Friday, February 23, 2024

Development Bank of Zambia and ZANACO Partner to Provide $2.5 Million for Renewable Energy Projects for SMEs

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The Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) and the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) have launched the Development Bank of Zambia/Rural Electrification Authority Off-Grid Loan Facility (OGLF) to support private sector renewable energy projects in Zambia. The US$26.5 million World Bank-funded project will provide funds to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) so that they can shift to alternative renewable energy sources like solar energy to power their industries and businesses. The funds will be available through the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO), the partner retail bank.

The Electricity Services Access Project (ESAP) Credit Line Facility, the first credit facility specifically targeted for renewable energy projects by DBZ, is an important step in the government’s effort to increase energy access. The project’s ultimate goal is to improve access to electricity in Zambia’s rural areas. In a keynote address at the Loan Grid Facility launch, a government official praised the project as a boost for private sector-led electrification within rural communities and stated that the initiative would assist the private sector in electrifying rural villages.

The DBZ Acting Managing Director, Maybin Muyawala, stated that the initiative is one of many innovations the bank has embarked on to develop and provide financial solutions to social, economic and environmental problems. The World Bank Representative, Christopher Saunders, stated that the Bank will continue to support the government and the private sector in resolving challenges like the lack of adequate energy. ZANACO Chief Executive Officer Mrs. Mukwandi Chibesakunda stated that ZANACO is committed to supporting the government’s target to electrify 1,217 rural growth centers by 2030 and other projects that will benefit from financing mechanisms like the off-grid loan facility.

High-ranking executives from REA, World Bank, ZANACO, and private sector representatives were present at the event. The New Dawn Government has been investing and diversifying the energy sector to ensure sufficient power generation for the country’s economic growth. The launch of the OGLF and the ESAP Credit Line Facility is a major step towards achieving this goal.

In conclusion, the OGLF and ESAP Credit Line Facility are game-changers in addressing social, economic and environmental problems by providing financing solutions to the renewable energy sector. The funds will help SMEs access renewable energy sources and improve access to electricity in Zambia’s rural areas. The government, World Bank, DBZ, ZANACO, and other private sector players are committed to making this initiative a success.

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