Malawi Seeks $50 Million to Check Fuel Shortage Crisis

Malawi is seeking to raise $50 million to deal with a fuel crisis caused by a shortage of foreign exchange.

Fuel shortages, which have plagued the southern African nation since April and dragged on the economy, have worsened in recent days, with motorists across the country sleeping at pump stations and forming long queues to refill.

President Lazarus Chakwera told business executives at the Malawi Investment Summit on Wednesday that the nation is working to address the foreign-currency shortage, according to a statement seen by Bloomberg.

“We have therefore already secured $28 million from local banks for this purpose and we are in pursuit of another $50 million facility,” he said. “On top of instructions the Reserve Bank has received to prioritize fuel procurement in the allocation of any forex we secure.”

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The measures add to others announced this year to deal with the shortfall. In May Malawi’s central bank devalued the kwacha by 25% against the dollar and said it would intervene in the foreign-exchange market to support imports of strategic commodities and temporarily re-introduce an order asking exporters to sell 30% of their proceeds.

Fuel crises have spread across several African countries from Kenya to Ethiopia in recent months after oil prices surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a shortage of foreign exchange has left some governments struggling to pay for the import. In July, transporters only ended a rare protest in Mozambique after the government pledged to subsidize fares.

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