In a major development aimed at enhancing access to electricity across Zambia, ZESCO Limited has announced the revival of the electricity connection subsidy program. The reinstated program is set to facilitate 8,300 new electricity connections, benefitting both households and small-scale enterprises across the country.
The subsidy initiative is an integral part of the Electricity Service Access Project (ESAP), a strategic undertaking driven by the Government of the Republic of Zambia. Its primary objective is to expand electricity accessibility, particularly among rural communities. The Rural Electrification Authority and ZESCO Limited are playing pivotal roles as the main executing agencies for this ambitious project.
Launched in 2017, the ESAP comprised several key components, with Component A taking center stage. Component A featured two significant sub-components: Component Al, which focused on subsidy connections, and Component A2, centered around grid extension and enhancement. This endeavor received substantial support from the World Bank, amounting to USD 2 billion. The initial goal was to connect 22,000 low-income households and 1,000 medium-scale enterprises within a five-year span.
As of the conclusion of the subsidy project (Component Al) on June 15, 2022, an impressive total of 58,411 electricity connections had been established nationwide. This achievement reflects the dedication and success of the initiative in increasing electricity access to previously underserved regions.
The breakdown of electricity connections by province underscores the project’s widespread impact:
- Copperbelt: 1,848 connections
- North West: 3,130 connections (5%)
- Western: 3,640 connections
- Northern: 3,941 connections
- Lusaka: 359 connections
- Central: 5,409 connections
- Luapula: 7,959 connections (14%)
- Muchinga: 8,250 connections
- Southern: 8,930 connections (15%)
- Eastern: 9,936 connections
The reintroduction of the electricity connection subsidy by ZESCO Limited is poised to create a positive ripple effect across Zambia. It not only signifies a significant stride toward bridging the electricity accessibility gap but also emphasizes the commitment of both the government and the utility company to ensuring sustainable development in the energy sector.
The renewed initiative is expected to have a multifaceted impact, boosting economic activities for small-scale enterprises, improving the quality of life for households, and propelling Zambia’s journey toward a more electrified and prosperous future.