Malawi is home to a young population with 60% under 20 years of age and 40% among them are unemployed while 84% % of the youth population lives in rural areas. The agricultural sector is the single largest contributor to the economy, accounting for one third of the country’s GDP.The agricultural sector is the single largest contributor to the economy of Malawi, accounting for one third of the country’s GDP. An abundance of water and arable land, as well as favorable climactic conditions, positions Malawi as a potentially significant international importer and exporter in a variety of agricultural value chains. Between 2006 and 2011, the sector has grown an approximate 8.9 % per year.

Youth involvement in the sector consists mainly of seasonal or irregular employment. Young people over the age of 18 often take risks in migrating to urban areas to seek out better paying work. However, without having completed formal schooling, many of these migrant youth fall into poverty and dangerous work.

Youth in Action in Malawi was launched in 2012 in the rural communities of Mchinji, Ntchisi and Kasungu districts in the Central Region of Malawi. The program’s focus in Malawi is on the 15-18 age group. At the end of the learning phase, participants choose a pathway to apply their learning in an income generating initiative. They can choose to receive a vocational training or apprenticeship or to establish a small enterprise Also, each participant receives a small seed cash grant or materials to support their choice, as well as peer-to-peer and community-based mentorship.



  • 84.7% of Malawi’s population lives in rural areas.
  • 60% of Malawi’s population is under 20 years of age.
  • Malawi is also one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries ranked 153rd out of 169 countries.


Youth in Action’s aim to reach 7,050 girls and boys. In total, 2,751 girls and boys graduated from the full program, 82% among them have established their own enterprise, 16% received Apprenticeship and vocational training, and the rest went back to formal education.

Resources and Stories

Youth in Action Malawi Fact Sheet Download the fact sheet for details on YiA in Malawi. Read More…

Meet Martida The power of giving opportunities. Read More…

Stitching a new future for Ephel A new beginning and a pathway to opportunity. Read More…