In March 2017, President Peter Mutharika gave a head nod to commence oil exploration drilling in Lake Malawi; a development that was highly debated prior to the State President’s go ahead. In July 2018 it was revealed that there are high prospects for oil discovery in Malawi.
As the exploration is still in the works, Biznews outlines what it would mean for the country should there be oil in the lake.
Since Malawi would have her own oil, transport costs would be cut short as she would not rely on foreign oil, therefore Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) would not suffer forex inflations.
The biggest oil producing African countries are Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and Egypt; all of which are nowhere near Malawi and its surrounding countries. Therefore, depending on how much oil is available in the lake, Malawi would supply oil to at least one neighboring country and this would boost the economy.
Solution to power outages
Businesses have suffered financially because of power shortage by Escom. Egenco resolved to temporarily solving the power outages by introducing generators that are powered by oil. Malawi would benefit immensely from her own oil, especially where power is concerned, since there would be a local supply of oil.
Citizens were fearing for the lake’s safety if extraction of oil begins, but the President assured them that modern on-shore technologies are in use as pollution prevention measures.