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More haste, less speed in Malawi?

Malawi hopes to emulate its eastern African neighbours by making big hydrocarbons discoveries but progress is slow

Agricultural revenues are falling and opportunities to diversify the economy are few, so Malawi is seeking to entice explorers to establish the potential of the country's hydrocarbons reserves. It hasn't gone as well as hoped. Serious investment has not blossomed and the government's licensing strategy has attracted criticism. Efforts to woo companies to the sector started at least a decade ago and gathered momentum with the amendment of oil-sector regulations and the designation of six exploration blocks in 2009. Prospecting licences, or stakes in them, were awarded over subsequent years to several low-profile companies, including South Africa's SacOil, UK-registered Surestream and three c

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