The EU has signed a €65m grant with Zambia to enhance the East African country’s access to reliable, clean, and cost-effective energy.
With the grant, Zambia will rehabilitate and expand low-voltage distribution networks in areas of Lusaka City that have a high-population density and low-income.
Electricity services are expected to be supplied to at least 63,000 households, to social and public infrastructure, and to micro small enterprises (MSE).
International development and cooperation commissioner Neven Mimica said: “This €65m programme demonstrates the continued commitment of the EU in collaboration with European Financial Institutions (EFI) to provide much-needed capital investment for basic infrastructure development to improve the livelihood and social status of poor communities in Zambia.
“The rehabilitation of the low-voltage distribution network and new connections will allow for the provision of reliable and affordable energy services and economic empowerment.
“The programme will support the implementation of the European external investment plan, which prioritises socio-economic development through infrastructure and energy in particular.”
The energy access enhancement project is co-financed with the European Investment Bank (EIB), which offers loans worth €15m.
Besides providing rehabilitation and expansion of the distribution network, the project will also feature a connection-fee subsidy scheme to add new household connections.
In addition, the programme takes measures to promote productive uses of electricity by women and MSEs, enabling access to micro credit lines and training in business management and entrepreneurship.