Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bintony Kutsaira says government is working to have up to 50 percent of the population connected to electricity by 2025.
The minister said this yesterday during the launch of the National Energy Policy at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe.
He said the launch of the revised National Energy Policy would provide direction towards attainment of increased access to affordable, reliable, efficient, sustainable and modern energy for everyone in the country.
Said Kutsaira: “As you have heard from the various presentations and from your own experience, the country is facing many challenges in the power sector. To deal with these challenges, we have to be dynamic in our policy.
“The old policy of 2003 was not addressing the challenges we are having now. We need reforms. For example, the unbundling of Escom into two companies, Egenco and Escom, was not reflected in the 2003 policy.
“We have to ensure that the plans we are making should be in tandem with what our policy says. The policy is our guiding document on how we shall address the power challenge.”
The minister commended the support rendered by various stakeholders led by the World Bank.
World Bank energy specialist Paul Mukiibi said they are supporting Malawi in a number of projects aimed at improving power generation and access in the country.
He said: “We are doing both the on-grid and off-grid support. On the on-grid side, over the past five years, we are supporting Escom to connect as much as 280 000 new connections.
“In terms of electricity supply, we are now supporting the Malawi-Mozambique interconnector which is a $130 million project. That money is sourced from other donors as well. As World Bank, we are contributing $15 million on the Malawi side. On the generation side, we are supporting the Mpotamanga hydro project with $350 million.”
On his part, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative Shigeki Komatsubara said the policy was a move in the right direction.
The revised National Energy Policy, which also addresses issues of power market policy and fuel importation policy, among others, calls for diversified energy sources and opens the door for private sector participation in the power sector with the aim of increasing access to clean, sustainable, efficient and modern energy for Malawians.
Currently, only 11 percent of Malawians have access to electricity.