In a groundbreaking move announced on the sidelines of the Conference Of Parties (COP28) in Dubai, President Hakainde Hichilema revealed Zambia’s ambitious initiative to deploy mini-grids across the nation. This landmark program, a collaboration between the Zambian government and prominent partners, namely the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Energy Alliance For People and Planet, and Sustainable Energy For All, aims to revolutionize the country’s energy landscape.
During the announcement, President Hichilema emphasized the significance of collaborative efforts between local and foreign investors in propelling accelerated development. The mini-grid initiative is set to address energy accessibility challenges and stimulate growth in crucial sectors, including agriculture, energy, and rural development.
“We are pleased to embark on this transformative journey with the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Energy Alliance, and Sustainable Energy For All. This initiative symbolizes the power of international partnerships to drive positive change at the local level,” stated President Hichilema.
In recognition of the potential hurdles for smaller installations, the Zambian Government has taken proactive measures by passing a statutory instrument to streamline regulatory processes. This move is expected to reduce bureaucratic bottlenecks and facilitate the swift implementation of the mini-grid project.
Expressing gratitude to the President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Mr. Rajiv J. Shah, President Hichilema acknowledged the Foundation’s pivotal role in this significant endeavor. Mr. Shah, in turn, highlighted the Foundation’s commitment to the project, announcing the commencement with an initial deployment of 1400 mini-grids and outlining a long-term expansion plan.
“The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to partner with Zambia in this initiative. Our goal is to bring sustainable and reliable electricity to communities, unlocking new opportunities for economic development and improved quality of life,” affirmed Mr. Shah.
President Hichilema echoed the sentiment, noting that the mini-grids will not only address energy challenges but also catalyze economic growth in key sectors. Looking ahead, President Hichilema outlined the ambitious trajectory of the project, projecting an expansion to over 5,000 mini-grids within the next five years.
The launch of the mini-grid initiative marks a significant milestone in Zambia’s pursuit of sustainable development and energy accessibility. As the project unfolds, it is expected to contribute not only to energy transformation but also to the overall socio-economic advancement of the nation.