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​Renewable energy is the future for Malawi

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2 organizations are sensitizing communities on renewable energy sources being the future for Malawi.

Cooperative Enterprise Pathways for Economic and Environmental Sustainability in Malawi Project (CEPEESM) with Community Energy Malawi are on a campaign to inform the general public by targeting people in cooperatives.

The organizations are drilling people with the idea of solar power energy for lighting, which is inconsistent in the country and has led to a lot of people disposing of goods and losing money due to no or less production.

Solar energy source is also being emphasized in irrigation farming.

Apart from these, communities are being encouraged to use solar energy to pump water from sources like boreholes and transfer it to a larger population.
CEPEESM Projects Manager, John Mulangeni says after 50 years since independence a lot of people do not have electricity power.

John Mulangeni speaking

“When a country has enough power it is easier for investors to come and invest in various fields and this directly profits the country.

“Reliable sources of energy allows companies to manufacture enough products and this contributes heavily in the progression of a nation through exports,” explained Mulangeni.

Besides solar panels, the organization is currently selling solar lambs to rural communities at a giveaway prices to accommodate struggling Malawians.

At the same time compliment government’s efforts of achieving Sustainable Development Goal number seven which speaks of the energy sector and ensure that a good number of the population is connected with electricity.

Globally, the number of people having access to electricity has improved from 79 percent in 2000 to 85 percent in 2012 but still over 1.1 billion people are without this valuable service.

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Technology

Malawi to adopt Intellectual Property Policy

Kaphale

The Malawi government is set to adopt Intellectual Property Policy says Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale.

Intellectual Property policy is a governing tool to ownership and disposition of intellectual property which includes, but is not limited to, inventions, copyrights (including computer software), trademarks, and tangible research property.

AG Kaphale disclosed this on Monday during the first ever National Roving Seminar on the Protection of Patents, Utility Models, Industrial Designs, Trademarks and Software at Mount Soche in Blantyre.

The seminar was held under the theme ‘Fostering creativity and innovation for economic growth and development in Africa’. Discussions at the seminar revolved around presentations on the Concepts, Institutional and Legal Framework on Intellectual Property in Africa.

Participants were also taught on registering IP, patents and Trademarks in Malawi.

The AG said the government is also looking into introducing teaching intellectual property related programs in colleges.

“Malawi is in the process of adopting the Intellectual Property Policy. It will also introduce teaching of IP related programs in colleges”

“Government is committed to innovation by introducing technology innovation centres in some universities” said Kaphale adding “Malawi’s economic growth will heavily depend on innovations”.

World Intellectual Property representative Joyce Banya said Intellectual Property is a catalyst in the implementation and realization of the sustainable development goals

She said “A lot of innovation is taking place in Malawi but it is not captured or protected.”

Presenting challenges Malawi faces in intellectual property Robert Mkandawire from Malawi University of Science and Technology highlighted “Inferiority Complex, Educational challenges, less local models, Limited facilities Limited Resources and Developmental Departments and Economics as some of the issues to be addressed”

Over 90% of patents that are registered with ARIPO are not from Africa. It was noted during the seminar that either Africans are not innovating or they choose not to register their patents.

The seminar was organized by World Intellectual Property Organization, ARIPO, an organization mainly established to pool the resources of its member countries in industrial property matters, Japan Patent Office in conjunction with the Malawi Government.

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Khato Civils purchases 2 ‘Rockeaters’ for Lake Malawi Water Supply project

Minister Kalilani

Khato Civils has purchased 2 Tesmec Trenchers nicknamed “Rockeaters” for the multimillion dollar Lake Malawi Water Supply project.

The machines made jointly in Italy and USA costs $2 million each.

According to Khato Civils one machine Rockeater  “has capacity of drilling a distance of 2 kilometres per day”.

Specifics on the company site say the “Tesmec’s largest Chainsaw trencher is conceived as a high-productivity machine for big diameter pipelines and utilities projects in hard rock”.

One of Khato Civils Rockeaters

It has 760 horse power engine which enables the 1675 to cut trenches up to 24’ (732 cm) deep and 72” (183 cm) wide.

“The peak of excellence for big projects in the toughest excavating conditions”.

The Lake Malawi Water Supply project will create jobs of up to 4,000 people and ultimately good water for the people of Lilongwe.

