Malawi is currently grappling with electricity power cuts that last at least 24 hours. Some manufacturing companies have since scaled down production and so too are some small scale businesses that have closed shop due to persistent power outages.
But, despite all this, President Peter Mutharika says the electricity challenges rocking the country will soon be over as his government has put in place measures aimed at dealing with the challenge.
Speaking in Lilongwe when he presided over the ground breaking of a business park and five-star hotel, Mutharika while acknowledging that the challenges have affected investment in the country, pleaded with Malawians to be patient.
Mutharika added that his government has “invested heavily” in the energy sector.
He said between now and January 2019, the nation will be producing 305 megawatts and that for the next ten years the country will be able to produce 2500 megawatts of electricity.
“We all agree that power shortages are a serious challenge to investment. People are hurt, businesses are suffering. We are suffering the consequences of neglect in the energy sector for many years. I am told that in 53 years we only invested in 113 megawatts. My responsibility is to solve the energy issue once and for all. I want Malawi to say fare well to blackouts. I want the industries to have enough power to make Malawi a producing and exporting country,” Mutharika said.
He was upbeat that despite the challenges Malawi is making progress as indicated in the global Index of ease of doing business which has seen Malawi rise from position 163 out of 190 countries in 2014, to position 110 this year, according to the World Bank.
“This means our reforms are yielding results and that the world is assured that Malawi can accommodate private investors and new businesses more than before. As a country we have also proved to be one of the best performers in terms of doing business in the world that’s why we have taken the third position in the world,” he said.
The Malawi leader emphasized the need for more direct foreign investment describing the private sector as the engine of growth and development as well as a source of direct revenue and employment.
On his part, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Henry Mussa, hailed the partnership with the Chinese government saying the project is in line with DPP’s manifesto to increase foreign direct investment.
He said apart from beautifying the city, the K95 billion five-star hotel, shopping mall and office complex will also help provide job opportunities to Malawians.
He called on Malawians to support the project.
China Lilongwe Grand Holdings Corporation Limited (CLGHC) is investing in the project following attending Malawi’s first ever Investment Forum in 2015.