United States and Sweden Join in Support of Private Investment in Zambia’s Renewable Energy Sector

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 10, 2015
Chando Mapoma
+2601 211 357299

LUSAKA -- As part of United States and Swedish commitment to Power Africa, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) are partnering with a local financial institution to support the development of the renewable energy and agriculture sectors in Zambia.

USAID and Sida are jointly unlocking $8 million in private sector lending for renewable energy production and agricultural sector investment across the country.  This financing will better position farmers and landowners to invest in renewable energy technologies, such as biodigesters that can power a milk chiller, or in solar-powered devices that improve irrigation, increasing the amount of harvest and yields.

Off-grid and small-scale energy projects are bringing major benefits to rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa.  “Connecting everyone in Africa to national electricity grids is a laudable goal, but the reality is that it will not be realized any time soon,” said Henrik Cederin, Ambassador of Sweden to Zambia.  “Off-grid energy solutions, such as solar and biogas units, will play a major role in the future energy mix in Africa, providing millions of people outside urban hubs with cost-efficient access to basic energy services and opportunities to build and grow businesses while enabling communities to extend the reach of education and health care.”

Power Africa, initially launched by United States President Barack Obama in 2013, is a multi-donor initiative that leverages resources of many governments, donor agencies, and private sector stakeholders.  The goal of Power Africa is to double the number of people in Africa with access to electricity.  U.S. Ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz said, “The United States and Sweden, through our Power Africa partnership, are committed to supporting Zambia to increase access to clean, renewable, and efficient energy and to realize its goal of access to electricity for all Zambians.”

This initiative is part of the ongoing partnership between the United States and Sweden to deepen collaboration with key partners in the energy sector.  U.S. and Swedish engagement and financial commitments will help attract additional private sector investment that is essential to increasing energy access in Africa.