Govt for improved access to clean & sustainable energy

The Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola has expressed Government of Malawi’s commitment to ensuring that every household has access to clean, reliable and sustainable energy in the country.

Matola made the sentiments when he officially opened a stakeholders’ conference in Lilongwe on Thursday. The conference was aimed at strengthening coordination among various stakeholders and provide actions towards achieving universal access to clean, reliable and sustainable energy in the country.

Matola: The Government of Malawi is working very hard to address the gap in the energy sector
Matola: The Government of Malawi is working very hard to address the gap in the energy sector

The minister said access to reliable and affordable energy remains a significant obstacle for a substantial percentage of our population.

Quoting the recent Malawi Energy Access Survey, Matola lamented that only about 25.8 percent of Malawians have access to electricity, primarily concentrated in urban areas.

“Of this only 11.3% are connected to the grid while 14.5% are connected through Off-Grid Solutions. This glaring disparity hampers socio-economic development, and undermines provision of education and healthcare services,” he said.

Matola said there is an urgent need to address this gap, adding that the conference has been organized to fortify national efforts and identify resources needed from various sectors to fulfill the country’s ambition for universal electrification and energy access.

In this regard, the minister said the government is committed to creating an enabling environment for investments and innovation in the country.

“Government is also committed to improve the efficiency and accessibility of our energy infrastructure. We acknowledge the need for comprehensive grid expansion, especially in rural areas, to extend the benefits of electricity to all corners of our nation. This expansion will require significant investments in transmission and distribution networks, as well as the integration of mini-grids and off-grid solutions,” he said.

The minister said the event therefore provides a platform for stakeholders to highlight their efforts, share innovative solutions, and unlock financing opportunities essential for enhancing our energy access programs.

Participants to the stakeholders’ conference at the Bingu International Convention Centre in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe

“To address these challenges, the Government of Malawi has adopted a holistic strategic approach. First and foremost, we are committed to diversifying our energy mix. Currently, the majority of our energy is derived from hydropower, leaving us vulnerable to climatic variations and rainfall patterns. Our strategic approach involves exploring alternative renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and biomass to enhance our energy security and mitigate environmental impacts.

“By bringing together government entities, Development Partners, Financial Institutions, NGOs, and the Private Sector, we aim to create a holistic and integrated approach for resolving our energy challenges,” he said.

Matola disclosed that the government is actively encouraging private sector participation in renewable energy projects through provision of incentives and streamlined regulatory policy frameworks.

“I therefore, encourage all of you to actively engage in the discussions and deliberations throughout this conference. Let us share our experiences, exchange knowledge, and explore collaborative opportunities to accelerate the transformation of Malawi’s energy sector. Together, we can unlock its immense potential and create a brighter, more prosperous future for all Malawians,” he said.

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