Power Africa, an initiative that seeks to increase the number of people with access to power, has unveiled plans to expand its funding to Malawi’s energy sector in support of efforts made to increase power generation.
The revelation was made last week at climate change conference of the parties (COP-21) in Paris where Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bright Msaka had a meeting with Power Africa coordinator Andrew Herscowitz.
According to a statement made available to Business News, Power Africa will recruit a technical adviser who will assist Malawi in assessing power projects in the pipeline and identify bottlenecks.
Said Herscowit: “Power Africa will conduct a study to analyse the capacity of the national electricity grid to evacuate power in the wake of power projects that are in the pipeline.”
He added that by partnering with Power Africa, Malawi will also benefit from capacity building programmes that the organisation has.
Herscowitz has since asked Malawi to make use of the Power Africa financially-supported Africa Legal Support Facility (ALSF) that is with the African Development Bank (AfDB) when signing power purchase agreements (PPA’s) and any agreements in the energy sector.
He, however, said to achieve the feat, there is need to have a cost-reflective tariff to attract private sector participation in the power sector saying he has plans to visit Malawi early next year for further discussions with government on possible areas of collaboration.
Reacting to the announcement, Msaka expressed optimism for improved electricity supply and welcomed the development.
He requested Power Africa to consider, for the time being, solar projects which can provide quick solutions to the power problems that the country is experiencing at the moment.
Power Africa is an initiative that was launched to bring together technical, legal experts, private sector and governments from around the world to work in partnership.
The entity works in sub-Saharan Africa and has existing and planned activities in Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
Power Africa earlier this year visited Malawi to assess private sector interest in developing and investing in the energy sector as independent power producers (IPPs), analyse potential priority projects of the government and the private sector, and meet with key officials as well as other donor partners. n