KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
WITH various regulatory and policy reviews being put in place in the energy sector, Zambia is poised to be an investment destination in sub-Saharan Africa, Government has said.
Minister of Energy David Mabumba said despite having the potential to attract investment, Zambia’s energy sector has over the years remained stagnant due to low and unattractive electricity tariffs.
Speaking during the launch of the Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) energy policy reform report yesterday, Mr Mabumba said it is for this reason that Government decided to review the electricity tariffs to enable private sector investment in the energy sector.
PMRC has launched the energy policy reform report on the Impact of Removal of Electricity Subsidies on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and Poor Households.
”Zambia was among countries with the lowest tariffs in the region, and these tariffs were unable to attract investors. As Government we have begun a journey to revise the tariffs and this will make Zambia one of the most attractive countries that will attract and enable the private sector to invest,” Mr Mabumba said.
Earlier, PMRC board chairperson Margaret Mwanakatwe said the energy sector in sub-Saharan Africa offers a unique combination of transformative potential and attractive investment opportunities that need further exploitation.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said on Zambia’s economic development agenda, lack of reliable electricity supply poses immense challenges for the economy and consumers.
She said electricity in Zambia remains a valuable input in the production of goods and services, and any increases affect consumers directly and indirectly.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said sub-Saharan Africa is starved of electricity and that Zambia’s pursuit of a self-sustaining energy sector presents an opportunity, following the removal of subsidies.