Malawi’s President lifts ban on oil exploration

A ban on the oil and gas exploration exercise on Lake Malawi  which has been in place since 2015, has effectively been  lifted by President Peter Mutharika, , Minister of Foreign Affairs George Chaponda disclosed at a news conference in Lilongwe.

President Peter Mutharika with foreign minister George Chaponda

President Peter Mutharika with foreign minister George Chaponda

Mutharika suspended oil and gas exploration on the lake in 2014 because of allegations that the awarding of licenses to foreign companies was dubiously done.

The lifting of the ban will now allow oil and gas firms to start prospecting for the hydro-carbons.

“I am pleased to inform you that the President (Peter Mutharika) has lifted the ban. More details will come from the relevant ministry. I am glad that the president has picked this path. The mining sector will play an important role,” Chaponda told a news conference.

Chaponda said  oil and gas exporters Georgia and Kazakhstan, are among the nations who have courted Malawi on the oil and gas exploration.

The Minister held discussions with  Republic of Georgia’s Foreign Affairs deputy minister David Jalagania, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Affairs deputy minister Ycrzhan Ashikbayev and Morocco’s Foreign Affairs deputy Minister Sala Heddine Mezouar on the sidelines of the 26th African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Chaponda said these countries will provide expertise and share their knowledge.

The lifting of the ban has excited some business and civic leaders .

Civil society activist Undule Mwakasungula also it is “welcome development” for government to move with speed on the oil licensing decisions.

Businessperson Peter Manda, who is also secretary for Karonga Development Community (KDC)—a development umbrella body in the Northern Region district— said with the foundations of the country’s economy shaken to the core on the back of poor agricultural output and tattered public finances that have stifled entrepreneurship, businesses are banking their hopes and dreams in the nascent, but promising oil and gas industry.

Manda said they have been discussing how communities will work with the companies to operate in the area as apart from corporate social responsibility activities, business people in Karonga were also looking forward to working with the companies in a number of areas through partnerships and synergy.

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18 thoughts on “Malawi’s President lifts ban on oil exploration”

  1. Peter George says:

    I think malawi is still in darkness. Do we think that this is good decision? do we rely have foreseer decision? This programme has no benifit with we malawians. For example, we have diferrence campany here which have lead land pollution leading climate change because they possessed huge land eg; illove sugar company in lowershire and tea plantation company in shire highland which have destroyed vegation due to open their farms. And now we are crying with climate change. And here we are implementing another problem. Why dont you just go ahead with program of nsanje inland port which had eat alot of malawian taxes? Dont you know that this port will bring alot of benifit to many malawian interms of businesses issue? Please malawi let fish of lake malawi enjoy their habitat freely and people get their protein comfortably.
    Choose something to do if you have nothing do rather than this.

  2. narbe says:

    If they start drilling in Lake Malawi, it will be the end of the lake and of the livelihood of fishermen. It’s gonna kill the lake

  3. Levison says:

    Save chambo. No oil mining. Water is fresh unlike tz

  4. mkoko says:

    dont drill oil in lake malawi komwe ambale wathu
    amapezelako chakudya chalelo siyani chilegedwe chi
    chikhale malomwake, reversal your decision mr bwana

  5. Machapo says:

    Did the president learn anything on sustainable development during his school days?

  6. Parliament has no Role here. My Heavenly Father, No Animal Life will remain there
    No Bonya for Us the Poor Peoples.
    Oils Prices have Drastically gone Down on the International Market, Importing is an Option Only. End of the Once Fresh Water Body.
    What About Court Injunction, Lawyers.

  7. Jecko says:

    It is important to look forward, that means looking after our children children. Stop being selfish by destroying one of the biggest fresh lakes in the world. Western world envies this beautiful feature and if it was in their shoes, they would not even think of oil exploration of any kind. Right now oil prices are not as they used to be and even big countries are suffocating. The damage to be done on the lake will be so bad compared to what a common man will benefit. SO REVERSE YOUR DECISION and leave our lake nyasa untouched and let the locals enjoy the rarest species of all time.

  8. QueenB says:

    Chimbuli cha president ngati ichi sindinachione. Leave our lake alone. Iwe ndiwe nkhalamba ufa next week, how about the future generations????

