Let me begin by thanking you for coming to witness the commissioning of our generators. The whole nation has been eagerly waiting for us to find an immediate solution for reducing power shortage.
Today, we are commissioning 55 megawatts added to the national grid. The first 35 megawatts is installed here in Blantyre while 20 megawatts is already installed in Lilongwe. We are expecting 23 more megawatts to be installed at Chinyama in Kasungu.
These generators do not solve all the power problems we have been experiencing for many years. Our plan is to do away with power shortage problems forever. I want us to say farewell to blackouts forever.
Therefore, we have set in motion long term plans to eradicate the energy problem permanently. Once we have enough power supply, then we can move with full speed into large scale manufacturing, mining and commercial irrigation. This dream is possible now more than ever before!
Within five years, we will be generating over 1400 megawatts of coal fired power; about 700 megawatts of hydropower; and 70 megawatts of solar energy.
Over and above these measures, we are connecting Malawi to the SADC region power pool. In that case, we can purchase power from any other country when need arises.
By the beginning of next year, we will have added about 300 megawatts more than the 351 megawatts we have been generating in 53 years. In the three years of my Government, we have done more to resolve the energy problem than any other Government since independence.
Our dream is to end poverty in this country. Our goal is to make Malawi a big economy in order to create jobs and make this country a producing and exporting nation.
For us to turn Malawi into a big economy, we need five things:
• We need to have enough energy because no economy grows without energy;
• We need direct investors because we need a vibrant private sector;
• We need to have skilled personnel because no country develops without a skilled labour force;
• We need well-developed infrastructure to facilitate the speed of economic activities;
• We need to increase agricultural productivity through irrigation in order to create more raw materials for value addition and manufacturing and export.
We are making unprecedented progress with our Greenbelt irrigation program to diversify, expand and commercialize agriculture.
We are building new roads, expanding our airports and bringing fast and affordable internet set the stage for a vibrant economy.
We are building community technical colleges to make Malawi a society with a skilled labour force.
We are bringing in foreign direct investors to make a growing private sector that creates jobs, expand manufacturing and exporting.
The only missing key to our formula for economic transformation was energy. Today, I can say with conviction that Malawi’s power shortage is coming to an end very soon. Very soon we are going to say bye to blackouts.
This is the beginning of the end Malawi’s economic stagnation. With enough energy, we are unlocking the secret to economic transformation. This is the beginning of the end of poverty.
And this is the end of my remarks.
I thank you all for your attention.