President Edgar Lungu has advised the private sector to utilise the conducive environment created by the government, by investing in renewable energy projects.
President Lungu urged the private sector to use the renewable energy feed-in tariff strategy, which is an initiative aimed at accelerating private investments in small-and-medium sized renewable energy projects, in order to increase the number of players in the electricity sub-sector.
The Head of State said this would ultimately increase access to clean energy services in the country.
“Further, the government, with support from the world bank, has developed a national renewable energy resource map focusing on solar and wind.
“ Let me take this opportunity to urge our private sector to take advantage of such government initiatives to make investments in renewable energy,” he said.
President Lungu reiterated that the future was green and government did not wish for Zambia to remain behind, so efforts were being made to improve the resilience of power supply in the country.
President Lungu said this in a speech read for him by National Development Planning Minister Alexander Chiteme at the media launch of the Zambezi Live Light Festival at Avani Hotel in Livingstone.
The festival initiated by Lusaka based Lawyer, Franco Kapijimpanga is set to foster a cultural shift in social behaviours and practices that drive climate change; environmental degradation and pollution, and will take place in June this year.
And President Lungu said climate change was real and its negative effects affected everyone.
He said that was why government was providing decisive leadership to address the scourge and put the economy back on a sustainable growth trajectory.
“In this regard, government recognises that climate change is a development challenge and as such, is mainstreaming it in all development processes of the country.
“ This is because mainstreaming is the initial step required to enable climate change take prominence in the development processes of our country,” he said.
President Lungu also noted that the objective of holding the Zambezi Live Light Festival, being to promote green environmental solutions, was consistent with government policy of protecting the environment and charting a green growth pathway.
“The holding of the festival is a symbol and reminder that we are part of nature. It is also a barometer as well as litmus test of our willingness to connect to the global fight against climate change,” he said.
And speaking earlier, initiator of the Zambezi Live Light Festival, Franco Kapijimpanga said Zambia should take the lead and not wait for other countries in the region act against climate change.
Mr. Kapijimpanga said Zambia had an opportunity to step up and lead the region to a greener and more sustainable future.
“We have been given this beautiful planet but in our quest to industrialize and modernize, we have been continuously taking from mother earth, and not allowing her to regenerate…we have destroyed forests, rivers, oceans and need to reverse the damage,” he said.
It is anticipated that the holding of the three-day Zambezi Live Light Festival from June 11 to 13, 2021 will raise awareness about climate change and the need for green solutions to economic challenges.
The event will also generate additional revenue and create jobs particularly in the tourism sector which is one of the hardest hit by the covid-19 pandemic.