Building a strong power sector in the country will require continued commitment to action and accountability by government and its partners, an official from Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has advised.
In an interview, MCC practice lead and acting senior director on energy Samuel Kwon said that the ball is in the country’s court to build on progress registered in the power sector through continued implementation of the five-year $350.7 million (K257 billion) Malawi Power Compact, set to wind up on September 20 2018.
“It will be up to Malawians to build on the progress they have begun. New higher capacity power lines present the opportunity to connect to other countries in the region and to bring in new private power producers to increase the electricity available in the system,” he said after his visit to the country.
MCC is an independent United States of America (USA) government agency with a singular mission to reduce global povertythrough economic growth,
Kwon led a mission to Lilongwe where teams working to develop or implement energy-focused programmes in Nepal, Burkina Faso and Senegal came to learn from the Malawi Compact experience.
He said the compact was not designed to create a fully-developed power system in its five-year lifespan, but to ensure that the country has a solid foundation to build on and the tools to build with.
“To do this, the investment focused on the elements needed to create a strong power sector, including infrastructure, effective and financially sound institutions and a policy, legal and market framework that supports smart growth,” said Kwon.
He said new policies and practices in the power sector under the Malawi Compact, if observed, can help the country continue to access private sector capital for power generation and thus expand electricity access to new communities and expand new opportunities in business, especially for women.
While in the country, the mission had an opportunity to meet with Millennium Challenge Account-Malawi (MCA-M) partners to hear about their experiences, including operational discussions about MCC’s processes and how MCA-Malawi was set up.
MCC is helping Malawi strengthen a foundation on which the nation’s power system can grow.
The compact, implemented by MCA-Malawi on behalf of the Government of Malawi, consists of three projects designed to take a complementary approach to improving the sector, including infrastructure, policy and institutional reform and environmental and natural resources management.