oa Malawi Journal of Development Education - Impediments to development: The case of Malawi

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1729-0783



Poverty in Africa continues to be common, widespread, deep-rooted, severe and unyielding. The main pre-independence aspiration of the people of Africa: to raise their standard of living, has largely come to nothing. The standard of living of most Africans has in fact been deteriorating since independence. In the past forty years, Malawi in particular has failed to raise the standard of living of the majority of her people. This study identifies some of the factors leading to the failure of the development effort in Malawi. Specifically, the study sought to answer the question: What are the intrinsic factors in Malawi that have hindered the achievement of aims of development? The study reviews the literature on development, colonialism, science, technology and education in Malawi and other nations to suggest that attitudes that some Malawians adopted from the colonialists are a major hindrance to development. These include attitudes to labour, education, development education, science and technology, and critical thinking. The implications of these findings are discussed. It is concluded that development programs in the country should not only involve building structures such as school blocks, bridges, clinics, or setting up money-lending institutions, as is the case at present, but also include changing the attitudes that have in the past hindered the attainment of development.

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