Afdb funding to help improve electricity penetration

 

Malawi’s electricity penentration rate is expected to improve in the coming five years courtesy of the $12 billion African Development Bank (Afdb) funding for African countries, including Malawi.

Afdb vice-president for power, energy, climate and green growth complex, Amadou Hott, said this on Tuesday in Lilongwe where he led a delegation from the bank to discuss power projects in the country with the Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bright Msaka and officials from Electricity Supply Cooperation of Malawi (Escom) and Electricity Generating Company of Malawi (Egenco).

Msaka and Hott discussing during the meeting

Hott said Malawi has a very low access rate to electricity and is among the lowest in Africa but there are opportunities from the bank to increase the access rate from the current 10 percent to much more in a short period of time.

He said that there are plans to increase the capacity by investing in generation, transmission lines, and distribution of power and off grid solutions to enable quick access to electricity. The delegation also discussed the international power connection between Malawi and Mozambique.

“In terms of intervention, we will not just focus on the investments but also on advisory services, technical support to provide legal support to the government, so that government can contract in a swift manner to procure from independent power producers [IPPs] in order to increase the capacity from the current 351 megawatts [MW] to double in the near short run,” said Hott.

He added that the cooperation that the Malawian Government has shown in restructuring the energy sector has instilled confidence for the bank to deploy resources to the country.

In his remarks, Msaka said government will take advantage of any opportunity that arises to solve problems in the energy sector.

“They have opened the door for us to go and request for resources to resolve the energy constraints. Malawi will make use of the window to promote investments in other sectors of the economy. If Malawi could get $500 million [K365 billion] from the $12 billion that is significant enough,” said Msaka.

Hott however said the exact amount of money that Malawi stands to benefit will depend on the readiness of the project and resource ceilings.  n

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