Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bintony Kutsaira on Tuesday launched the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) strategic plan that provides a roadmap for reforming the energy sector.
The plan’s objective is to ensure that the sector becomes more performance oriented more flexible and more responsive.
Speaking at the event, Kutsaira said the launch of MERA’s strategic plan has come at the right time because Malawi’s energy sector is undergoing a transformation as the country races towards a middle income status.
“This growth will lead to increase in energy use to power the economy. The energy mix is also expected to undergo further rebalancing to include new and renewable resources,” he said.
He added that the strategic plan for MERA the service charter is important as far as the mandate for MERA is concerned in running of the affairs of energy in the country.
“The strategic plan is a roadmap on the objectives, statements, the goals and also manageable type of systems on the operatives of MERA.
“It’s also in connection to the country’s general agenda of development, you remember power is a major component of our industry, it’s a backbone for the country’s development”, said Kutsaira.
The Minister also noted that MERA has put developed a strategic plan to ensure that government has adequate resources, has adequate power and has adequate fuel at all times.
“The strategic plan will help us a lot because in the strategic plan MERA has also put in the opportunities of the renewable energy in connection with transformation of our energy policy so it’s a general outlook, it’s a general roadmap on what the country deserves to do in order to address our energy challenges,” said Kutsaira.
Commenting on the service charter, Kutsaira said it outlines the steps which a MERA customer has to take in order to make an application.
“This service charter plan is also what I like most because it is going to make away with the elements of corruption the application process. A list of sectors will need to get permission and licence from MERA, so the documents are really very important for the development of our energy sector,” said Kutsaira.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for MERA Dr Collins Magalasi said they came up with the documents after consulting industry players.
“We have involved government, we have talked to the consumers, we have talked to almost everyone that has an interest in energy sector that’s both electricity but also liquid fuel and gas.
“So even in the implementation we want the various players to be involved. it is good for us because then we are inviting people to watch our operations, we want to be the most effective, efficient, transparent institution and we can only do that when we involve others,” said Magalasi.
On his part, MERA board chair Reverend Dr. Joseph Bvumbwe noted that the strategic plan and service charter documents are very important because MERA as a regulator is guided by regulations.
“If the customers come and they are looking for services, the service charter itself will guide you and actually compel you to ensure that you deliver on time,” said Bvumbwe.
MERA had a strategic plan which expired in 2019 and they have created a new one that will run from 2020 to 2024 and this will come as another way go measuring a success.