Malawi’s leader of the Opposition in Parliament Dr Kondwani Nankhumwa has urged global investors to explore investment opportunities in the country’s energy sector.
Nankhumwa was speaking in Tokyo, Japan on Thursday, June 8, 2023 when held talks with top management Takaoka Engineering Electrical Company.
TAKAOKA Engineering President, Mr. Akihiko Ichikawa led the team, which also had the General Affairs Manager, Mr. Makoto Honma, and Senior Projects Manager, Mr. Yuki Sakahira. Former Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, His Excellency Shuichiro Nishioka, also attended the meeting.
Nankhumwa informed the Japanese energy giants that Malawi continues to face serious power supply challenges. He said this is due to effects of climate change and obsolete technology.
“In general, productivity levels have sunk so low, a scenario, which has affected aggregate supply and demand for services in all forms, he said, adding that this has negatively affected the country’s economic development.
“I am well aware that your company has been globally active in the improvement of power infrastructure facilities since its establishment almost 50 years ago. In as much as you are already implementing projects in Malawi, I still wish to encourage TAKAOKA Engineering to invest more in solar, hydro and other power generation technologies in our country,” said Nankhumwa, who is also the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President (South).
He informed the TAKAOKA Engineering team that Malawi has mostly been using hydro power since its independence in the 1960s. He said although Malawi has recently been drifting towards green energy such as solar power, this has not adequately addressed the challenges that Malawi faces in the energy sector.
“I believe this is the right time to explore possibilities of more investment in other green energy sources, including wind technology. As such, I would like to invite to explore value partnerships with other private sector players in Malawi to invest in other various energy technologies,” said the Opposition leader.
“Malawi is one of the world’s least developed countries. The need for reliable and affordable energy cannot, therefore, be overemphasized. We need power to improve and save lives. We need affordable and reliable energy to grow and support our manufacturing industry and create jobs for our people; improve our agriculture; increase trade; and improve our transportation industry. This is the only sure way that we can help our people escape from the jaws of abject poverty,” he told the TAKAOKA Engineering team.
Under a Japanese grant of over 23 billion Malawi Kwacha to the Malawi government, TAKAOKA Engineering is currently rehabilitating and expanding the Kanengo Escom Substation to effectively and adequately serve the growing Kanengo Industrial Area in the Capital City, Lilongwe. Similar works are being carried out at Old Town Escom Substation. The works are expected to be completed in March 2024.
Nankhumwa said it is important that similar projects be replicated in Blantyre and Mzuzu to support the expanding industrial sites of Makata and Chirimba, and Luwinga, respectively.
Nankhumwa is in Japan on a tour of duty.