What Malawi Can Learn from Norway

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The World Atlas reports that Norway is the country with the highest income at $103,630 per capita and that Malawi is the country with the lowest income in the world at $250 per capita. Norway is a Scandinavian country, while Malawi is an African country. The country of Norway is known for its excellent education system and its universal healthcare. On the other hand, the country of Malawi is extremely poor and its citizens do not have access to higher education, especially its female children. Many schools do not have desks or blackboards. Sometimes classes are held outdoors (Ripple Africa). Norway could help Malawi by informing them of how they teach their children and what they do to have universal healthcare. Giving the Malawi government money is not the answer but guiding them with ideas will help the country advance better. In fact, educating all citizens will make the country have an educated workforce and bring the country out of poverty.

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Norway’s history begins with being covered by ice. Once the ice melted, the country was habitable. The Norse people started farming around 2,500 BCE and clans grew around the farms and marked the social structure for the Norse. Being in a clan offered protection, the Vikings changed the social structure of Scandinavia again, when they arrived in the area. They helped Christianize the Norse, Iceland, and Greenland. The country united in the 800s under a king. Their form of government still has a monarch but the country is a constitutional monarchy similar to that of the United Kingdom.

Malawi’s land area was much larger in its history. There were two different tribes that lived within the land boundaries: Chewa and Tumbuka. Other tribes from the north and south of the country tried invading and brought the slave trade with them. Malawi took part in some of the slave trade that occurred in the 1800s. In a colonial move, the United Kingdom took over Malawi in 1891, renaming it Nyassaland. The British colonists tried rearranging land boundaries in the 1950s, but the locals protested that movement. In 1963, Malawi won its freedom from the United Kingdom and formed its own government. The government became a republic but there was much political unrest through the rest of the 1960s and the 1970s. Malawi wanted to have a multi-party system in the 1990s, but the country still had ongoing political problems. Citizens of Malawi got to vote for the first time in 2014.

All the political unrest since winning their freedom from the UK has kept the country from advancing like other western nations. To prosper, countries have to be free of rebellions and wars. Norway and many other European nations figured that out after World War II by forming the European Union. The idea was that if countries could trade with one another, they would not fight with one another as it would disrupt their economies. The idea worked for European nations as there has not been a war in Europe since 1945.

If Norway were to give help to Malawi, getting the country to ban with other African nations in a trade union would let them prosper. Prosperity comes during times of peace, as the European Union proved. When a country trades with other countries, it fosters businesses of all sorts. Not only do goods get traded but other ancillary businesses grow as the country prospers. Norway could also show Malawi how to invest in the future by giving education to all its children. Education opens many paths for the educated as they can contribute to their country’s overall income.

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