World Bank praise Malawi’s electricity provision efforts – Capital Radio Malawi
29 May, 2024

World Bank praise Malawi’s electricity provision efforts

In a recent conference held during the IMF/World Bank Group 2024 Spring Meeting, the World Bank Group commended Malawi for its concerted efforts to improve electricity access for its citizens.

Yadviga Semikolenova, the Bank’s Practice Manager for Energy in Eastern and Southern Africa, highlighted the significant progress made by Malawi in doubling yearly electricity connections over the past two years.

Semikolenova noted that prior to 2023, the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) struggled to connect only 35,000 people annually to the national grid, a pace insufficient to meet the growing population’s needs.

However, through collaborative efforts between the World Bank Group, the Malawian government and Escom, this figure surged to over 75,000 connections in 2023, a commendable achievement.

Moreover, Semikolenova acknowledged Malawi’s recognition of the potential of off-grid energy solutions, particularly through solar energy harnessing. The government’s introduction of the ‘Result-Based’ Facility has spurred private sector involvement by providing subsidies, positioning Malawi as one of the fastest-growing off-grid energy markets in East Africa.

Simplex Chithyola-Banda, Malawi’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, underscored the importance of addressing capacity challenges within Escom.

He highlighted the pivotal role of the World Bank Group in enhancing contract management skills, crucial for efficient project implementation.

Chithyola-Banda also emphasized the government’s commitment to leveraging private sector partnerships to bolster the energy sector, citing the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency’s guarantee of US$50 million for the Mpatamanga Hydropower Project.

Additionally, he revealed plans to enhance regional cooperation through initiatives like the Southern Africa Power Pool, facilitating increased electricity generation and connectivity.

Overall, the World Bank Group’s recognition of Malawi’s strides in electricity provision underscores the country’s commitment to improving energy access and fostering sustainable development.

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