Muslims Census in Malawi – A Dream or Reality?



    Dr Salmin Omar:
    Dr Salmin Omar:

    The much touted Muslims census in Malawi is failing to take off due to “misunderstanding by stakeholders”, Malawi Muslims Official Website has learnt.

    The Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) announced in 2011 that it would conduct a census of all Muslims in Malawi after not being satisfied with the results of the 2008  National Census that was conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO). However, despite the then Secretary General of MAM Dr Imran Shareef claiming that they had already identified funds for the exercise, nothing has come to fruition.

    Speaking to Malawi Muslims Official Website, the incumbent Secretary General Dr Salmin Omar Idrus confirmed that the plan is still on the cards only that some key stakeholders are yet to appreciate the logistical requirements for such a complex exercise.

    “You require a lot of resources in terms of both personnel and funds to cover all the corners of the country,” said Dr Idrus, “but we are still optimistic that it will be done ….starting from the forthcoming month of Ramadhan.”

    After the government announced the results of the 2008 national census, some sections within the Muslims community questioned its credibility and speculated that the Bingu government deliberately manipulated the statistics to favour his tribe (Lhomwe) and Christianity.

    It was against this background that the Muslim Association of Malawi decided to conduct its own census throughout the country.

    However, NSO warned that the government will not recognize those results since it is only the National Statistical Office that is legally mandated to conduct a census in Malawi.

    You can view the 2008 Census Main Report here.


    1. much as it will not be recognised but it parmount for MAM as the mother body of all muslims in Malawi to know how many muslim it has and in which areas for good planning etc. The resource issue can be a good excuse but the exercise can be done with less resources if first things are done first. For example, if MAM knows the number of mosques in the country it should be easy to just use the Imams of the Masjids to have a register of all those that attend prayers at the masjid and then submit the list to MAM through its Village/TA/District/regional chanels . just make sure when recording the details of the individuals the details are comprehensive. this would not need much resources as the NSO census requires.
      My View anyway

    2. ngani nijakuti ku Malawi kuno kwana kuderelana kwejinji mlope. You someone think he can conduct census alone at MAM. You see MAM needs to partner with all the Islamic organisations in the country and divide the country into zones. Each organisation should carryout the census in its zone and consolidate them a one census but conducted within the same period.

      Clearly speaking, the current leadership of MAM today is not that encourages partnership. There are full of I knows. This is why the Association ids failing to access funding outside Amwenye akubawa. Asiyeni amweneye wo tipange zathu muona census ikuchitika.

      Census on Madrassa
      Data on Mosques
      Data on Muslims (Asians, Blacks, Malawians, Africans, Whites)
      Data on Organisations

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