Eight years ago, when I heard about the Ethanol driven vehicle project in Malawi, I was so excited. I wrote about the justification of such a project. At some point, I even asked the then Director of Science and Technology several questions about the project, which he answered pretty well and professionally such that he gave me the impression that the project was moving in the right direction.
In October, 2007, I appealed to the Malawi government to act fast on this interesting project. I pointed out that we must not be too futuristic in our thinking because the ethanol technology has already been tested and found to be feasible in Brazil. All that Malawi has to do is to learn from Brazil and customize the implementation procedure to our conditions in Malawi. I made some further suggestion on what Malawi must do in this post.
In 2009, when I was in Japan I addressed the issue of conflict between the sugar/ethanol industry and other food crops. After that, I blogged about the conversion kits for Ethanol driven cars. All these posts just demonstrate the excitement that I had about this project. Now 8 years down the line, all that excitement is gone. Sometimes I have a feeling that this project will never come to pass. My very reliable contacts in Malawi have told me that in 2012, the Joyce Banda administration approved the recommendations of this project.
A roll out plan was prepared and submitted it to the Ministry of Energy to ensure that the technology is commercialized by establishing new regulations for consumers and marketers, pricing, standards, etc. The technical people have to be commended for doing all that good work. But the politicians are not doing their part. Politicians in our our country are not interested in the affairs of the citizens. They are there just to make a living for themselves and their families. No wonder, they always find ways of clinging to power!
My sources have also told me that it is Press Corporation, a private enterprise, that is trying to drive the project by designating some PUMA filling stations to be used for the pilot phase of the implementation. I am further informed that the pilot phase was supposed to begin in August, 2015. I doubt if they started.
As you can see, if Press Corporation does not push government on this issue, nothing will happen! Soon, our politicians will start campaigning in order to remain in government in 2019 in order to keep on enriching themselves at the expense of the poor citizens. With this kind of government, will our country move forward???
Please take note that I am not affiliated to any political party. I am more concerned about development than political parties. When politicians are doing their job well, I applaud their efforts openly. For example, when late Dr Bingu wa Mutharika won the 2009 elections convincingly, I congratulated him on this blog. In the same post, I commended him for the good work that his administration did between 2004 and 2009.