Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Bright Msaka, Tuesday said government was going to electrify 336 trading centres through the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP) Phase 8.
Msaka disclosed this in Parliament in response to Karonga South Parliamentarian’s question for the ministry to consider installing electricity at Fuliwa Heather Centre.
The Minister said government considered electricity as the centre of development and socio-economic growth in any country and that as such, the MAREP 8 would target all the 193 constituencies in the country, including Karonga South.
“We reached out to 375 trading centres in Phases one to seven but now in Phase eight we will reach out to a total of 336 trading centres and this is going to be a great accomplishment for the nation,” explained Msaka.
He added that by having a total of 336 trading centres electrified in addition to the 375 trading centres, the development would help in spurring the country’s economy.
“This will help a lot as many people in those rural areas will be able to start businesses which require electricity such as meal mills and welding shops, which would generate income,” Msaka observed.
The Minister said to make sure that the programme was on track government had contracted Escom and other private companies to install electricity in the targeted rural areas.
MAREP Phase 8 was launched by President Peter Mutharika on April 5 at Ngolowera Primary School in Mulanje and it is estimated to be completed towards the end of 2018.