Worsening electricity crisis adds to Malawi economic woes — Report

As Malawi grapples with a power crisis partly caused by years of insufficient investment in infrastructure that is heaping more pain on the country already ailing economy,  an economist has warned of far more negative implications for the nation if there will be no solution in short term.

Goodall Gondwe : Strikes an optimistic chord

Kachaje: Malawi’s ailing economy is expected to take a further beating as the country battles its worst power outages

Every day the nation is experiencing blackout with some parts having electricity shortages up  to 25 hours.

After years of failed management and corruption at state-owned entities,    there will be no quick fix for electricity woes, the nation learnt from President Peter Mutharika after meeting Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) and Electricity Generation Company (Egenco), pleading for patience for the public. Instead, supply will remain severely constrained into next year and beyond.

Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) president Henry Kachaje  said “it is obvious that power is very critical and central  to our economic development and the current outages are going to negatively affect the private sector, specifically the manufacturing sector.”

Kachaje said in quotes reported by The Nation newspaper on Wednesday November 1 2017 that the country has already started  experiencing cement scarcity and other manufacturing issues.

“So this is going to have  a negative impact in terms of how we can progress and grow,” Kachaje said.

Kachaje noted that Malawians are living on the edge as continue power outages  will affect growth of industries which will have to incur high production costs, result on low profits and job cuts in the process.

But Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe  struck a reassuring tone, saying the country  is banking on agriculture to register  an economic growth of over five percent.

“The interesting thing is that because agriculture did particularly well this year, our growth rate is higher than what we expected it to be. It will be beyond the 5.5 percent and it seems agriculture did well besides the armyworms incident,” Gondwe said as quoted by The Nation.

He said as  President Mutharika outlined, the nation has not been maintaining electricity infrastructure since independence 53 years ago and “it has caught up with us and it is retarding our production. We are doing something about it.”

In an editorial comment, the  paper pointed out that government seems to be playing “a grooved song” on power outages.

The paper said government talking about interventions will not change anything but they want authorities to take “bold steps and walk the talk”

It pointed out that “Malawians are fed up with empty promises.”

Meanwhile, the power generation woes have moved from bad to worse with a loss of 20 megawatts (MW) within a week.

Escom said in a statement  on Tuesday that it is currently accessing between 145MW and 150MW against average demand of 300MW.

“The country is experiencing frequent load shedding of electricity due to shortage of electricity available for distribution to customers, “ reads the statement.

Egenco boss William Liabunya however  conceded that plans to buy generators would be “just” a quick-fix solution not an alternative.

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Chilungamo Chimawawa
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Chilungamo Chimawawa

APM is lying. Few years ago he said the electricity problem would end soon. but now he is telling us another story. Please APM and DPP dont take Malawians for granted.

concerned citizen
Guest
concerned citizen

Company yomwe imafuna kupanga magetsi a solar irikuti ? chinachitika nchiyani kuti isakhazikitsidwe . Chifukwa cha dyera la anthu ochepa osakonda dziko lawo. Pamene amalawi ambiri mbiri akukhala mundima for hours inu ogwira nchito a escom magetsi aulere
mukugwiritsa nchito.

benjones
Guest

This generation of Malawians are not are too greedy to help our country. Maybe our next generation could help because they are interacting with the world. This generation has failed and is going to be in the History of Malawi as lazy selfish and greedy people.

Mchikumbe wa nkulu
Guest
Mchikumbe wa nkulu

Bravo Kachaje. The blackouts are affecting our economy and our natural environment. Currently the price of cement is K8000.

Medi Mbondo
Guest
Medi Mbondo

Why don’t we use coal if we want economic growth. Ask China, India and Brazil, they will show you the direction.

Nganiza Muthulika
Guest

This old thieves wjat can he say when he US one of The eating up tax payers money. There is a lotta tog do tog improve electricity. One cut government expeditures. Let minister pay and in The cars The are using. Like The do in Europe and have donera in Tanzania. 2: allowances. Let meetings be near by officer exceptionellt those they are international. House allowances, etc. The president should not hire a private jet he can use a local planer to promote national industry. Kamuzu Banda used Malawi airways to go to UK. Proud leader.

patrick
Guest
patrick

DPP asintha dzina akhale BPP, Blackout power party

Bob Mzunga
Guest
Bob Mzunga

mmmm our electricity infrasture has not been mantained since independence? Goodall Gondwe??? When was Nkula Falls established? Kamuzu Banda had a vision. That is why he gave Malawians Nkula Falls.

Azanthu
Guest
Azanthu

Escom is literally the most corrupt company in Africa, you can argue in the world. Completely 100% useless. Anyone in escom management should for sure be fired. What are they doing to change anything? Nothing yet they are getting salary increases, new cars were delivered this year to top management. Unbelievable. The so called president of Malawi is 100% useless along with anyone who advices him on this matter including the minister of energy. He/she aren’t doing anything about this either. Joyce Banda despite her faults washad the brains at least to make sure electricity was available, all she did… Read more »

maria
Guest
maria

We are in trouble, we dont know where we are going.

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