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EU gives Mzuzu Technical College €1.5M to train solar energy technicians

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The European Union has signed €1.5M grant with Mzuzu Technical College and partners to train solar technicians. 

The partners are Zayeed Energy and Ecology Centre based in Nkhatabay and Miracle Technical Institute in Karonga.

The technicians will be training in operating solar power equipmemt which will in turn help their socio economic status.

The trainees will also be tasked with training otherinorder to have people with thenknow how on the equipment thereby increasing production.

Solar energy equipment

Solar energy has great potential in agriculture production of the country which until now the most relianle income generating source for ordinary Malawians.

Statistics from the World Bank (Lighting Africa) shows over 90 percent of live below poverty line and most of them do not have electricity or are in consant blackouts.
The grant comes at a time when electricity woes still continue despite efforts to revive the sector and alternative sources of power are being heavily sort after

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Business

UGI Malawi Launches Top Class Motor Insurance Product

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UGI CEO2
Chioni stresses a point during the launch

In a move best labelled as a ‘game changer, UGI Malawi has partnered with C-Track to offer its customers an extraordinary product that is more than just a motor-vehicle insurance policy.

Auto-Serve is an insurance package which deploys a telematics solution using tracking devices to gather and monitor data related to driver behavior including accidents, fuel consumption and mileage. The benefits are plain simple: to enable UGI to provide its customers increased driver safety and in turn – lower insurance premiums.

The AutoServe policy surpasses your ordinary motor vehicle insurance policy in so many ways. For one, any claims of less than MK750,000 do not have to go through the approval processes that ordinary policy holders do. You simply get your vehicle fixed and present the invoice to UGI. Simple.

UGI Ctract CEO
C Track CEO sharing points with patrons

Ctrack has been selected by a number of leading insurers across the world as the technology provider for their telematics-based insurance product as a result of their innovative offering, robust operational performance and excellence in customer service.

A part of lnseego Corporation, C-track has been in operation for over 30 years in all six continents in over 55 countries, with more than 1,000,000 systems sold worldwide.

UGI Malawi’s Chief Executive Officer, Bywell Chioni launched the the UGI-CTrack partnership and unveiled AuotServe for their Southern region existing and prospective clients at Mount Soche in Blantyre on Friday 27th January, 2017. A similar launch is expected in Lilongwe this week.

SEE EVENT PICTURES BELOW:

UGI Sam
Sam Kabambe was the event MC
UGI Patrons
A cross section of some patrons at the launch
UGI GM
UGI General Manager (right) listening to a presentation
UGI Eunice Perfomance
Malawi’s songster Eunice dished out a brilliant perfomance
UGI Chipi and Q
Journalist Chipiliro Mtumodzi engages Q Malawezi in a discussion
UGI Ctrack Executives
C-Track Executives celebrate a successful launch
UGI CEO
Chioni hands over an AutoServe hamper to a raffle draw winner
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Technology

Now, Thats What We Call Progress – Mulanje Mountain Water Supply Project

Water is LIFE! And any project that ensures the availability of WATER is a LIFE giver.

President Peter Mutharika on 7 Novemebr, 2016 launched a K17 billion water supply system project to pump water from Likhubula River on Mulanje Mountain to supply Blantyre and surrounding districts of Chiradzulu, Thyolo and also benefit the people of Mulanje district.

As the President correctly described it, the project is indeed a “big national investment”. Not only will it help end the water shortages presently facing Blantyre residents, it will also improve water supply reliability for future generations in Blantyre and surrounding districts.

Mutharika officially launched the project
Mutharika officially launched the project

It is only through projects like these, that provide mid to long term solutions, that we can confidently say that Malawi is on the right direction towards prosperity. Its much easier to cope with challenges today when you put in place mechanisms to ensure they will be gone tomorrow.

The project is expected to become fully  operational in 18 months and will be supplying 20 million litres of water per day from Likhubula River on Mulanje Mountain.

Chairperson for Blantyre Water Board, James Naphambo, said the water will be transported through gravitation from Mt. Mulanje to Nguludi Turnoff in Chiradzulu where it will be treated for consumption.

The project is being financed by a loan from Exim Bank of India to the tune of $23.4 million (K17bn) .

