Malawi’s Minister of Energy appeal for financial aid towards sustainable future


Malawi’s Minister of Energy, Ibrahim Matola, addressed a high-level panel at the Transforming Transportation 2024 event in Washington D.C. in the United States where he underlined the urgent need for financial aid for, and investment in, African nations’ transition towards resilient low-carbon transportation systems and the mobilization of finance without conditions.

Speaking on Wednesday, Matola said Malawi is rife with issues surrounding energy and transport that challenge its development.

“The issues of energy and transport are intertwined. They cannot be separated. It’s a chicken and egg situation,” Matola said.

Matola urged the international community not to leave Africa behind and to consider African nations as partners in global development.

Pressing the World Bank and other global finance bodies for a partnership approach towards financial aid, the energy minister advocated for unconditional financial support.

“When it comes to infrastructure, you give us many pages of conditions to fulfil, and in the end, you label us a risk country where you cannot invest,” Matola said, expressing the struggles of nations caught in the bureaucracy of development aid.

He also underscored the importance of investing in education and innovation, drawing parallels with China and India’s meteoric development in the past two decades. He further pointed out Africa’s untapped potential, saying that Africans are natural engineers and innovators that require support from the global community.

The minister also talked about the detriment of imposed structural adjustments and lack of viable infrastructure, the issue of wasted resources due to the archaic and inadequate transport system.

He stressed the need for energy and viable transport systems to ensure rural communities, like those in Malawi, have access to essentials such as vaccines.

The minister highlighted that while Malawi spends nearly half a billion U.S dollars on fossil fuels, the country is eager to be a part of the e-mobility transition.

In a laudable effort, the Malawian government, led by President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, is on the path of reviewing laws to fit in with emerging technologies and has opened doors to accommodate the private sector in energy and transportation, however, financial aid is sought for a more profound change.

Putting forth the implementable vision of President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, Matola emphasized Malawi’s shift towards harnessing clean energy resources, like hydro and solar power.

“We need your investment. Don’t label Africa or Malawi, or the whole continent, as fragile. Yes, there are some fragile states in the continent, but don’t label the continent of Africa or countries in Africa as a whole as fragile,” he said.