A recent Sadc ministers’ meeting on energy resolved that the energy sector plan of the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP) should address four key areas of energy security in the 14-member bloc.
The four areas include improving access to modern energy services, tapping the abundant energy resources, up-scaling financial investment and enhancing environmental sustainability.
This was discussed at the 33rd meeting of Southern African Development Community (Sadc) ministers responsible for energy that was held in Lesotho mid this month which was attended by Malawi’s Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola.
In the area of improving access to modern energy services, he said by December this year, 27 trading centres will be electrified in the country under the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (Marep).
“In addition, the ministry has also electrified six villages using solar/wind hybrid mini grid systems at Elunyeni in Mzimba, Chigunda in Nkhotakota, Kazuwa in Thyolo, Mudyaka in Nkhata Bay, Kadambwe in Ntcheu and Chitawo in Chiradzulu.
“Each system is serving 150 houses in a two-kilometre radius. All these projects are funded 100 percent by the Malawi Government,” said Matola in an e–mail response to questions.
In another area of energy security, tapping the abundant energy resources, he said that Malawi is undertaking feasibility studies at Mpatamanga on Shire River, Kholombizo on Shire River, Manolo on Songwe River Chimugonda on Dwambazi River, Chasombo and Chizuma on Bua River.
Sadc member States have also been urged to provide the necessary support to the projects in the RIDMP to realise the region’s vision 2027.
The bloc’s secretariat developed the RIDMP vision 2027, a 15 year blueprint that will guide the implementation of cross-border infrastructure projects between 2013 and 2027.