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Zambia off grid investor forum to be hosted in Lusaka

May 11, 2018

By  Wallace Mawire

The Alliance for Rural Electrification  (ARE) and the Global Off Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) will collaborate to host the Zambia off grid investor forum in Lusaka, Zambia on 12 to 13 June, 2018 to build partnerships around off-grid energy solutions in Zambia.

GOGLA made the announcement of the forum at the two day Sustainable Energy for All forum in Lisbon, Portugal on 2 to 3 May, 2018.

Leaders from government, business, civil society and international organizations  gathered  in Lisbon for the fourth Sustainable Energy for All Forum. The  2018 Forum under the theme  “Leaving No One Behind”, took  take place at a pivotal juncture for accelerating progress on global sustainable energy goals  under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 and the Paris Climate Agreement. At stake wre significant populations that are missing out on education, health, jobs and broader economic opportunities because they do not have access to clean, affordable energy. Closing these energy gaps  especially for ‘last mile’ populations  was the forum‘s imperative.

 

The Forum, hosted by the two leading global off-grid industry associations, convenes developers, financiers, regulators and international development partners to build partnerships around off-grid energy solutions in Zambia.

Presentations by international experts are expected to  inform about the latest developments and opportunities in Zambia’s off-grid market as well as introducing various upcoming international support programs.

The B2B matchmaking session are also expected to offer structured networking to identify business opportunities and future partners in Zambia’s off-grid markets. Participants will also have the chance to take part in various side-events, such as trainings and a workshop on community-driven business models, according to the organisers.

Delegates will also learn first-hand about the EU’s upcoming financial support instruments to helping their  projects reach financial close. This includes the ElectriFi Country Window Zambia and the IAEREEP Grant Facility and  discover one of the most primed off-grid energy markets in Africa, where 95% of the rural population have no access to modern energy services.  

 It is reported that  Zambia’s electricity sector is dominated by hydropower. However, with declining technology costs, there is potential for expansion of other renewable energies, including solar PV. Still, access to electricity is limited: only 31% of the total population has access to electricity.

The organisers of the forum say that  off-grid energy solutions can increase the efforts already undertaken by the Government of Zambia to keep its official target of achieving 51% rural electricity access by 2030. They have the potential to foster development opportunities to the 1.8 million rural households who currently do not have access to electricity. Zambia fulfills the basic eligibility criteria for these decentralized energy solutions. 95% of its rural population has no access to modern energy and it is highly dispersed (around 20 habitants per square meter). At the same time, expansion of the national utility grid to rural areas is neither economically nor technically feasible in the short-term and mid-term.

 

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