President Peter Mutharika has saluted the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) for enabling his government to pursue plans to transform the economy and reduce poverty through reliable electricity connectivity.
Mutharika was speaking when he received in audience MCC chief executive officer Dana Hydes and her delegation at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe yesterday at the start of her three-day visit to Malawi.
The audience was taking place a few hours before the launch of the Nkhoma Sub-Station, which will not only see the building and use of modern infrastructure at Lilongwe District site, but will also herald the expansion and modernisation of the Nkula A Hydro-Electric Power Station in Blantyre.
The developments, including ultimately increasing the power from Nkula A from 20 megawatts (MW) to 32MW and the development of infrastructure for power interconnectivity with neighbouring countries, are part of the $350.7 million (about K242 billion) compact that kicked off in earnest in 2013.
Declared Mutharika: “My government is committed to improving access to quality and reliable power in order to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty in the country.
“With just about 10 percent of Malawians accessing electricity today, it is my government’s commitment to ensure that 30 percent of Malawians are connected to electricity by 2025.”
Such a development would demand that the power generation be increased from the current 351 mega watts to more than 2 500MW in the next five to 10 years, he noted.
“I am cognisant of the fact that for the successful implementation of this compact, there is a need to ensure that we continue to invest in our people, rule justly and facilitate our people to access economic opportunities and freedoms,” the President stated.
He expressed joy that the compact has set high standards in implementing its projects and that it committed to providing compensations to nearly 7 000 people affected by its projects before contractors begin their work.
In her remarks before meeting the President in camera, Hyde said she was happy that Malawi has worked hard in implementing reforms and setting the foundation for the transformation needed in the energy sector.
“Our partnership in this Compact is on track and it is a testimony, as you say Your Excellency, to the long-standing relationship between the United States and Malawi, as evidenced through the MCC Compact.
“There is much potential in the power sector for us to improve growth and to address poverty and also to address the opportunity of the Malawian people and I am hopeful that we will achieve those marks with this investment,” Hyde said.