On Monday, Standard Chartered, a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, announced its partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to deliver a term loan worth $60 million to Zambia’s Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO).

Standard Chartered invests in power grid

According to the Bank, this is one of the largest facilities that has been delivered within President Obama’s Power Africa partnership since the campaign’s launch in 2013.

This investment is a commitment to bridge Africa’s power gap by facilitating, coordinating and arranging transactions which boost the capacity of national power grids and access to electricity across Africa, the Bank said in a statement.

“The loan will finance capital expenditure tor ZESCO’s Lusaka Transmission and Distribution Rehabilitation Project (LTDRP) as well as provide bridge financing to facilitate new connections to the grid,” the Bank noted.

ZESCO’s Managing Director, Victor Mundende said: “Part of ZESCO’s strategic plan is to improve the quality of electricity and enhance connections to the national grid.

“USAID and Standard Chartered’s support has already delivered more than 15,000 new power connections.  Furthermore, some of the funds provided will be used for other scheduled power system upgrades, contributing to new and existing connections to homes and businesses across the country.

“ZESCO remains committed to meeting its aspirations of electrifying 60% of Zambia by 2030.”

USAID/Zambia Mission Director, Michael Yates, added: “Power Africa is a broad partnership which aims to boost economic development, by providing access to electricity to homes and businesses across Africa.

“This is one of our largest commitments in Africa to date, and will enable us to meet a critical need for a quarter of a million Zambians and the economy as a whole.”

Bank confirms commitment

Andrew Okai, CEO of Standard Chartered Zambia, commented: “By using our strengths in structuring financial solutions which promote economically enhancing partnerships and improve the lives of individuals, Standard Chartered can demonstrate our promise to be Here for good.

“This is the Bank’s second Power Africa partnership to benefit Zambia, with the first being Standard Chartered’s Private Equity investment in Zambian Energy Corporation.”

Newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Group’s Corporate & Institutional Banking division, Simon Cooper, joined the signing ceremony in Lusaka, during his first Africa roadshow since joining the Bank earlier this year, the Bank highlighted.

Cooper explained: “This transaction correlates directly with ‘Energy & Climate Change’ - the central theme for African Development Bank’s AGM which was hosted in Lusaka, Zambia this last week.

“Africa accounts for around a sixth of the world’s population, but only generates 4% of its electricity.  Through our commitment to Power Africa partnerships - such as the one we have officiated with ZESCO - Standard Chartered will continue to support infrastructure development which provides a solid platform for long term economic growth.”