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Infrastructure

BT Residents Welcome New Shopping Center – Get A Feel of Escalators

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Inside Crossroads Shopping Center, Ground Floor

Malawian citizens aged below 25 years that haven’t been outside the country have never used an escalator. This is a hard fact. However, all this is about to change, as Blantyre city welcomes yet another new infrastructural development – The Crossroads Shopping Complex.

Situated right in the heart of Blantyre City Centre, between Sunbird Mount Soche and Malawi Sun hotels, the complex brings with it escalator technology that has been absent from Malawian buildings for over two decades.  Malawi’s last (if not only) escalator was in the MSB Building (then PTC Hyper Store) in Blantyre almost 26 years ago.

The Shopping Complex also houses two elevators to complement the inclined escalators in providing mobility to shoppers up-and-down the two storey mall.

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Inside Crossroads Shopping Center, First Floor

Although not officially launched, the complex has already opened its doors to shoppers, more especially eaters and imbibers.  Among companies plying their trade in the complex is Wimpy, making its debut on the Malawian fast-food market.  Others include Galito’s Flame Grilled Chicken, Creamy Inn, Chicken Inn, and Pizza Inn.

 

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Technology

National Identity Cards finally here – Mutharika to launch project

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“The issuance of Identity Cards to all citizens will be rolled out in 2017.” President Peter Mutharika at the opening of the 46th Parliament session (6 Nov 2015).

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Sample of Malawi ID Card

In November, 2015 President Mutharika told a 193-member parliament house that his government had started the process of issuing National Identity cards and that in 2017 all citizens will be issued ID cards.  The president even gave timelines for the project.

Mutharika will be walking his talk this Thursday 27 October as he officially launches the National ID cards project at Bingu International Conference Center in Lilongwe.

Unlike past regimes that have embarked on the same project before, Mutharika’s government is the first to actually roll out the implementation phase of the ID project.

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Nigeria’s New National ID Card

Since 2003 when the then Minister of Home Affairs Monjeza Maluza announced the introduction of a national identity project until now,  the project has failed to make it past the paperwork phase. It  is only now that the Mutharika regime has managed to carry-out the pilot phase of the project and is set to roll out the issuance of the IDs nationwide by next year.

The project, being carried out by the National Registration Bureau under the Ministry of Home Affairs, is being implemented in three phases:

Phase one, which was targeting 5000 people comprising members of Parliament, cabinet ministers, Judges and other high ranking public officers. This was concluded on 24 August, 2016.

Second phase in which the majority of civil servants and Malawians involved in social transfer programmes will be registered. This phase is targeting 90,000-95,000 people.

Third phase is targeting 9 million Malawians above 16 years of age as well as resident foreigners nationwide.

Malawi remains the only country in Southern Africa without a national identification system. Those without a passport or a driver’s licence find it very difficult to make transactions with financial institutions like commercial banks, forcing them to involve a third party every time they transact.

The introduction of the National ID cards will improve in the following areas among many other advantages:

  1. Prevent abuse of public resources: Only those with ID cards can access free public services like healthcare, subsidy programmes, etc.
  2. Quick determination of immigration status of individuals.
  3. A unified system: All information required about an individual will be in one card.
  4. Crime prevention and added security: A unified ID system will make it difficult for lawbreakers to circumvent processes and requirements.
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Infrastructure

Huge Step Towards Zero-Blackouts

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In a move to ensure the eradication of power shortages in future, the Malawi government has signed a Memorundum of Understanding (MoU) with Mota-Engil that will see the multinational constructing electricity power plants to generate 500 megawatts.

The project is set to roll out in 2018 and is expected to spread over a period of ten years, at the end of which the whole 500 megawatts will be realized. The agreement was made under the Private Public Partnerships (PPP) and was officially sealed at the opening of the Malawi Investment Forum (MIF) 2016 taking place in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Mota-Engil joins a list of other investors that have gone into agreement with government to construct power plants. Notable among them is China’s Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) which signed a MoU with the Malawi government to develop a 1000 megawatt coal-fired power plant at Kam’mwamba in Neno, with the first phase of 300 megawatt completed in 2018.

It is believed that at the completion of all projects lined up by the government to boost electricity power generation  there will be enough electricity for the whole nation without rationing.

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