Regional integration essential in attaining UN SDG number 7–Energy Minister Matola 

In order to achieve goal number 7 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG), which advocates for sustainable energy for all, there is a need for southern African regional integration in the energy sector.

Matola (far left) stressing a point when he was co-panelist
This was stressed by Malawi Minister of Energy, Ibrahim Matola at the 4th Tanzania Energy Congress, which is currently underway in Dar es Salam, Tanzania, saying it is necessary to create favourable environments that will encourage private sector participation and collaboration among African countries.
The energy Congress is expected to run from Wednesday through to Thursday, August 3-4 during which delegates from different African countries are discussing the unified vision and pathways for Africa’s energy transition.
Matola, who was a co-panelist on the session titled ‘Improving Africa’s Economy Through Energy Sector Market Development Expansion’, emphasized access to continued investment and funding allocation for oil, gas, liquified natural gas and renewable energy, can ensure access to energy for all.
“As a starting point, we need to review archaic laws and policies in order to improve Africa’s economy through energy sector market development expansion,” he told the delegates.
“Currently, we have regional projects that Malawi has and plans to develop with its neighbours. The Mozambique-Malawi Interconnector Project, which has already kicked off, is one example.”
He further revealed plans to interconnect with Zambia and Tanzania as well as the Songwe Hydro Power project, which is envisaged to be jointly developed by the Malawi and Tanzania governments.
The Minister has been accompanied by officials from Ministry of Energy, Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO), Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) and Power Market Limited (PML) to solidify Malawi’s efforts in provision of sustainable energy.
Last year, President Lazarus Chakwera and his counterpart from Mozambique, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi launched the construction works for the two countries’ power transmission interconnection project at Phombeya in Balaka District.
Malawi is expected to be supplied with 50MW of electricity supply at initial stage with some future potential to increase as the country’s Integrated Resource Plan of 2017 indicates that peak electricity demand will be 1,860MW by 2030.
Through hydro power generation and solar energy plants, Malawi’s installed electricity generation capacity is hovering at 528 megawatts but President Chakwera’s administration plans to have 1,000 megawatts by 2025.
Currently, the country lost the 130MW when Cyclone Ana destroyed infrastructure at Kapichira Hydro Power Station in Chikwawa, whose restoration is being done.
There is also the Mpatamanga Hydro-power project along the Shire River being constructed, which has a potential to generate 300 megawatts as well as a coal-fired power plant at Kammwamba, which also has the potential to generate 300 megawatts.

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