United States Ambassador Virginia Palmer has expressed delight at the progress made in the implementation of the $350.7 million compact grant aimed at revitalising Malawi’s power sector.
Speaking last week during the sixth Semi-Annual Review (SAR) Forum, Palmer said the US government recognises the hard decisions Malawi has made to advance the power sector reform agenda.
The power sector reforms is the hub of the compact’s efforts to expand electricity, attract private sector investments in generation and ensure that Malawi has strong and effective institutions with adequate revenue to manage the power sector.
“In the two years that I have been in Malawi, I have seen the enabling environment for power sector investment improve dramatically, thanks largely to the efforts of the individuals and institutions,” she said.
According to Palmer, Parliament’s passing of the Electricity Act (Amendment) last year kick-started the essential reforms that should lead to the much-needed increased generation capacity in the country in the near future.
She also commended the progress in the compact’s Infrastructure Development Programme (IDP) whose main activities aim to rehabilitate, upgrade and modernise Nkula A Hydropower Plant and Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi transmission and distribution assets.
In his remarks, the Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bright Msaka said with only 18 months before the compact’s closure, there is compelling need for MCA-Malawi and other stakeholders in the energy sector to quicken the pace of compact implementation.
On his part, MCA-Malawi chief executive officer Dye Mawindo assured participants that his institution is pleased with the prevailing execution of the projects on the ground and was upbeat that by the end of the compact, Malawi’s power sector will be adequately reformed to attract more private sector investment.
Slated to be completed in September 2018, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) energy grant being implemented by the Millennium Challenge Account—Malawi (MCA-M), is the largest grant the country has ever received in the energy sector.