Malawi improves on human capital index


Malawi has improved on the Human Capital Index registering a score of 0.41 from 0.36 in 2010.

This was revealed in Lilongwe Tuesday when the World Bank launched the Human Capital Review Report titled Overcoming Challenges to Transforming Human Capital in Malawi.

The improvement means that a child born today will be 41 percent as productive when they grow up as they could be if they enjoyed complete education and full health.


World Bank Human Development Programme Leader Aneesa Arur attributed Malawi’s improvement to a reductions in infant and child mortality; reduction in stunting prevalence; declines in both the number of new HIV infections and Aid related deaths; and significant improvements in access to basic services such as education, health, and water and sanitation.

Arur was quick to note that, despite these efforts, Malawi’s fertility has declined more slowly compared to the steady decline in child mortality over the past three decades.

She said high levels of fertility makes it difficult for the government to take care of the needs of its citizens, which leads to poor educational attainment and poor health outcomes and ultimately poor quality of human capital.


“To improve human capital, Malawi must strategically prioritize (i) accelerating fertility rate reduction; (ii) decreasing the high maternal and neonatal mortality rates; (iii) continuing to reduce chronic malnutrition that affects physical and cognitive development; and (iv) supporting education and enhancing skill development opportunities among girls and women.

“Prioritising investment in girls while they are young, creating opportunities that foster long-term employment and livelihood generation, economic independence, and entrepreneurship for women; and investments in women’s health to improve maternal, infant and child health outcomes, as well as nutrition outcomes are critical to advancing human capital,” Arur said.

Secretary to Treasury MacDonald Mafuta Mwale said it was encouraging to note that Malawi has improved on the Human Capital Index.

But Mafuta Mwale said there is need for Malawi not to be complacent but push forward to be in the ranks of those countries with a score of 0.90 and above.

Among other things, Mafuta Mwale said investing in human capital is critical for the development of Malawi.

He said the government believes that an educated and healthy population is key in reducing poverty and achieving sustainable economic growth.

“The Malawi child in the next two decades will need to have technology skills if he or she is to compete on the global platform,” Mafuta Mwale said.

Director of Development Planning at the National Planning Commission, Grace Kumchulesi, said while Malawi’s improvement on the human capital index is good tidings, the country needs to do more as part of achieving its long term vision.

According to Kumchulesi, Malawi needs to invest more in the social sectors of health and education.

“But while we are investing in the social sector, we must also not forget the productive sector because the human capital that we are developing will also have to thrive in the labour market,” she said.

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