Country Pilot - Malawi


  • PROJECT TITLE: Africa Financial Capability Project
  • TIMELINE: September 2010 - March 2012


This joint project for Malawi, Namibia and Zambia aimed to develop a set of financial capability indicators that are internationally comparable and that take account of the needs of low-income people in developing countries. These indicators will result in better national policy formulation for financial literacy programs, which are critical for increasing levels of access to finance in Malawi, Namibia and Zambia.

Focus groups and in-depth interviews were conducted in the three countries. In Malawi, eight focus group discussions (FGDs) were held. A total of 69 persons participated in the FGDs. The FGDs were split according to income, gender and income.

Day-to-day money management and saving were the topics most discussed. Planning for the future was considered important and involved investing in children’s education, investing in agriculture, rental housing or another type of business. Having a house to live in and land to farm was seen as long-term goals and retirement planning. There was not much emphasis on choosing and using financial products. Managing money in the context of a relationship was mentioned a number of times. Communicating and creating consensus within a household about money and priorities appears to be an important skill.

Following the FGDs in Malawi, 20 and 15 in-depth interviews were conducted in the first and second round respectively.

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