World Bank grants 100 mln dollars to boost Zambia's energy sector-Xinhua

World Bank grants 100 mln dollars to boost Zambia's energy sector

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-03-18 21:22:00

LUSAKA, March 18 (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government has commended the World Bank for releasing 100 million U.S. dollars to support the country's energy sector.

The funds are part of a 700-million-dollar grant under phase one of the Zambia National Energy Advancement and Transformation (NEAT) program for the 2023-2033 period.

The approval of the funds would provide an immediate financial boost to the state power utility, Zesco Limited, and support the procurement of non-hydropower renewables at a critical time when Zambia is experiencing an electricity deficit due to drought, Finance and National Planning Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said Sunday.

The program aims to increase the financial sustainability, operational reliability and resilience of Zambia's electricity sector, he added.

"In the long run, the NEAT program will facilitate Zesco's return to financial sustainability, reduce its fiscal burden, attract private sector investment to enable new growth, and deliver more inclusive electrification and broader development countrywide," he noted.

The minister also said that the release of the funds demonstrates the World Bank's confidence in Zambia's strategic home-grown reforms and its recently strengthened public financial governance credentials.

Apart from supporting the power utility, the funds will also be used to operationalize the rural electrification fund, ensuring financial sustainability for capital expenditure for social objectives and increasing energy access to the country's outlying areas, Musokotwane said.