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Power Africa has supported the development of 98 megawatts (MW) of electricity generation projects in Malawi. In addition, various firms have received U.S. Embassy support to move transactions forward. The page below gives an overview of the energy sector in Malawi, explains Power Africa's involvement and lists Power Africa’s financially closed transactions in the country, some of which are already online and generating critical electricity supply for the people of Malawi.

Martha Murotho works as an engineer at EGENCO's Nkula Power Station in Malawi.
Martha Murotho works as an engineer at EGENCO's Nkula Power Station in Malawi.


Population: 18.14 million | WB Ease of Doing Business Index (1): 109 | GDP (2): $7.07 billion

With a high population density, Malawi has one of the lowest per capita GDPs in the world. The country has the capacity to generate 439 megawatts (MW), though Malawi’s heavy reliance on large hydro is often constrained by drought and low water levels.

Malawi’s energy sector has gone through important sector reform efforts recently, including the unbundling of the national utility, the Electric Supply Company of Malawi (ESCOM) and the establishment of the Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (EGENCO). The restructuring of Malawi’s power market is underway, with strong investor interest and political will for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to enter the market. Moving forward, there is high potential for solar and new hydro technologies to enter into the power market.

Power Africa is supporting three projects totalling 470 MWs, including 120 MWs of new solar PV generation and 350 MWs of new hydro. Construction of the 60 MW Salima Solar project started in March 2020, but is now on hold due to COVID-19. Power Africa is also supporting the development of the 350 MW Mpatamanga Hydro project, which is a Public Private Partnership; a PPA and Implementation agreement is expected to be approved before December 2020. Issues with transparent utility regulation, access to finance, and sustaining off-grid projects persist.


Installed Capacity (3): 532 MW

  • Hydroelectric: 372 MW

  • Solar: 60 MWs expected to be online in 2021

  • Biomass: 18.5 MW

  • Other/Diesel: 141.5 MW

Power Africa new MW to date at financial close: 98 MW


Current Access Rate (4): 15%

  • Rural: 5%

  • Urban: 62%

Power Africa new connections: 295,985


Power Africa pipeline: For the most up to date information, DOWNLOAD the Power Africa Tracking Tool (PATT)



Living without electricity is the reality of approximately 85 percent of Malawian households. To accelerate access to electricity and unlock the potential of the off-grid sector, Power Africa is providing financial assistance and operational support to private sector solar home system (SHS) companies in Malawi to help them scale operations and product sales, and increase household connections to electricity.

Watch this three-and-a-half-minute video to learn more about the interventions Power Africa is implementing in Malawi and hear about the impact our work has made through the voices of SHS companies and one of their customers.

Read more about Power Africa's impact in Malawi on our blog.

Performance Management Tweaks Boost Power Generation in Malawi

Building on the U.S. Government’s first Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact in Malawi, which focused on improving the availability and reliability of and access to electricity, Power Africa is now assisting Malawi’s Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) to improve commercial performance and increase electricity generation. As a result of a new performance system, EGENCO added 33 MW of generation capacity to its fleet in February 2020. READ MORE about our support to EGENCO on our blog

Malawi SHS Kickstarter Program Launch
USAID/Power Africa awarded $2 million in grant funding to solar home system (SHS) companies under the Power Africa SHS Kick-Starter Program for Malawi in 2019. One of the winning companies was Zuwa Energy, represented in this photo by David Mkandawir, Enifa Mituka, and Jones Ntaukira.


October 21, 2019

Nkula A Rehabilitation (Hydro – 12 MW)

Financial Close Date: 09/29/2015
Commercial Operations Date: 09/01/2018
Estimated Project Cost: $45M
Overview: Through the Nkula A project, the Electricity Company Malawi Limited (EGENCO) rehabilitated, upgraded, and modernized the Nkula A Hydropower Plant. The plant’s original nameplate capacity of 36 MW was restored from previous operations at 24 MW prior to the rehabilitation. Power Africa partner, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), provided support through the Millennium Challenge Account-Malawi which awarded the contract for the rehabilitation, upgrade, and modernization of the power plant to Andritz Hydro (Austria) in a joint venture with Mota Engil (Portugal).

JCM Salina Solar (Solar 60 MW)


  1. https://www.doingbusiness.org/en/rankings 
  2. https://data.worldbank.org/country/malawi 
  3. https://www.africa-energy.com/database/datatool  
  4. https://www.iea.org/reports/sdg7-data-and-projections/access-to-electricity 

Last updated: April 12, 2021

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