The structural adjustment economic reform programme and urban poverty in Malawi
MetadataShow full item record
This paper discusses the impact of the structural adjustment policies that Malawi has implemented since 1981, on the urban poor. It recognizes the fact that lack of comprehensive data on income and expenditure patterns in urban households makes it difficult to determine the nature and causes of poverty in Malawi’s urban areas. This also causes problems in identifying the poor, although rural poverty has been attributed to landlessness, rapid population growth, low farming technological adoption, lack of employment opportunities and low levels of human capital, (House and Zimalirana, 1992:18). This paper examines the changes in living conditions that have taken place among people in the urban areas during the adjustment period. In particular, it considers diminishing employment opportunities, declining real wages due to a high rate of inflation, and the rising costs of food, energy and fuel, housing and clothing, as factors that have worsened urban living conditions in Malawi.