Malawi, Tanzania to revive lake dispute talks

Blantyre - Malawi and its northern neighbour Tanzania have agreed to revive talks to resolve a long-running border dispute, President Peter Mutharika said on Tuesday after meeting Tanzania's foreign minister in Lilongwe.

The two east African neighbours are at odds over the ownership of Lake Malawi which straddles both countries with Tanzania claiming the top half of Africa's third largest freshwater lake - a claim contested by Malawi.

"The mediation efforts will be resuscitated towards a logical conclusion of the Lake Malawi border dispute," Mutharika said in a statement.

Mediation to resolve the dispute has been stalled since 2012, but will be revived under the supervision of former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano.

Tanzanian foreign minister Augustine Mahiga told journalists after meeting Mutharika that "the lake issue has festered for some time", confirming the resumption of talks under Chissano.

The 54-year-old dispute stems from colonial-era border lines drawn around the 29 600 square kilometres of Lake Malawi.

Major tourist attraction 

The lake is in the Great Lakes system stretching along the East African Rift and is a major tourist attraction that straddles one third of Malawi.

Based on an 1890 colonial accord, Malawi claims ownership of the whole of the lake except for a portion controlled by Mozambique.

Tanzania insists that half the lake falls within its borders and blames maps drawn up by British and German authorities for the dispute.

"The British and the Germans left different kinds of maps that show the border in between," Mahiga said.

"It is not a new map, but it is an inherited map which I think needs clarification."

The border dispute resurfaced after Lilongwe in 2011 awarded British company Surestream Petroleum a licence to drill for oil and gas on the northern part of the lake.

Tanzania has in the past demanded that Malawi should halt exploration activities to allow for a diplomatic solution.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 1437 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 7937 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 1640 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.47
-2.2%
Rand - Pound
21.05
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
18.91
-0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.09
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.1%
Platinum
974.02
0.0%
Palladium
1,623.95
0.0%
Gold
1,865.16
0.0%
Silver
22.35
0.0%
Brent Crude
79.94
-2.8%
Top 40
74,082
+0.6%
All Share
80,241
+0.6%
Resource 10
75,186
+0.7%
Industrial 25
103,461
+0.8%
Financial 15
16,550
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE