AMDA signs MoU with REA to promote minigrids and decentralized utilities in Zambia
The Africa Minigrid Developers Association (AMDA) and the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) Zambia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at promoting minigrids and decentralized utilities for rural electrification, associated strategies and business needs to ensure sector growth.
The MOU establishes a framework governing how AMDA and REA will cooperate to support private sector minigrid financing, policy, and deployment across Zambia; and establish the manner in which the parties will collaborate effectively championing electricity uptake in rural communities.
The proposed areas of collaboration include:
- Grid Integration, Expansion and Planning: The Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP) will provide a guide in site identification and planning, thereby avoiding duplication of service provision;
- Research and Information Sharing: provision and establishing of minigrid market data or research findings with input from other stakeholders and businesses through various platforms and innovation labs such as key costs, policy solutions, funding, timelines, and service data that is essential in decision making; and
- Policy, Legislative and Regulations review and development: promote and foster stakeholder engagement in policy, legislation and regulations in line with new developments in the sector relating to rural electrification in order to enhance the process and share experiences from across the continent and the world at large.
The signing of the MOU signifies the importance of both the Public and Private Sectors’ concerted efforts aimed at increasing access to electricity services in rural areas in Zambia, with an immediate focus on improving regulations for the mini grid sector, inclusion of the private sector in the national planning and economic recovery from the pandemic of COVID-19. AMDA Chief Executive Officer Jessica Stephens said that the MoU would help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in achieving universal electrification.
“AMDA is committed to working with REA and other governments across the continent to support universal electrification and the elimination of energy poverty. This MOU is the first step in what we hope will be a fruitful relationship, working together to address the challenges of rural electrification through the growth of the minigrid market. We look forward to supporting a future that ensures all Zambians have access to clean, reliable access to energy,” said Jessica Stephens, AMDA’s Chief Executive Officer.
The MOU will further support the Government of Zambia in achieving Sustainable Development Goal number 7 (SDG7) focusing on universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 in order to ensure universal electrification for all Zambians. REA Chief Executive Officer Engineer Clement Silavwe is confident that the collaboration will increase the Authority’s footprint in renewable energy space, specifically off grid.
“REA is creating synergies with organisations such as AMDA that are working towards ending energy poverty. This collaboration will provide a platform in which both institutions will share knowledge and leverage on each other’s expertise to enhance service delivery in renewable energy, and increase access to electricity for rural communities,” said Engineer Silavwe.