'Regional integration cardinal in addressing energy shortage'
afrol News/ZANIS NEWS, 21 May
- The Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairman Zambia's president Levy Mwanawasa says regional integration is cardinal in addressing the shortage of energy in the Southern African Development Community, SADC.
President Mwanawasa said this in the Zambian north–eastern rural town of Chama yesterday when he and his Malawian counterpart Dr. Bibgu Mutharika commissioned a US $400,000 power inter-connector between Zambia and Malawi.
President Mwanawasa said the commissioning of the electricity project in which Chama has been connected to the Malawian national electricity grid, is another milestone in the advancement of bilateral relations between Zambia and Malawi.
"I am happy to be here in Chama on the occasion to commission the connection of Chama to the Malawian national power grid," Dr. Mwanawasa said.
The SADC chairman said energy was vital for economic growth and that if the current power shortage was not addressed, Zambia;s economy and that of the region would be seriously constrained.
Dr. Mwanawasa said the connection of Chama to the Malawi national electricity grid was a manifestation of the true relations that exist between the two sister republics.
And speaking at the same function, Malawian president Bingu Mutharika commended the Zambian government for connecting Chama to his country's hydro-power supply and pledged his country's full support.
Dr. Mutharika said Malawi had the capacity to produce an additional 1,500 megawatts of electricity for the benefit of not only his country, but the region at large.
"Chama is the second Zambian district to be connected to the Malawian electricity grid. The first one was Lundazi in 2004 and this is a sign of the warm relations between Malawi and Zambia," he said.
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