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India offers to support Malawi end energy crisis

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The Government of India has offered to help the Malawi Government find practical and lasting solutions to the challenges that are currently rocking the energy sector.

The Indian High Commissioner to Malawi, Suresh Kumar Menon, said his government is ready to provide Malawi with the financial assistance the latter may need to deal with the problem.

Menon was speaking in Lilongwe on Friday on the sidelines of activities to commemorate their 69th Republic Day.

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He said his country is ready to invest “huge sums of money” in renewable energy as one of the measures to help Malawi address the energy crisis.

“Energy is a challenge for all developing countries and Malawi has also a huge challenge on the energy front. With the climatic issues that are coming up at the international forums, the only way forward is to have a robust renewable sector. And for that, the Government of India is putting up all its resources in place, the various research and development that is required,” Menon said.

He said through the International Solar Alliance, India will work with 123 developing countries, including Malawi, to start harnessing smart, clean and affordable renewable energy potential.

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“[We] are taking along all the friendly developing countries and towards that, we have constituted what we call International Solar Alliance. This is again an international agreement basically co-chaired by India and France. This is an alliance of 123 countries, which will join together and see how we can bring in the renewable energy sector. Funds are available from the World Bank, IMF [International Monetary Fund) and several others.

“And the African Development Bank, I know, has also earmarked funds for the renewable energy sector. And we look forward to working with Malawi to see how we can bring the renewable energy projects in Malawi,” he narrated.

The India envoy emphasised that the total amount of money his government will invest in Malawi towards the sector will depend on the proposals the Malawi Government will present to the Indian Government.

“Once those proposals are received, funds are not a problem,” he said.

He disclosed that his government is also considering investing in the mining sector in Malawi.

Recently, Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (FISD) Executive Director, Frank Mwenechanya, stressed that greater investment in the existing and antiquated energy system may not provide the lasting solution to the widespread blackouts.

Mwenechanya said the real solution to the problem requires government and other players to move on to the next stage of energy development – a cleaner, efficient and more decentralized system.

“Such policies would not only solve the current electricity problems, but also help the country achieve a number of other priorities such as reduction in air pollutants that cause global warming and respiratory diseases; reducing our demand for and, thereby, the price of natural gas; and saving consumers money,” he said.

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