Ending aid dependency in Malawi


Chanju supermarket

Economic development at the most local level is poorly resourced in Malawi compared to a western economy.

Growth programmes are often tied to internationally-agreed targets and delivered by international NGOs, over the heads of people on the ground – literally, the subsistence farmers of places such as Malenga Mzoma.

The Capacity Foundation runs several social enterprises, serving three purposes: they contribute to the Foundation’s income to support our programmes; they act as an example of what can be achieved; and they provide local employment..

A motorcycle taxi and a fishing business have been running for over two years and a grocery store opened in April 2021. All of the Foundation’s businesses also contribute to the Social Action Fund, helping to fund community improvements from local resources.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic has eased, the Foundation will resume its loans programme. Up to now, loans have been to individuals but this will be expanded to encourage groups of loantakers to co-operate in running larger business co-operatives along the lines of the international One Village One Product movement and similar innovations.

Photo of handmade wooden mango juicing machine
It might look suspiciously like a guillotine, but this hand-built press produces mango juice. Mangos are plentiful in Malenga Mzoma, where they literally fall off the trees.