HONE SIAME, Lusaka
THE Public Policy Institute of Zambia (PPIZ) has called on foreign investors to take advantage of the upward adjustment of electricity tariffs to invest in the energy sector to supplement Government’s efforts of transforming Zambia into a regional electricity hub.
The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) on Wednesday approved the proposed 75 percent electricity tariff hike by Zesco Limited to be effected in two phases, with an initial 50 percent taking effect on Monday next week, while the remaining 25 percent will take effect on September 1.
PPIZ president Febian Chewe said in an interview yesterday that foreign investors should be motivated by Government’s move to migrate to cost reflective electricity tariffs, to set up power generation plants.
Mr Chewe said the bold decision by Government to implement cost reflective tariffs should be supported by all Zambians as it will help reduce the power deficit the country has been grappling with.
“Government needs to be commended for taking this bold decision to migrate to cost reflective electricity tariffs. Foreign investors should seize this opportunity to invest in the energy sector,” Mr Chewe said.
He said Zambia is destined to become an electricity powerhouse in the region following the long-awaited landmark decision by the ERB to approve an upward adjustment of tariffs.
Mr Chewe said the move will spur economic development as the country will have enough power to support productive sectors to operate at full capacity.
He said a viable energy sector is key to the acceleration of sustainable national economic development.
He said the problem of load shedding will be a thing of the past once the energy sector attracts more local and foreign investments, to boost the country’s power generation capacity.
Mr Chewe said Zambians will have to endure pain in the short term but will eventually reap immense benefits in the long term.
He cautioned individuals not to politicise the matter as the move taken by government is in the interest of the nation.