Energy in Malawi, as elsewhere, plays a critical role as an enabler for poverty eradication. A reliable and steady supply of clean energy to all, facilitates economic growth, helping to achieve the sustainable development that all nations are aiming for in the 2030 Agenda.
As one of the lowest in the Sub-Saharan region with access to electricity as low as 10%, there is an urgent need for more firm commitments and transformative strategies to ensure that Malawi has access to energy that is clean, affordable, and accessible.
Malawi’s energy story has been faced with many obstacles despite access to energy being at the center of the its national development priorities and agenda. The disparities caused by numerous social, economic and environmental challenges continues to disrupt its progress to achieve amongst others, the Sustainable Development Goal 7, for affordable and clean Energy.
Speaking at an Energy Summit that was organized by the Banking Association of Malawi in Lilongwe on the 13th November 2018, UNDP Resident Representative (Ad Interim) Ms. Claire Medina, outlined key points and strategies that could help Malawi attain a transformational story in achieving access to sustainable energy.
Ms. Medina also highlighted that with accelerated investment in the energy sector, it is possible for Malawi to attain the SDG 7 on affordable and clean energy. She explained that by making the energy sector more sustainable, there would be a more equitable growth path which would contribute to poverty eradication while combating climate change effects and increasing Malawi’s resilience
“If appropriately leveraged and regulated, private sector involvement also has a role to play, and can contribute to transformational energy access including by mobilizing additional resources.”, said Ms. Medina.
UNDP in Malawi has been a long-standing key player and partner working with the Malawi Government and other actors across the energy sector, focusing on the promotion of clean mini grids energy access for households, small and medium-sized businesses and communities; with an emphasis on clean energy for the poor; and increased adoption of sustainable off-grid renewable energy technologies.
More recently, UNDP is spearheading the United Nations’ overall assistance to the government of Malawi to formulate a masterplan that will guide renewable energy investment in Malawi’s social sector, and especially in health facilities across the country.