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Malawi hosting SADC meetings on Energy and Water.

By Yamikani Yapuwa

Blantyre, Mana:  Malawi from Monday to Thursday this week is hosting the Joint Meeting of Committee of Ministers Responsible for Energy and Water in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

According to a media advisory by SADC, the meeting will allow ministers to deliberate on programmes of regional dimensions in support to the implementation of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-30 particularly programmes for infrastructure development of the two sectors.

“In the energy sector, the deliberations will focus on the short, medium and long-term solutions to address security of energy supply in the Region, proposal on development of a Regional Transmission Infrastructure Financing Facility (RTIFF) and progress on signing of the Agreement Amending SADC Protocol on Energy of 1996.

“The Ministerial meeting will also, among other issues, consider operationalization of SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) as a legal entity through signing and ratification of the SACREEE Intergovernmental Memorandum of Agreement (IGMoA), modalities of strengthening the Regional Energy Regulators Association (RERA) and discuss progress on the development of Regional Gas Master Plan – Phase II,” reads the advisory.

The advisory said that in the water sector, the Ministers will consider for approval of the fifth Regional Strategy Action Plan (RSAP V) on Integrated Water Resource Development and Management, implementation of the SADC Groundwater Management Phase II Programme and the SADC Response to COVID-19 Impact in the water sector.

“The Ministers will further consider the status of the SADC COVID-19 Border Post Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Response Project, the SADC Water Fund Infrastructure Development Projects and the report on River Basin Organisations/Shared Water Course Institutions programmes.

“Ministers will further consider crosscutting issues such as Water, Energy and Food Security (WEF) Nexus Programme to enhance synergy in addressing challenges facing the three (3) sectors,” said

PS for Ministry of Energy, Patrick Matanda chairs the SADC senior officials responsible for Energy and Water at Mount Soche hotel in Blantyre-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana

Ahead of the Ministers meeting, the SADC Senior Officials responsible for energy and water are holding their meeting on Monday and Tuesday to prepare and clear documents for consideration and deliberation by the Ministers.

Speaking at the SADC Senior Officials meeting, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Energy Patrick Matanda said these kind of meetings are significant to Malawi and SADC nations as whole.

“Water and Energy are two important issues to any country. In Malawi, whenever, there is an issues to do with water, there are problems. The same applies when there are issues to do with energy especially with electricity, there are issues with economy and also the general population,” said Matanda.

Matanda also said coordination between SADC countries is important and this can be seen through the launch of Mozambique-Malawi Interconnector which is a product of SADC integration.

“So you can see that there are big benefits that come with nations working together. In this case, we will be able to get extra power from other countries just because we are working as a bloc,” said Matanda.

SADC Secretariat interact each other after official opening of the SADC meeting at Mount Soche hotel in Blantyre-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana