Zambia has clinched a two billion United States Dollars investment in the energy sector that will bring on board an additional 2000 megawatts of electricity.
The deal which is the first mega single investment in electricity generation in the history of this country will be implemented in phases with the first phase of 500 megawatts starting soon.
President Hakainde Hichilema who is in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the invitation of that country’s Head of State, his Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to attend the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the Joint Development Agreement (JDA).
The MoU and the JDA which is between Zambia and the UAE is aimed at facilitating massive investment in renewable energy such as solar.
Minister of Energy Peter Kapala and ZESCO Managing Director Victor Mapani signed on behalf of the Zambian government.
Based on the MoU, ZESCO and Masdar, which is a funding entity of the United Arab Emirates will form a joint venture in developing and deploying large scale solar projects across Zambia.
President Hichilema said the historical significance of this project is that since independence, the country had only developed 3,500 megawatts of electricity.
“This remarkable investment shall bring in the much needed 2000 megawatts within a shortest period of time,’’ Mr Hichilema noted.
He added that with increased electricity supply, citizens shall be assured of more accelerated economic development.
The President further noted that the signing of the MoU and the JDA was a firm attestation of the renewed confidence that investors have in the leaders of the country.
In a related development, President Hakainde Hichilema held talks with an International Holding Company (IHC) based in Abu Dhabi as his administration seeks ways of exploiting the value chain in its mineral resources.
President Hichilema observed that the approach that IHC has of using its investment in the mining sector to uplift the living standards of the people in the communities it is working from sits in well with his administration’s objectives.
He noted that Zambia was endowed with a lot of mineral resources that can help better the standard of living of the people if value was added.
Mr Hichilema said his administration was tired of exploiting minerals and selling them in their raw form without any value addition.
“From what you have been doing, my administration is eager to explore ways of collaboration if you will be willing to come and invest in our country,” President Hichilema told the delegation.
And IHC Board Chairperson Ali Rashed Alrashdi said his company has various business interests in a number of countries and has the capacity to finance projects and add value to the minerals.
He said his team was eager to explore areas of possible collaboration with the Zambia administration.
IHC is an Abu Dhabi based holding company that invests in diversified global sectors, enhancing social lives and driving economic development and growth.