Where We Work Malawi
Get facts about poverty in Malawi and learn how we empower its people to work their way out of poverty and build a safety net for the future.
Malawi is one of the least developed and most impoverished countries on earth. Nearly 53 percent of its 15 million inhabitants live below the poverty line. Opportunity Malawi was granted a full commercial banking license in 2002 and opened its first branch in Lilongwe in 2003. The bank targets the economically active but marginalized Malawians living in underserved areas, including semi-urban and rural areas.
In Malawi, 85 percent of the population lives in rural areas. To reach these remote communities, Opportunity International uses mobile bank vehicles, ATMs and point-of-sale (POS) devices in local businesses. This allows people to access services right in their own villages, saving them the time and cost of travel. Opportunity International also offers biometric fingerprint identification on an ID card, keeping a client’s savings secure.
Savings: Opportunity Malawi offers 11 customized savings products, including youth savings accounts. Clients’ savings deposits are funding loans in their own communities and stimulating their local economies.
Agricultural Finance: This initiative serves rural farmers with agriculture-centric loans, training and support. In 2004, as part of a comprehensive rural strategy, Opportunity International began offering agricultural loans to impoverished Malawian farmers. The program ensures:
- Traditional character and cash flow-based lending techniques to select responsible borrowers
- Insurance such as weather-index crop insurance, to protect against drought or flood, and credit life insurance that’s included in all loans
- Savings to help manage cash flow
- Training on the principles of saving, borrowing, cash flow and good business practices
- High-quality technical assistance for clients with agriculture extension services to improve land management and yields
Education Finance: Loans improve school facilities by expanding classroom capacity, improving sanitation and enhancing classroom technology. School fee loans are available to parents, providing educational opportunities to children living in some of the country’s most marginalized communities.
Additional Services Offered
- Business and consumer loans: Trust Group, individual and small/medium enterprise, payroll and mphamvu (advance against deposits)
- Insurance: credit life, funeral, crop and property
- Robust financial literacy and holistic training program