  9. Winston Msowoya says:

    I have no respect for unlevelledheaded Komodo dragon.Try again,you might come out of the darkness.

  10. KUKHALA says:

    APM has pocketed from this deal. His late brother bingu did same for the Kayelekela mine which has left the community polluted for indefinitely. What can DPP with old and clueless leadership do fo Malawians : just looting government resources.

    THE BEST ALTERNATIVE FOR MALAWI IS AGRICULTURE JUST THE TECHNOLOGICALLY ENHANCED WAY. WE CAN FEED OURSELVES AND ALSO EXPORT.

    WE DO NOT WANT THE CURSE WHICH COMES WITH OIL & GAS BUSINESS AS BEING EXPERIENCED IN NIGERIA, ANGOLA ETC.

  11. hazel says:

    lets do it mr presisent

  12. levelheaded says:

    Who is this lizard called “Winston Msowoya”

  13. Toad says:

    So he want to be doing umathanyura at state house uninterrupted.

  14. You are khwatchaling your president You are saying you are happy that the president has taken this path. wow. You were angry that the president had taken wrong path. hehehe

  15. Winston Msowoya says:

    So Muthalika has lifted a ban on exploration of dirty oil in our last heritage property to contaminate our magnificent waters on earth.Malawians must prepare to endure difficult and abnormal life the rest of their lives.The resource industry is indeed hard- wired for wanton corruption.Kleptocracy,that means government by theft, luxuriates and once Muthalika is still in power,there could be little incentive to depart.Morally,I don’t think that the people of Malawi will better be served by this dirty oil.Furthermore,if indeed the oil is effectively discovered,Tanzania and Mozambique have the full rights to follow suite and if this happens,that is the end of our pride and we must as well,forget about our magnificent fish and clean waters an envy of our pride.Right now,the continent is crying for foreign investment but,human rights group lament that oil companies are doing more harm than good by enriching rogue governments,fueling brutal civil wars and polluting the environment.During the civil war in Angola the oil companies had found that it was impossible to operate without getting deeply embroiled in the civil war.Malawians must comprehend that the oil companies not only fill the coffers of the corrupt regimes,but also private accounts for inner cycle of the ruling clique.In 2001,offshore licensing,oil majors ,BP Amoco and France’s Elf,paid the government a one-time ” signature bonus to win deep water drilling rights in the Atlantic.The US$900 million bypassed the central banking system and much of it went directly to big guys who run the evil regime.In places like Angola,the oil companies had to pay a ” war tax” to local rebel group of Jonas Savimbi in order to operate effectively.Tom Burgis,an outstanding British Journalist thus observes: The sheer number of the people living in what are some of the planet’s richest states,as measured by natural resources,is staggering.According to the World Bank,the proportion of the population in extreme poverty,calculated as those living on $1.25 a day and adjusted for what that wretched sum will buy in each country,is 68 per cent in Nigeria and 43 percent in Angola,respectively Africa’s first and second biggest oil and gas producers.If you read this piece intelligently,you will come to the conclusion that Muthalika and his gang of looters have special envelopes containing goodies so there is no way Muthalika will listen to any vivid wisdom and Afterall he has nothing to loose,but the people of Malawi are.If Kayelekera and Muchenga mines have been proved obsolete,what more with the highly technological oil exploration? I hope,history will prove me right.Once again,leave our God-given lake alone.

  16. Tukombo says:

    In what capacity did Chaponda make this announcement???? As foreign affairs minister of Heir in waiting???

  17. Mtongoawo says:

    SoMathanyula and his boys can just make decisions overnight without approval of parliament. I’m going to court for an injunction

  18. Guantanamo says:

    The oil and gas deal on Lake Malawi will go the ‘Kayelekela way’. A few individuals in DPP will benefit. The mentioned states will become richer with our gas but Malawi as a nation will remain the same. At the end of 10 years the most palatable Chambo will be gone – suffocated by pollution emanating from gas and oil leaks. Fishing communities along the lake shall be the most hit. They will have lost their livelihood. Leave lake Malawi alone you politicians. You found it clean, leave it clean

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