Zambia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Joint Development Agreement (JDA) which will see ZESCO, the country’s state-owned electricity company, partner with MASDAR, a key investment funding entity of the UAE.
The two parties will form a joint venture to develop and deploy large-scale solar projects across Zambia, with an estimated value of $2 billion.
This is not a loan, but a capital injection in which the Zambian people, through ZESCO, will be partners in shareholding. The joint venture aims to initially develop 500MW of solar power, with a further 2,000MW planned thereafter.
This project is of historical significance as it will bring in much-needed additional power capacity to the country, which has only developed 3,500MW of electricity in the 58 years since its independence.
President Hakainde Hichilema commented that this remarkable investment will bring in the much-needed 2,000MW within a shorter period of time.
The President also highlighted the renewed confidence that investors have in the sound leadership of the country, resulting in more players expressing interest in participating in the country’s planned diversified energy mix, which will include solar, wind, and hydro power.