Malawi has borrowed €95.5 million (K98.7 billion) from European Investment Bank (EIB) to rehabilitate part of the M1 Road, covering a stretch of 301 kilometres from Lumbadzi in Lilongwe to Chiweta in Rumphi.
Apart from the loan, the European Union (EU) is supporting the works with a grant of €43.1 million (K44.5 billion).
In a tweet yesterday, the EU in Malawi expressed excitement over the launch of the M1 Road Rehabilitation Project.
“Over the next few years we expect to see quality rehabilitation works covering 301kms,” the EU said.
We are very excited to have launched the M1 Road Rehabilitation Project yesterday. Over the next few years we expect to see quality rehabilitation works covering 301kms. EU is contributing €139m (95.5m loan from @EIB , €43.1m grant from EU) to support @MalawiGovt with the works pic.twitter.com/oz3Y5EhmOo
— EU in Malawi 🇪🇺 (@EUinMalawi) July 13, 2022
Malawi’s public debt is estimated at a round K6 trillion with the Chakwera administration said to have borrowed about K1.4 trillion in under two years.
Speaking during the launch on Tuesday, representative of the European Investment Bank in Southern Africa, Jim Hodges, said they have committed huge sums of money after looking at the importance of the project.
The European Union through its representative, Bartek Studniarask, said the road offers a great opportunity to Malawi as the country needs to fully engage in international trade.
On his part, President Chakwera said Malawi’s partnership with EU is a model of the partnerships the country is interested in.
The Malawi leader argued that development partners need to have at least a single project that they are implementing or have supported.
“It is not enough to just support social programs whose sustainability cannot be guaranteed when what our country needs desperately are development projects that will last a generation or generations such as roads, bridges, prisons, schools, institutional buildings, sports facilities and border posts,” said Chakwera.
He added that the M1 Road is key since it anchors a national economic ecosystem through mobility of goods and people and it also carries with it a significant role of facilitating trade growth, food security and access to essential social services.
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