The extended load shedding in the country is putting the economy under stress which will have a negative impact if not solved, an economist has said.

The sentiments come in the wake of continued power outages in the country, with some parts experiencing up to 25 hours without power supply. Industries have not been spared the load shedding, with some getting only two hours of power supply a day, forcing them to drastically reduce their manufacturing.

Promised to have power problems resolved by next year: Mutharika

Speaking in a telephone interview yesterday, Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) president Henry Kachaje said the electricity woes will impact the manufacturing industry more as some industries have already ceased production.

Kachaje said if the power outages are not sorted out in the short term, it will have negative implications on the economy which will not be good for Malawi, a developing nation.

He said: “I think it is obvious that power is very critical and central to our economic development and the current outages are going to negatively affect the private sector, specifically the manufacturing sector.

“As you are aware, we have already started experiencing cement shortages and other manufacturing issues, so this is going to have a negative impact in terms of how we can progress and grow.”

Kachaje further said continued power outages will affect the growth of industries which will have to incur high production costs, result in low profits and job losses in the long run.

But talking to the press after meeting Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) and Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) senior management last Wednesday, President Peter Mutharika, while pleading for patience from the public, assured the nation that the electricity challenges will be over in a year or so. n

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