National Population Policy
Malawi Government Ministry of Finance
The revised National Population Policy (NPP) provides a guiding framework for managing population issues to improve the quality of life for all Malawians. A well-manageable population will enable the Government to provide adequate and quality social services and economic opportunities for Malawians so that they meaningfully contribute to national development. Malawi has made some progress in demographic and socio-economic indicators since the last Population Policy was put in place. The average number of children a woman has during her lifetime – Total Fertility Rate – has declined from 5.7 in 2010 to 4.2 in 2018. Mortality has declined with life expectancy at birth increasing from 48 in 2008 to 62 in 2018 (males) and 51 in 2008 to 68 in 2018 (female). In addition, HIV prevalence rate reduced from 11.8 in 2004 to 8.8 in 2015-16. Malawi’s human development index improved from 0.431 in 2010 to 0.483 in 2019 representing a 12% increase. While there has been progress, the country still faces the challenge of rapid population growth whereby the population size increased at a fast pace and maternal death remain high. If the current trends continue, the situation will impact the country`s ability to achieve its development objectives. Malawi’s Vision is to become an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation by 2063 with the medium-term goal of becoming a lower-middle-income economy by the year 2030. However, the prevailing rapid population growth will exacerbate poor living conditions forcing many to resort to unsustainable survival options that will have a detrimental effect on land, forests, and water resources, on which the nation thrives. The Policy, therefore, provides a guiding framework for programming and coordination of population programmes in Malawi. The Policy goals, objectives, and strategies presented are aligned to the national vision "Malawi 2063" and its first 10-year Implementation Plan (MIP-1). Specifically, the Policy is aligned to the Human Capital Development enabler that focuses on the size and quality of a population in relation to socio-economic development. A population characterized by a healthy, well-educated, and skilled workforce is critical in spurring economic growth. Government is committed to providing leadership and the necessary support for the effective implementation of the Policy. Furthermore, the implementation of the Policy requires multi-sectoral efforts. I, therefore, call upon all stakeholders and development partners to join Government in the implementation of the National Population Policy
The revised National Population Policy comes at an opportune time when Government has placed human capital development among the key priority areas on its development agenda as stipulated in the Malawi 2063. The prioritization of population management under the human capital development enabler presents an opportunity for the Government and its stakeholders to direct resources and efforts towards addressing population issues and improving the welfare of Malawians. The Policy defines Government's policy direction on population as well as affirms its commitment to implement programmes and strategies aimed at slowing rapid population growth in a manner consistent with the desire for sustainable development. The Policy addresses gaps and challenges such as rapid population growth; weak institutional and human resource capacity; inadequate funding for population interventions; and gaps in planning, implementation, coordination, and management of population-related programmes. The Policy shall ensure that evidence-based population interventions are implemented at scale and in line with the Malawi 2063 (MW2063) Vision, with the aim of producing human capital necessary for Malawi`s attainment of an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant middle-income status by 2063. The Policy is also aligned to global declarations and commitments such as the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Family Planning 2030, and International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Plan of Action. The Policy was developed through a consultative process incorporating input from a broad range of stakeholders. These include religious and traditional leaders, Members of Parliament, development partners, members of the academia, the private sector, Civil Society Organizations, young people, District Councils, and officials from various Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.