Wharton (L) and Msaka after signing the agreement

Wharton (L) and Msaka after signing the agreement

LILONGWE (Malawi NewsNow) –United Kingdom (UK) Minister for the Department for International Development (DfID) Mr  James Wharton, who is currently on a visit to Malawi,  has signed an Energy Africa Compact with Malawi in a first step to transform the country’s solar energy market.

Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining  Bright Msaka signed on behalf of the Malawi Government in Lilongwe.

Under the arrangement, the two governments seek to transform Malawi’s solar energy market and bring affordable, reliable electricity to the people.

In a statement  by the British High Commission, the UK said it would continue to work closely with Malawi to implement the commitments in the compact, including addressing barriers to the emerging solar market in Malawi.

Reads the statement in part: “With only nine percent of Malawians connected to the national grid, off-grid solar solutions are a cost-effective and immediate solution to Malawi’s ongoing energy deficit, helping to power homes and businesses, supporting families to save money that can be spent on basic essentials, and enabling children to study after school, which gives an opportunity for the next generation to contribute to their country’s economic growth and success.”

The development comes at a time Malawians are seeking alternative sources to hydro-electric power which has exposed them to prolonged load-shedding due to low water levels in Shire River and Lake Malawi.

Energy Africa is a DfID campaign to accelerate the expansion of the household solar market in Africa, helping bring universal energy access in the continent forward from 2080 to 2030.

Malawi and DfID initially signed a partnership agreement on the compact in  November 2015 to demonstrate Malawi’s commitment to implementing the campaign objectives and strengthening the renewable energy market in the country.n