Like any other country, the Malawian economy’s demand for processed products, machinery, vehicles and other manufactured products has resulted in the country’s imports surpassing the value of its exports. Even as a primarily agricultural economy, Malawi has regularly failed to produce enough food for its own population and has been forced to import food. As a land-locked country, coupled with its low levels of education and a lack of endowments of large quantities of valuable natural resources, Malawi may look at the agricultural sector as a source of economic growth in the medium term. In the long term, Malawi needs to diversify in order to survive in the global economy.
The current government should move quickly to develop the Shire-Zambezi waterway, as this may reduce transportation costs and ease its access to seaports through which its imports and exports travel. Promoting the development of high-quality export products and diversifying its exports will allow Malawi to take full advantage of the waterway project.