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Malawi, European Union sign €125 million development deal

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By Blessings Mpinganjira:

The government has signed a financing agreement with the European Union (EU) to finance six development projects valued at €125 million (K128 billion).

The EU will fund projects in the energy and agriculture sectors as well as a drive towards good governance, among other areas.

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Signing the agreement on Friday in Lilongwe, EU Commissioner for International Partnership Jutta Urpilainen said such an investment is a vote of confidence from the EU to Malawi.

“The funds will improve economic transformation through job creation. We will keep a closer eye to see how Malawi will improve through these programmes,” she said.

Urpilainen said the EU is also supporting the government in the fight against corruption as one way of attracting more foreign direct investment.

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Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe said the funds will help the government achieve the development agenda of uplifting Malawians, especially at the grassroots level.

He then warned implementing agents to ensure activities designed for the programmes are implemented within the budget and on time.

“These programmes should meet the expectations of Malawians and our partners. My ministry will not tolerate any abuse or misuse of these scarce resources, which are targeted towards achieving specific goals.

“I will be required to be furnished with reports on a regular basis by the implementing agents to monitor progress of implementation,” Gwengwe said.

The six programmes include Greening and Growing Malawi Programme, valued at €56.5 million, Malawi Energy Programme to cost €11.5 million, Access to Justice initiative, budgeted for €17 million, the Malawi Democratic Governance Programme pegged at €17 million, the Malawi Cooperation Facility budgeted for €9 million and the Response to Global Food Insecurity valued at €15 million.

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