oa Africa Insight - Crafts and small enterprises in the economic periphery of Malawi

Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



Land-locked Malawi, a country about a tenth of the size of the Republic of South Africa, is one of the most densely populated states on the entire continent. At present it has an average of 60 inhabitants per km2, a situation that will deteriorate rapidly if the current annual population growth rate of 2,6 per cent is maintained.1 In 1980 Malawi's labour force of 2 484 000 constituted 44,6 per cent of its total population - 56,7 per cent of its males, 32,7 per cent of its females. Almost all of these people had to find employment in the subsistence agricultural sector; in 1980 the manufacturing sector provided work for only 1,7 per cent of the labour force and the construction sector for only 1,6 per cent.2

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