Malawi economic monitor: investing in digital transformation

Malawi was affected by a severe second wave of COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases starting in the last weeks of 2020. As a result, the Government declared a second 'State of National Disaster' and announced increased social distancing measures. Case numbers peaked in January and gradually subsided through April, when restrictions were relaxed. Malawi received its first consignment of vaccination doses from COVAX in March, but uptake has been low, with around 400,000 doses administered to about 2 percent of the population as of mid-June. Growth in 2020 was strongly affected by the pandemic, falling to an estimated 0.8 percent, down from pre-pandemic projections of 4.8 percent. The pandemic’s impact on the services and industry sectors was partially offset by a strong agricultural harvest. Services and industry slumped amid the ongoing disruptions caused by the pandemic to global value chains and trade and logistics, decreases in tourism and remittances, and dampened demand due to social distancing measures. The accommodation and food services subsectors were the most affected, while information and communication services, and utilities performed well.