Malawi Energy and Environment Facts

Natural resources and energy

Malawi has never recovered minerals or rocks on any major scale, but the mining industry is considered to have great potential. Among other things, there are deposits of asbestos, bauxite, limestone, lead, coal, uranium, graphite and titanium.

The Mozal aluminum plant in neighboring Mozambique is in great need of bauxite, which is used in aluminum production. Several companies are willing to mine both titanium and uranium in Malawi, but poor roads and energy shortages are slowing down. There is a ruby ​​mine, and coal and limestone are mined on a small scale.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Malawi with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.

Wood is the source of over 90 percent of total energy consumption in the country. Imported oil, hydropower and coal account for the rest. According to the World Bank, only 9 percent of Malawians have access to electricity. Almost all electricity is generated in domestic hydropower plants, mainly in the River Shire. Due to drought, power plants are sometimes stationary and power outages are a serious problem for both industry and households. In order to increase electricity supply, Malawi’s electricity grid was connected to the Cabora Bassa power station in Mozambique in 2004.

  • Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, MW stands for Malawi. Visit itypeusa for more information about Malawi.


Carbon dioxide emissions in total

1 276 thousand tonnes (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant

0.1 ton (2014)

The share of energy from renewable sources

83.6 percent (2015)



The opposition proposes new rules for presidential elections

13th of December

Parliament adopts one of six legislative proposals in a reform package aimed at changing the rules for presidential elections. Under the prevailing system, the candidate with the most votes wins. If the legislative amendments proposed by the opposition go through, more than 50 percent of the vote is required to be elected in the first round. If no candidate receives such a large proportion, a second round is held between the two candidates who received the most votes in the first round.

Power outage in the drought’s tracks

December 7

A severe drought lowers the levels of the country’s hydroelectric power plant to record low levels, which darkens large parts of the country for more than a day. The capital Lilongwe is also affected. The electricity has been switched off from and on since 2016 but now the situation has deteriorated. A representative of the state-owned electricity company Escom says the production is only running at half speed.


The mass arrest after vampire hysteria

October 20

Up to 140 people are arrested by police following a wave of lynching by people accused of being vampires. The mass hysteria begins in September in four districts in southern Malawi, where at least nine people are killed by lynching mobs and the situation is considered so serious that the UN, among other things, is withdrawing its staff from there. In October, the unrest reaches Blantyre, the country’s second largest city and economic center, where a crowd rocks one person to death and burns another to death.


Called ex-president denies corruption

1 August

Former President Joyce Banda denies that she would have been involved in the “cashgate” corruption scandal in 2013 and promises to return to Malawi soon to clean up. She left the country after losing power in 2014 and has lived in the US, but is now in South Africa.


Former President Banda called

31 July

Police issue an arrest warrant against former President Joyce Banda for suspected involvement in the “cashgate” corruption scandal that erupted in September 2013. The scandal is estimated to have cost the Treasury around the equivalent of SEK 250 million and contributed to Banda being voted out of power in 2014.

Ex-minister is prosecuted

July 19

Former Agriculture Minister George Chaponda is charged with bribery in connection with a controversial import of corn from Zambia. He was dismissed from the government in February.


The World Bank resumes support

May 6

The World Bank decides to provide direct budget support to Malawi again, three and a half years after most donors interrupted their support after the scandal called the “cashgate” (see September 2013). The World Bank is now contributing 80 million US dollars and motivating it with important reforms implemented by the government.

Schoolgirls take legal battle

May 2

Fourteen teenage girls in the Nkhata Bay resort are appealing a verdict against them and a year’s suspension from school for becoming pregnant. Their lawyer comments that it is strange to criminalize pregnancy and that it is abnormal to be imprisoned for what others have done. However, the suspension is in accordance with Malawian law. The boys who made the girls with children are also excluded from school.


The Minister of Agriculture is being kicked

February 22

President Mutharika dismisses Agriculture Minister George Chaponda, who is suspected of having enriched himself on a contract for importing corn from Zambia worth the equivalent of just over SEK 300 million. Chaponda is dismissed since police investigators at a house search in his home should have found just over two million kronor in cash. The government has been heavily employed in Parliament for dubious circumstances surrounding the import of 100,000 tonnes of maize from Zambia.


Media houses are closed

January 13

The tax authority closes the country’s largest media house, the Times Group, citing unpaid taxes. The Times Group owns a radio station, a TV channel and a daily newspaper and is close to the opposition party MCP. The company is owned by the former dictator Hasting Banda’s family and its media has criticized how the import of maize from Zambia has gone. The company denies that it would have taxed.

Malawi Energy and Environment Facts

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