By Malawi Exclusive
Vice President Salous Chilima on Wednesday held several fruitful meetings in Washington DC lobbying investors, global partners and institutions who have since expressed willingness to invest and support Malawi to help fulfill and speed up the country’s development agenda.
Chilima traveled from New York to Washington DC on Wednesday for a series of meetings aimed at courting investors and global partners to support Malawi’s development agenda and follow up discussions that President Lazarous Chakwera had during his recent trip to the USA.
In Washington DC, the Malawi Veep met Scott Nathan, CEO for International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) to explore opportunities for USA investment in the Energy sector including renewable energy, mining and tourism development in Malawi.
Later, he had an interview with the Antlatic Council, African Centre. During the interview- to be broadcast across a number of international platforms- Chilima spoke on Malawi’s development philosophy, the direction the country is taking towards development and the fight against corruption, among other areas.
In the afternoon, the Veep held two fruitful meetings at the State Department. The first meeting was with Harry Kaiman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Resources.
The meeting was aimed at exploring Malawi/US partnership through tangible investments in the Malawi energy sector as an enabler of socio-economic development.
Chilima informed Kaiman that the Malawi government has initiated several reforms in the energy sector including an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and the Independent Power Producer (IPP) Framework to guide potential investors in the power sector.
He said Malawi intends to increase electricity generation capacity from the current 400MW installed capacity (baseload) to over 1000 MW by 2025 and 2000MW by 2030 to meet the fast-growing demand which currently stands at about 795 MW.
Chilima then outlined several projects to boost the sector but requiring investment and financial support.
” The Government of Malawi appreciates that renewables, particularly solar and wind, can offer a quick solution to the power deficit the country has now. It is the Government’s intention to replace high-cost diesel generation (78 MW by an IPP) with solar power plants upon their decommissioning thereby reducing the fiscal burden of meeting growing electricity demand,” he said.
The last meeting in Washington Dc was with Samantha Power, Administrator of United States Agency for International Development (USAID, aimed at seeking USAID collaboration and technical support towards Malawi’s Public Sector Reforms Agenda.
The Malawi Veep acknowledged the impact made by USAID in the education, health, agriculture, natural resources and climate change sectors in Malawi as USAID is Malawi’s longtime development partner since the 1960s.
He also took time to highlight the game changing Millenium Challenge Corporation First Compact to the tune of US$350 million in the energy sector and the SEED Project constructing 250 modern Secondary Schools.
” I welcome the successful negotiations towards conclusion by September, 2022, of a follow up Second Compact to the tune of US$365 million and I would also like to express gratitude for the support rendered by USAID to civil societies and the private sector in order to foster self-reliance, improved governance and economic growth,” said Chilima.
He than lobbied for USAID’s support towards Strengthening Visibility of Reforms; strengthening of oversight institutions on reforms; support to the Public Sector Reform Management Unit (PSRMU) on delivery of reform; human management information system (HRMIS); legal reform focused; and capacity development for local councils.
Chilima further reiterated the government’s call for assistance and US participation in investments towards recovery and building sustainable resilience in the affected districts from the devastating impacts of Cyclone Ana and Cyclone Gombe in particular and for the whole country.
After the meetings, Chilima said the response has been positive and Malawi should look forward with hope for consolidated collaboration.
The Malawi Veep has since returned to New York to continue with Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) meetings at the UN headquarters.
Chilima is expected back home on April 30, 2020.