LUSAKA – Zambia and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to invest $2 billion in the construction of solar power plants, which will more than double the nation’s current generation capacity.
According to a statement posted on President Hakainde Hichilema‘s Facebook page, the joint venture between state-owned power utility Zesco and a UAE government-owned renewable energy corporation, Masdar, aims to create solar power projects totalling 2,000 megawatts.
Hichilema stated that the installation of 500 megawatts will be the first step of the construction process.
“This is not a loan, but a capital investment in which the Zambian people would be partners in shareholding through Zesco,” he declared.
The installed energy producing capacity of 3,500 megawatts belongs to Zambia, the continent’s second-largest copper producer.
Since the water levels in the Kariba Dam, which Zambia and the neighbouring country of Zimbabwe utilise to generate electricity, severely dropped, the nation is currently experiencing rolling blackouts that can last up to 12 hours each day.
UPND youth member Joseph Kalimbwe was excited with the latest development and he took to Twitter to express optimism that Lusaka is stepping in the right direction.
“Following the loadshedding which began on 4th January 2023, the President yesterday, led a team to sign a $2 billion agreement with the UAE to build solar plants in Zambia – a long term plan to end load shedding once and for all.”– Joseph Kalimbwe (UPND)