Road transport is the main mode of transport in Malawi.

  • The Road Network is composed of 15.451km of which about 26% are paved. 74% of the road network is earth/gravel surface.
  • Road re-classification studies done in 2006 identified about 9,478km of undesignated road network that serve the rural communities.
  • The main, secondary and tertiary roads effectively make up the country’s core network, with remaining roads acting as feeder system.
  • Road handles more than 70% on internal freight and 99 of passenger traffic
  • Road transport handles more than 90% of international freight and passenger traffic
  • It is due to this large volume of internal freight and passenger traffic that Malawi Government has given high priority to maintenance and construction of roads in Malawi.
  • It is actually estimated that 55% of the costs of production are taken up by transportation costs in Malawi compared to 17% of other developing countries.
  • The present road condition is 21% good, 7% fair and 42% poor.
  • The targeted road network condition by year 2011 is 71% good, 18% fair and 1% poor.
Malawi Road Network Classification (April 2008)
Type Paved Unpaved Total Network
Km %Share Km %Share Km %Share
Main (M) 2,809 69 548 5 3,357 22
Secondary (S) 442 11 2,683 24 3,125 20
Tertiary (T) 44 1 1,077 36 4,121 27
District (D) 8 0 3,498 31 3,500 23
Urban (U) 770 19 578 5 1,348 9
Total Designated 4,073 100 11,378 100 15,451 100
%Share 26 74 100
Community Road Network 0 9,478 9,478 38
Total RoadNetwork 4,073 20,856 24,929