The methods for finding work in Lilongwe are similar to finding work anywhere; however, voluntary work is often a stepping stone for something permanent: volunteers are often prioritized when a job vacancy becomes available. Local newspapers are an obvious source of employment opportunities and provide the details of local employers and major recruiters. Recruitment agencies also offer a plethora of short-term and long-term contracts, and are often a useful source of employment information. If you are an expatriate willing to accept short term contracts you can build a portfolio of experience that could stand you in good stead for future employment.
Although Malawi's commercial capital is Blantyre, Lilongwe is dominated by the government and public institutions. In Lilongwe, poverty stands at 25% and there is an unemployment level of 16%.
Many of those that are employed make up a large percentage of those who are part of the tobacco industry. The tobacco crop is the most important export for Malawi, and it accounts for approximately 70% of all export revenues. Agriculture represents slightly 40% of the GDP, accounts for over 80% of the labor force and represents about 80% of all of the country’s exports.
As well as tobacco, other exported goods include coffee, tea, sugar, uranium, cotton, nuts, and rare minerals. It was estimated that in 2013 the total income from exporting goods was 1.427 billion USD — and of course, Lilongwe plays a major part in this.
The taxation system in Lilongwe follows that dictated by the country. Records for 2013 show the taxation figures for Lilongwe, Malawi were as follows:
Income taxes are collected on earnings with source in Malawi. The PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system applies to residents’ earnings with rates ranging from 0% to 30%; expats can sometimes be eligible for a non-resident tax (15%).
There are a number of other taxes, such as stamp duty at 0.95% and road tax, which varies in price, depending on what vehicle it is being applied to and personal details, for example.