Journal of Social Development in Africa

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Interventions and gaps in the process of cushioning the urban poor in Malawi

Felix Kakowa


Over the years, Malawi has implemented a number of programmes aimed at cushioning the urban poor in the wake of rapid urbanization, growth of the informal sector and mushrooming squatter settlements. However, poverty is still wide-spread in the country's urban areas. To ensure effective measures to eradicate urban poverty, there is need to understand its causes, factors that are sustaining it and best ways of containing and eradicating it. This paper, therefore, aimed at analysing interventions to fight urban poverty in Malawi by specifically identifying factors sustaining it and gaps in the intervention processes. The paper used a desk research method to analyse the interventions versus the five theoretical causes of poverty. It established that some initiatives are politically driven hence they are not implemented in a sustainable manner but rather with the aim of persuading voters for reelection. There is also less effort on adjusting the values of the poor to think progressively on top of the less effort that the government put to cushion the urban poor from macro-economic factors such as inflation. Key to success therefore, lies in addressing the causes and being focused.

Keywords: Urban poverty; Malawi; Urban housing

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