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Zambia, European Commission sign energy deal

ZAMBIA and the European Commission (EC) have signed a €65 million financing agreement for the Lusaka Transmission and Distribution Rehabilitation Project.
The agreement was signed on Thursday in Brussels, Belgium, between Minister of Finance Felix Mutati and European Commissioner for International Development Neven Minica.
Ministry of Finance head of media and public relations Chileshe Kandeta announced the deal in a statement yesterday.
Speaking during a consultative meeting after the signing ceremony, Mr Minica said the commission is delighted to maintain its partnership with Zambia.
He said it is time the world stopped looking at Africa as an aid recipient but a formidable partner in development and a platform for stronger global trade.
“We are happy with the progress Zambia has made in project identification and preparation but would like to see a greater pace in absorption of the 11th European Development Fund [€484 million] resources,” Mr Minica said.
He said the European Commission is committed to investing in renewable energy in Africa and is targeting the production of five gigawatts (5GW) across the continent to improve access to electricity and clean energy.
Mr Mutati thanked the European Commission for the €65 million support provided under the National Indicative Programme (2014-2020).
He said the money will finance the connection of more than 63,000 new customers to clean, reliable and affordable energy services.