Electricity in Malawi
Malawi is a landlocked state along the East African Rift Valley. The country depends on agriculture for most of its income and exports. It has one of the lowest electrification rates in Africa, with less than 10% of the population having access to electricity. Almost all of its power comes from a series of hydropower plants on the Shire river, that runs through the rift valley. The oldest of these plants in nearly 50 years old. The main electricity company in Malawi is Escom, a vertically integrated utility than is nominally a private company but with all shares owned by the government. Escom has suffered from a poor financial situation for several years, with tariffs barely meeting costs. Recent tariff increases have eased the problem slightly, but the company does not have resources to invest in new capacity, or in extending or refurbishing its transmission and distribution system - which is old and overloaded. The country depends heavily on donor agencies to support the government, but aid was suspended in 2011 after a negative report from the International Monetary Fund. The country has significant energy resources, particularly hydropower, biomass, solar and wind energy, which could all be developed for electricity production, but in order to do so it must attract foreign investment. This, in turn, depends on the government showing itself capable of openness, good economic management, and able to eliminate corruption. If it can do this, then the country offers significant future potential.
This report is a Country Profile, covering:
Key Findings of the Report
Key Questions Answered
Date Published / Pages / Format
January, 2014 / 26 pages / PDF