Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa His Excellency Mr Emmanuel Mwamba has underscored the need for all stakeholders to play their role in ensuring that the 10,000 megawatts power deficit in the southern region is addressed.
Speaking during a meeting organised by the Zambia -South Africa Business Forum and the ministry of Energy Office for Promoting Private Power Investment OPPI for power producers.Mr Mwamba noted that the private sector needs to take up the role of driving the energy sector and taking advantage of the investment enabling environment that has been created in Zambia as government works on diversifying power sources.
He said It is not always that government has money to address some problems but private sector ideas can actualize solutions to the energy needs of the country and the region, adding that it was up to all the stakeholders to work together in ensuring that the projects are actualized.
“I have attended many meetings where our leaders have talked about industrialization and development, they want free movement of people and free movement of goods and services and somehow it remains like mere rhetoric. So it is up to you the private sector, our office and government to find ways of ensuring that these aspirations are actualized.” He said.
Mr Mwamba added that if all the projects planned by the players in the room took off, they would address the 10 thousand megawatts power deficit in the SADC region and beyond.
South Africa as a country invests up to significant portion of funds of its national budget into the region and the trouble is we never pick up that money, for their strategic reasons, they want to invest in our energy sector to ensure that we are energy secure and our transport corridors are clear and you as investors can take advantage of that money being given to Africa for the African Union integration and also to ease trade facilitation for South African businesses. The High Commissioner said.
He noted that Zambia has sufficient water for hydro power generation, sufficient sunshine for solar, a lot of coal and many natural resources to provide alternative sources of energy. “So there is a lot of opportunity and diversity for investment in Zambia’s energy sector, take advantage of it!” He said.
The Zambian envoy to South Africa is in the country with a delegation of about 25 South African businesses interested in investing in Zambia in sectors such as mining, energy, rail transport among others.