Minister of Energy engages MPs on the Rural Electrification Programme

Minister of Energy Hon. Eng. Peter Kapala, MP, on, Tuesday 15th March 2022 engaged Members of Parliament on the Government’s intention to scale up the programme of rural electrification in rural areas through the extension of the Grid Network and deployment of off-grid electrification solutions such as mini-grids, solar home systems and provision of solar water pumping technologies. He said this during the opening of the symposium organized for Members of Parliament on the Rural Electrification Programme at Parliament Buildings in Lusaka. Hon. Kapala stated that the symposium has been organized to serve as a platform for sharing information on the Rural Electrification Programme as well as discussing sustainable solutions for rural electrification.

He further, stated that this is particularly so in the wake of the Government’s intended innovative approach of taking development closer to the people through the constituency development fund (CDF), which has now become an integral component of rural development. Hon. Kapala also affirmed that Government will pursue policies, plans, and programmes to address the challenges that are prevailing in the electricity sub-sector to enhance the success of the Rural Electrification Programme with the increased CDF.

He urged MPs to prioritize rural electrification to complement the government’s funding to the Rural Electrification Authority for rural electrification in rural constituencies. And First Deputy Speaker Hon. Malungo A Chisangano, MP said electricity is a costly venture, more so when it is targeted in rural areas which are off or far from the national grid and given this challenge the country must embrace other sources of energy to speed up the implementation of the Rural Electrification Programme. 

The Hon. Madam First Deputy Speaker also pointed out that a good number of constituencies in Zambia are found in rural areas which have no access to electricity. As a result, most parts of Zambia are lagging in terms of development compared to urban areas.

Additionally, she mentioned that failure to improve access to electricity in rural communities may jeopardize the country’s ability to meet its aspirations, for instance attaining the status of ‘Middle Income Nation by the year 2030’, as espoused in the country’s Vision 2030.

The Hon. Madam First Deputy Speaker, therefore, stated that she did not doubt in her mind that all members of Parliament desire that, such benefits accrue to their people in their various constituencies and that at the end of the symposium, will find ways of how Members of Parliament can collaborate with the Rural Electrification Authority to hasten the implementation of the Rural Electrification Programme. The Rural Electrification Authority symposium for Members of Parliament is to be held from Tuesday 15th to Thursday 17th March 2022 at Parliament Buildings. (Pictures courtesy of Namasiku Mubiana)

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Pictures courtesy of Namasiku Mubiana