On Friday, Zambia’s President, Edgar Lungu, announced that the country plans to become a net exporter of power within the next year.
With southern Africa grappling to balance power generation with the rapidly increasing demand, the Government of Zambia is looking for solutions.
Lungu said: “Let me assure the nation that my government has rapidly moved to address this problem.”
Lungu added that the government will continue to invest in the energy sector and stimulate private investment to help resolve the country’s energy deficit.
Reuters reported that, investment in energy and infrastructure that encouraged growth would benefit Zambia, and the country did not risk falling into a debt trap.
Lungu said: “Our debt is around 40% of gross domestic product. The nation has borrowed mainly to finance roads, energy and infrastructure as a long-term investment that will spur economic development.”
Increasing power generation
Last month, the Zambian minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma said that the country expects to add 1,200MW of solar power to the national grid by August 2016, the Zambia Daily Mail reported.
Yaluma told the media that government is in the process of negotiating with renewable energy independent power producers (IPPs) to achieve a cost reflective tariff.
The southern African country is currently experiencing a power deficit of 560MW, which is having a negative impact on the country’s copper mine production—Zambia is the second largest copper producer on the continent.
Zambia reduces power supply to intensive users
According to Reuters, the Zambian economy is expected to grow under 5% in 2015, as a result of the current power shortage, which has effected production output at the local mines.
In August, Zambian power providers and local mining companies agreed to cut power supply to local mines by 30% as the country is facing a significant power shortage.
Africa’s second-biggest copper producer will be supplied with 70% of locally produced power and will import 30% back-up power at a high cost.