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Malawi: Minister Matola Outlines Govt Plans to Expand Electricity Access Coverage

Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola says the Tonse Alliance government is determined to ensure that all Malawians, including those living in the country’s remotest areas, have access to electricity.

Matola made the remarks in Mchinji on Thursday at the Community Energy Malawi (CEM) asset handover ceremony under the Access to Clean and Renewable Energy (ACRE).

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provided financial and technical support for the installation of the mini-grid in Sitolo Village.

Community Energy Malawi is a Malawian led and membership driven organization with a mission “To enable communities in Malawi to create sustainable renewable energy solutions to meet their energy needs.”

UNDP first joined hands with Community Energy Malawi through the project Increasing Access to Clean and Affordable Decentralised Energy Services in Selected Vulnerable Areas of Malawi project which ran from 2015 – 2019.

This support from UNDP also continued on into the successor project of Access to Clean and Renewable Energy (2020 – 2023). This support came in monetary form to the tune of US$800,000 which provided equipment, materials and technical assistance. This equipment is what has been handed over on Thursday.

In his remarks at the function, Matola said the Chakwera government places much emphasis on the need for Malawians to have such mini-grids for the social and economic transformation of the rural masses.

“We thank UNDP for the support to come up with this mini-grid and they have since provided us with a grant to install 50 mini power stations across the country. Feasibility studies have already been conducted and soon we will be installing them.

“We cannot continue relying on power from the national grid which is intermittent and it is time to use other sources of energy to supply people across the nation and this is the only way that can transform the country socially and economically,” Matola said.

UNDP Resident Representative, Shigeki Komatsubara, expressed commitment to continue investing in the energy sector in the country.

“This project is giving communities different ways of developing themselves, creating jobs and wealth. This is a very successful story to us and the whole country. We have kick started the project and will continue assisting Malawi to achieve its dreams in the energy sector,” Komatsubara said.

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