The Governments of Malawi and the Peoples Republic of China have entered an agreement for the provision of mobile solar power systems worth about K5 billion ($10.4 million) for the health sector in the country.
The agreement was signed at the Ministry of Finance in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi.
Zhang Qingyang, the Chinese Ambassador to Malawi said the deal was necessary as the mobile solar power units will ease power shortage in health facilities in rural areas in the country. He noted that Malawi’s power grid only covers about 9 percent of the country’s population thus dealing a serious blow to many development activities. However, the prerequisites for a solar solution are in place as Malawi has abundant sunshine, being a country in the tropics.
The Chinese Ambassador disclosed that last year his government also donated 250 solar street lights and 533 sets of mobile solar systems which were installed at Capital Hill and some were distributed to some of the country’s hospitals. Concluding his address, he said; “I believe these mobile solar systems will play an important role in improving the lives of the local people.”
Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe thanked the Chinese government for the donation of the mobile solar power systems saying; “On behalf of government and people of Malawi, I would like to extend our sincere gratitude for this donation which will go a long way in alleviating electricity challenges currently being faced by our rural health facilities.”
Gondwe disclosed that the mobile solar power systems would be used to provide power to the rural health facilities that have not yet been connected to the main power grid. Also noting that rural health centres played a very critical role in the provision of basic health care, he advised the beneficiaries to take advantage of the solar power units while ensuring they were properly maintained.
Malawi and China have had a relatively cordial diplomatic relationship since 2007 when the southeastern African country severed its 41 year old relationship with Taiwan and chose China instead. Over a 12 year period following the year 2000, about 21 Chinese official development finance projects were identified in Malawi through multiple media reports. Among the notable projects given by China include The Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), the construction of the Chitipa-Karonga road, the Parliament building, National Stadium, Five Star Hotel and Presidential Villas.