Puma Energy Zambia Plc, a leading player in the oil marketing sector, marked a transformative milestone today with the inauguration of its inaugural customized service station aimed at serving rural communities. The station, located in Chifunabuli District, Luapula Province, is set to bring essential services closer to underserved regions.
The event, graced by the presence of Minister of Energy, Honourable Peter Chibwe Kapala, MP, on behalf of President Hakainde Hichilema, showcased Puma Energy’s commitment to leveraging public-private partnerships for inclusive economic growth.
Representing the President, Minister of Energy Honourable Peter Chibwe Kapala read a statement commending Puma Energy’s investment in rural areas:
“This commendable investment that has been made by Puma Energy is in line with my Government’s aspirations to foster inclusive economic growth in rural areas. This service station now stands as testimony to what can happen if we are innovative, bold and ambitious and leverage on the potential that public-private partnerships offer. The Puma Energy Chifunabuli Rural Service Station is a shining example of how private enterprises can positively impact rural communities by addressing their unique needs and challenges.”
President Hichilema expressed gratitude to Puma Energy’s management and staff for their progressive investment in Chifunabuli, stressing the significance of such initiatives in fostering development.
The Chifunabuli service station is just the beginning of Puma Energy’s broader rural station program for Zambia, which envisions the establishment of 25 such stations across the country over the next three years. These stations aim to enhance energy access and offer ancillary banking and healthcare services in underserved rural regions, with plans for expansion across Africa.
Fadi Mitri, Puma Energy’s Head of Africa, highlighted the company’s commitment to uplift rural communities by extending essential services. The initiative aligns with Zambia’s energy reforms launched in 2021, targeting energy access improvements in remote districts.
Mitri said, “Puma Energy’s rural station program is a reflection of this belief and our dedication in supporting the Government’s efforts to encourage private sector participation in the development agenda of the country and to improving energy access across Zambia. As Puma Energy, we are proud to be making a real difference in the lives of the people of Zambia, and in particular, the people of Chifunabuli.”
The Chifunabuli service station, powered by solar energy, is set to provide much-needed resources to the local community. Beyond offering fuel and lubricants, the station will host banking services through a partnership with Zambia National Commercial Bank Plc (ZANACO) and a pharmacy.
Chifunabuli, previously lacking a service station, required residents to travel substantial distances for fuel and banking services. Puma Energy’s initiative aims to alleviate such challenges and foster economic opportunities for local communities.
The successful launch of the Chifunabuli Rural Service Station is the result of strong collaboration between Puma Energy and various stakeholders. The company plans to extend this innovative model with the upcoming opening of another facility in Samfya District. Additionally, Puma Energy aims to provide Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for domestic cooking, promoting clean energy use and environmental conservation.