges. By articulating clear expectations and advocating for specific actions, the HRDC is urging for a proactive approach to resolving these issues. Additionally, the HRDC emphasizes the paramount importance of transparency, accountability, and responsible governance, which are essential for constructing a brighter future for our nation.

A Call for Hope and Unity

However, in this statement, I aim to inspire hope and a sense of purpose, rather than focusing solely on the challenges or succumbing to despair. I emphasize the potential for collective action, national resilience, and the belief that we can overcome these challenges through unity, transparency, and a shared commitment to the principles that define our country.

The Complexity of the Economic Crisis

There is no denying that Malawi is currently facing an economic crisis that demands careful consideration and decisive action from the government to address the challenges at hand.

Civic Engagement

One positive aspect of this situation is the presence of Malawians and organizations, such as the HRDC, who are speaking out and raising awareness about the issues facing our country. This demonstrates a strong sense of civic engagement and concern for the well-being of our citizens. Such civic engagement is crucial for building national unity and promoting constructive dialogue and collaboration towards finding solutions. Furthermore, this underscores the government’s unwavering commitment to promoting an open society and safeguarding the fundamental freedoms of Malawians.

Government Efforts

It is important to acknowledge that the government has taken some steps to address the situation, such as canceling the fertilizer procurement deal with Romanian firm East Bridge Estate and initiating efforts to recover funds from the K750 million deal.

While these efforts may not be sufficient to fully address the crisis, they do indicate a recognition of the problems and a willingness to take action.

Is Malawi Drifting into a Failed State?

While the challenges we face are indeed serious and require urgent attention, it may be more constructive to view them as symptoms of underlying problems that need to be addressed, rather than labeling the country as drifting towards a failed state.

Although the challenges are severe, it is important to focus on the specific issues at hand and the potential for reform and recovery. This approach acknowledges the complexity of the situation and recognizes the agency of the Malawian people to address these challenges, rather than reducing the situation to a label that may not fully capture the nuances of our country’s current state.

It is crucial to understand that the term “failed state” is a highly charged and complex label that can have significant implications both domestically and internationally. It is typically used to describe a country with weak institutions, poor governance, chronic violence, and a lack of basic public services. I believe that our country Malawi has not reached that level. Therefore, applying this term to our country should be done with caution and a thorough understanding of our context.

Collective Efforts for National Unity and Progress

In times of crisis, it is important for people to come together and work towards finding solutions. This includes supporting government efforts to address the challenges while holding them accountable for their actions. It is also essential to note that although the situation is difficult, it is not hopeless. With decisive action from the government, support from the people and international partners, we can overcome these challenges and build a stronger, more prosperous future for our country.


Ultimately, understanding that building national unity and progress requires a collective effort from all Malawians, regardless of our political, religious, ethnic, regional background. By working together, we can overcome this crisis and pave the way for a stronger, more prosperous future for our beloved country.

Long Live Mother Malawi!

Undule Mwakasungula, Governance and Human Rights Advocate, Cell: – 002650991 143 568, Email: –

Monday, August 21st, 2023, Lilongwe, Malawi

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