Malawi wants Opec Fund triple portfolio

Eyes $200 million in 3years


By Dumbani Mzale, contributor in Doha, Qatar:

President Lazarus Chakwera has requested the Opec Fund for International Development to consider increasing its resource envelope to Malawi to enable the country to meet its development agenda, the 2063 (MW2063) vision.

Speaking on Saturday evening when he held discussions with Opec Fund senior officials on the sidelines of the 5th United Nations LDCs conference in Doha, Qatar, Chakwera said Malawi Government appreciates the support it gets from the Vienna-based fund but was quick to request the officials to consider growing the resource envelope from $60 million to $200 million dollars.


“Such an expanded envelope would enable the Opec Fund to finance projects by itself in Malawi as opposed to seeking co-financiers at all times,” Chakwera said.

Currently, Opec Fund, whose development cooperation with the Malawi Government dates back to the 1970s, supports Malawi in various strategic sectors such as agriculture, water and sanitation as well as roads infrastructure.

The Malawi leader further highlighted the benefits that have been reaped from the assistance of the Opec Fund, over the year, including the construction of Rumphi, Mchinji and Chikwawa Teachers Training Colleges; the construction of the Karonga Town Water Supply Scheme and the implementation of the Transforming Agriculture through Diversification and Entrepreneurship (Trade) Programme, among many others.


Speaking in an interview after discussions, Opec Fund Director General Abdulhamid Alkhalifa described the meeting with Chakwera as fruitful and cordial and assured Malawi Government of possible review of its portifolio to Malawi, as requested by the Malawi leader.

But Alkhalifa hinted that the fund intends to spread its portifolio to Malawi to clean energy which, he said, has been welcomed by President Chakwera.

In 2020 alone, the Opec Fund committed $153 million globally to the energy sector ($93m for sovereign operations and $60m for non-sovereign operations).

Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe, who was the lead minister from Malawi during the deliberations, said Malawi has benefitted from the Opec Fund for over 40 years now, but said the Chakwera-led government intends to tap more resources from the international institution to help the country meet its development needs as well as Sustainable Development Goals.

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