By Kondanani Chilimunthaka
President Lazarus Chakwera has told the nation that the current power outage hitting the country is a temporary headache for Malawian citizens, saying soon it will be turned into the story of the past.
He made the assurance in the capital Lilongwe during the Malawi Investment Summit at Bingu International Convention Center on Wednesday, September 7,2022.
In his speech, Chakwera told the nation that among the priorities under Industrialization pillar of achieving Malawi 2063 are investment opportunities in energy infrastructure, citing the multi-million dollar rehabilitation of Kapichira Power Plant as a clear testimony that energy sector will soon be on track in the country.
Said President Chakwera; “Of equal importance are investment opportunities in energy infrastructure, some of which are already on the way, such as 60 million dollar Kapichira Power Plant which suffered damage from Tropical Storm Ana a few months ago and triggered the current spate of blackouts. But with this investment, that Power Plant will be back on line by Christmas and we will be back on track with our goal to raise Malawi’s Power generation capacity from less than 400MW to 1000MW by 2025.”
Further, Malawi leader said in the quest to achieve this goal, his government has on September 6 this year signed a binding agreement to construct a 350MW Hydro Power Plant at Mpatamanga, with the money from a consortium of financiers led by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group.
He then assured the citizens and all prospective investors that with such increase in the country’s power grid, Malawi will create endless avenues for electricity-dependent economic activities that have never been possible in the country before.
“In this context, the current blackouts are a temporary headache we will cure by the end of the year, but the real story in the end, the real story when all these new power plants are completed will be that my administration tripled the power base of the country and ended blackouts for decades to come.” Said Chakwera.
In his speech, President Chakwera also tackled the issue of ENGENCO, ESCOM, and Power Market Limited, saying his administration is currently fighting a culture of dysfunction and disorganization at the three bodies which are responsible for generation and distribution of electricity, adding that their dysfunctionality resulted in a blackout two weeks ago.
President Chakwera has put the energy sector among the priorities in making Malawi a Middle-income country of attraction for investors with self-reliant citizens.