POPULATION (2015 est.): 17,101,849
AREA: 118,484 sq km
CURRENCY: kwacha (MWK)
HEAD OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT:
President Peter Mutharika
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: republic
PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM: unicameral
STATE STRUCTURE: unitary
LANGUAGES: English and Chichewa (official)
Parliament: last: 2014 turnout: 70.1% next: 2019
Presidential: last: 2014 turnout: 70.8% next: 2019
LOCAL ELECTIONS: last: May 2014 turnout: 69.0% next: 2019
WOMEN COUNCILLORS: 12.1% (2014)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE (as a percentage of total government expenditure 2013/14): 21.3%
Malawi is a democratic republic with two
spheres of government: national and local. Local
government is enshrined in Chapter XIV of the
constitution and responsibility for its administration
rests with the Minister of Local Government and
Rural Development. The local government
system has 35 single-tier authorities: 28 district
councils, four city councils, two municipal councils
and one town council. The councils are responsible
for raising and collecting local taxes and user fees and charges; however, the majority of their revenue comes from central government grants, both conditional (sectoral funds) and unconditional (general resource funds). All councils have the same responsibilities including primary education, primary health, forestry, natural resources and community services.
The Malawi Local Government Association (MALGA) is recognised by the government as the voice of local authorities and is the body for coordinating local government training.
Read the profile of the local government system in Malawi.
CLGF activities in Malawi
In the lead up to 2014 local elections, as part of the wider DIFD funded programme supporting local governance and local economic development, CLGF collaborated with the Ministry of local government and GIZ in developing a Guidebook on Local Government to increase citizen knowledge on the roles and responsibilities of local government. In parallel CLGF partnered with MALGA and GIZ on the development of a Councillor Training Handbook to support the association in training incoming councillors, the majority of who were new to local government. Following the elections CLGF supported a 2nd phase of work on increasing the clarity on the roles and responsibilities of local government, through a televised debate on the role of local government. CLGF also continued to work with MALGA on building the capacity of new councillors, supporting training sessions in six southern districts.
CLGF will continue to work with MALGA and the Minister of Local Government and
Rural Development as it takes forward the EC funded project “Strengthening local government’s role as a partner in development” focused on the role for local government and other local and national actors in localising and implementing the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
CLGF members in Malawi
- Minister of Local Government and Rural Development
- Malawi Local Government Association (MALGA)
- City of Lilongwe