- Posted December 19, 2013 by
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Total Malawi Celebrate 50 Years Golden Jubilee
One of the country's leading petroleum companies Total Malawi on Monday marked 50 years of its existence in the country.
The date was marked with celebrations held at Ryalls Hotel in the country's commercial city of Blantyre.
The colourful event saw Total Malawi's different business partners, its management and staff including Minister of Energy Honourable Ibrahim Matola in attendance.
Also in attendance was Mr Christian des Clossieres, Executive Vice President of Total Southern Africa who is also Chairman of Total Malawi.
Speaking during the ceremony, Managing Director of Total Malawi Michel Malatino said despite facing several challenges such as failing of importing fuel due to forex shortage, the company stood firm saying it realised that every problem has its ending.
He therefore thanked government of Malawi for introducing Economic Recovery Plan saying it has helped to ease some of the problems the energy industry was facing.
"Honestly, Economic Recovery Plan was a relief for us after struggling for over one and half years failing to import fuel due to the shortage of forex. Right now, we are no longer having those queues we used to have before in filling stations. So, we have to thank the government for that," he said.
Malatino also said it was a privilege to work in the country for the past five decades.
"This is a great day for us. A day with full of smiles. It has been great pleasure to work in Malawi not only in petroleum products but also in other sector towards development of the country. We have different projects running such as scholarships for the students who have done well in the University of Malawi, road safety program and Hiv/Aids program.
"We also partner with Ilovo on their community program. Apart from that, we also help Mary Meal's program of giving polidge to the pupils in schools. So, people should expect more in the years to come until everyone Know Where to Turn [slogan for Total]," he said.
In his remarks, Minister of Energy Honourable Ibrahim Matola thanked Total for not abandoning Malawi during difficulties and for its franchise model and empowerment scheme.
"We appreciate your efforts to empower Malawians to run own filling station and also your management and capacity building program. The Malawi Government fully appreciates your contribution to our national economic empowerment efforts.
"Total has been a good and responsible corporate citizen. Just yesterday [Monday], I witnessed the formal handling over of a solar power system for the Dream Centre at the Francesco Palau Community Hospital at Mtengo Wa Nthenga in Dowa. I also understand that this was just the first of six sites where Total will partner with the Dream Project to alleviate their energy problems. For that, the people and government of Malawi sincere thank you," said Matola.
Matola assured Total and other companies that President Dr Joyce Banda's government has put measures that the country should never experience shortage of fuel problems again.
"As all of you are aware prior to April 2012, Malawi faced daunting challenges with forex and fuel supplies. It came to the point that people had to chase for Sewage tankers thinking it was fuel. But when the administration of Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda assumed office, my ministry including other stakeholders in the industry had to put in place a mechanism to ensure that the sector would be fully supported with forex and Malawians should no longer be subjected to supply disruption the long queues at filling stations.
"As of today all of you can testify to the efficiency of this arrangement in alleviating our fuel problems and I want to thank all stakeholders including Total Malawi for the contribution to this out turn," said the energy minister.
Total whose Headquarters is in France, operates in 130 countries in Africa with its regional office in South Africa.
It came to Malawi in 1963, a year before the country attained its independence.
Just recently, the company signed agreement with Airtel Malawi to enable its customers to pay for fuel and others services in all 55 Total service stations using Airtel Money.