Malawi electricity blackouts to end 2020 — Mutharika

President Peter Mutharika  has said he his government wants to increase  electricity supply to at least 1,000 megawatts, from 350 megawatts currently and for private investors to help fund new plants, saying a year after after elections which he hopes to get another five-year mandate, there will be no more power outage.

Mutharika speaks to Bloomberg during an interview at the presidential palace in Lilongwe

Malawi’s efforts to build up its mining and manufacturing industries have been constrained by crippling power shortages that result in blackouts of as long as 16 hours a day.

But in an interview with Bloomberg News, Mutharika said his government will have a lasting solution to the problem by next year.

“We hope that by March next year, we will add another 100 megawatts and that will substantially reduce the blackouts,” Mutharika said. “I think by 2020 we will reach a point where we no longer have the blackouts.”

Once there is adequate power, Mutharika expects the mining industry to take off.

The country has a number of substantial deposits of coal, uranium and cobalt that could be tapped, he said. Other industries that are being targeted for more investment include tourism, healthcare and construction.

“If we don’t have other challenges like floods or hunger and other natural catastrophes, I think we should be able to sustain the growth,” he said. “We should be able to reach 6 percent in two or three years.”

President Mutharika is  seeking re-election next year May  to tackle the challenges of attracting billions of dollars in investment and reducing the economy’s reliance on tobacco.

Mutharika, 78, gets the nod from ruling Democratic Progressive Party  (DPP) convention underway in Blantyre from Monday.

With the opposition fragmented and a first-past-the-post election system that awards the presidency to the candidate who gets a plurality of votes, Mutharika is the frontrunner to win the May vote.

Mutharika, an international and constitutional law expert who studied at the University of London and Yale and taught at Rutgers University in New Jersey, told Bloomberg News that he is upbeat to retain his seat.

“People have seen what we have done. I think they will return us for another five years,” he said.

Mutharika said his government took painful steps to stabilize the economy and the currency, the kwacha, and brought inflation down from a peak of 24 percent to 7 percent.

He expects the growth rate to reach as high as 5 percent in 2018 from 4 percent last year and is optimistic the shift in sentiment against emerging markets won’t have a major impact on the $6.2 billion economy. The kwacha is at 725.5 per dollar.

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Dan
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Dan

Please Mr President, spare us of your utteraces. We have been promised always from your office. But we feel your utteraces does not carry the truth as we were told that by December 2017 we would have the problem rectified. Why should we belive you this time?

Gertrude
Guest
Gertrude

You are a shit hole of a President!!!

Ndatopa
Guest
Ndatopa

You had five years to end electricity blackouts, all you you have brought upon this country is unimaginable woes, poverty, poor health care, and unbelievable rooting of public funds, you are nothing but a total failure, a total disgrace!!!!

Tariq
Guest
Tariq

This is a failed policy. Private energy generation won’t service the poor. What a retard

Chimzimu Chonyasa
Guest

Not when bailout has failed? Kutibera basi

Henry
Guest
Henry

Stupid!! I am not voting for DPP this time. Too much mediocrity and lies. I regret my 2014 vote. Only that I thought this man was like his brother. He is useless I didn’t know. He needs to go. Useless old man

Mesimadzi
Guest
Mesimadzi

Why anthu a kwa Goliati? Is this the reason why we now have rebranded MCP to LCP( Lilongwe Congress Party and soon to be rebranded further to Kasiya Congress Party) ndi cholinga choti azikawauza anthu a Ku Lilongwe uthenga omwe angakhale nawo?
To bring adequate power is not an event, it is a process. What APM said was absolutely correct except to those with shallow mind and cannot understand this fact.

Ineyo
Guest
Ineyo

You are Stupid. Akudyetsa zingati? Kuzolowera kuvutika.

Central
Guest
Central

Point of correction Mr President, the DPP will make sure that the blackouts end in 2084!! I am sure this was a mere slip of your tongue! kikikikikikikikikikiki

angoni apaphata
Guest
angoni apaphata

kkkkkkkkk……… Izi ndiye zinanso. Koma akulu awa inu

udf yatha ngati nsalu ya makatani
Guest

Mbava nkuyimvera? Another two years like this?

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