LUSAKA, November 5, 2018 – The Government of Zambia began preparation of the National Electrification Program in Lusaka on 31st October 2018 at a reception opened by the Minister of Energy, Honorable Matthew Nkhuwa. A one-day workshop was organized to bring together sector stakeholders to discuss the works to be carried out over the next twelve months. The National Electrification Program is an integrated approach to electrification that will define the role of all stakeholders in the implementation and financing of universal electricity access in Zambia.
Increasing access to electricity is critical to fostering strong and sustainable economic growth for the Zambian society. The Government has set up ambitious targets for electricity access as outlined in Vision 2030.
“Through government leadership, the National Electrification Program will align electrification targets with national priorities. It will provide a clear focus and broad scope for all cooperating partners and stakeholders to participate in our country’s energy sector growth,” said Zambia’s Minister of Energy, Hon. Matthew Nkhuwa.
The reception and workshop were attended by public sector, private sector, and cooperating partners. The government’s leadership in the initiative was recognized by all the stakeholders.
“A necessary condition for any country to overcome electrification challenges and expedite progress towards universal access is strong government initiative and committed leadership. Today, we are very excited to see that the Government of Zambia through the Ministry of Energy is taking the lead and initiating discussions among stakeholders to prepare the National Electrification Program,” said Ms. Wendy Hughes, Practice Manager of Energy global practice of the World Bank.
A one-day workshop which was hosted by the Ministry of Energy convened senior officials from Government, ZESCO, the Rural Electrification Authority, civil society, the private sector, and cooperating partners to discuss government’s led process to develop a roadmap to achieve universal electricity access in Zambia. At the workshop , Government presented the electrification challenges, heard from sector participants, and gathered a living body of practical knowledge drawing from local cooperating partners and global experiences of design and implementation of robust electrification programs. The workshop presented the scope and timeline of activities that will feed into the National Electrification Program.
Over the next 12 months, the Ministry of Energy will lead the energy sector through a comprehensive process to redefine electrification targets, clarify the roles of the sector’s main agencies, and identify the essential investments for public, private, and cooperating partner financing. The Ministry of Energy is developing a geospatial modeling tool to optimize the rollout of grid, mini-grid, and off-grid technologies to provide least cost electricity connections to all Zambians as fast as possible. Further, the Ministry of Energy is also undertaking an analysis to anticipate and address key bottlenecks to electrification. This will include a review of institutional responsibilities for planning, implementing, financing, and monitoring electrification.