BLANTYRE--The presidents of Mozambique and Malawi signed an electricity agreement Saturday in a first step to restore troubled relations between the two southern African neighbours, according to the French News Agency (AFP).
"In Malawi we are short of power. This is having a negative impact on industry. Things have stalled but we hope we can have this project up and running soon. We are desperate for power," Malawian Foreign Minister Ephraim Chiume was quoted as saying.
The project was first proposed in 2008 but stalled due to cost concerns.
Malawi’e new president President Joyce Banda and Mozambique’s Armando Guebuza signed a memorandum of understanding during a visit to heal relations that went south under Banda’s predecessor Bingu Wa Mutharika.
“Mutharika notoriously cut short a 2009 state visit amid a diplomatic spat when Malawian police mounted a cross-border raid into Mozambique,” AFP wrote. “Since she took over upon the death of Mutharika, Banda has gone to great lengths to rebuild relationships that collapsed under his authoritarian rule.”
Chiume was quoted saying "in Malawi with our new president, we are trying to open a new chapter.
"We want to ensure the bonds of friendship are enhanced ... and misunderstandings unblocked."
Cahora Bassa was built in 1972 and only began turning a profit in 2010, three years after the building of a line to South Africa, which buys 65 percent of the dam's output.
©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment