Malawi’s leading financial services provider NICO Group on Tuesday presented a sponsorship package to Egenco for the country’s energy service generators Egenco to host the 29th Africa Hydro Symposium (AHS) scheduled for October 8-10 at the new conference centre at Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel.
Presenting the cheque on behalf of NICO Group’s Managing Director Vizenge Kumwenda at their head office in Blantyre on Tuesday, NICO General’s Chief Executive Officer, Donbell Mandala said they decided to respond to the appeal for support because they consider EGENCO as one of the key business partners in the development of the economy.
“We are all undoubtedly aware that Egenco plays a key role in delivering energy, which is a key driver to our economy,” he said. “Egenco is also one of the key clients of our subsidiary company NICO General and this relationship has existed for more than 30 years starting from the time Egenco was part of ESCOM and through the transition and up to now.
“NICO Group also believes that the partnership can also extend to other subsidiary companies within the group that can offer different unique services to Egenco.
“The group has NBS Bank, which offers banking services, NICO Life and NICO Pensions offering Life and Pension Products, NICO Asset Managers for asset management and other financial services.
“NICO Group appreciates that the objective of the Africa Hydro Symposium is to facilitate technical interaction for the enhancement in hydro power plant performance for the mutual benefit of the participating utilities and Independent Power Producers.”
This year’s theme of the symposium is ‘Quality Power for Sustainable Development in Africa’ and Mandala said this resonates well with the current energy challenges in Africa, which has made various governments to commit their resources to provide quality and adequate power for sustainable growth of the economy.
“If Africa and Malawi overcomes energy challenges then there will be an improvement in job creation, increase in foreign direct investments and ultimately contributing to socioeconomic development.”
“The various topics that have been outlined for the symposium ranging from hydro power plant system assessments, strategic planning and development, environmental management, project financing and others are very key to how this industry develops in Africa and also in Malawi in particular.
“NICO Group is therefore excited as we believe the EGENCO team and Malawi will significantly benefit from these discussions. We know that EGENCO launched a 15-year strategic plan in July this year and we are quite optimistic that this gathering will also assist EGENCO in the implementation, review and execution of the strategy as the world is now one village and we can learn from each other,” Mandala said.
In his vote of thanks, Egenco’s CEO William Liabunya said the symposium is expected to attract close to 200 delegates from different sectors of the industry, who will share experiences and deliberate on developments, operations, maintenance and management of hydro power plants in the continent.
He said for the symposium hasn’t taken place for the past three years because of failing to secure host countries but Egenco Board approved management’s request to host it because they want other countries to also appreciate the services Egenco is offering.
“Also bear in mind that there is no registration fees that the delegates will pay apart from their accommodation costs and that meant we had to dig big in our budget to meet the cost of hosting the event.
“Therefore, we don’t take this support from NICO Group for granted. You have set a good example that we need to count on each other for the development of our economy.
“Africa is the only continent in which its people have least access to electricity and the symposium will discuss on how we can move forward in energy generation.
“We are geared to implement to the fullest our strategic plan because we want that by 2033 we should be generating over 1,000 megawatts of electricity from the current 400-plus we currently produce.
“From the symposium, we are expected to share our vision and objectives with the rest of Africa in order for us to learn from the others who have good plans and policies in energy generation,” he said.
Group Group comprises General Insurance, Life Insurance, Banking through NBS Bank, NICO Asset Managers, NICO Technologies, Eris Properties and other business beyond boarder — NICO Zambia Insurance, investments in Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique.