Wed, 14 Feb 2018 10:58:44 +0000
BY SANDRA MACHIMA
ZAMBIA is on course in pursing the vision 2030 aggressively and within the new 7th National Development Plan towards improving the energy sector, South African based Zambian Energy expert Johnstone Chikwanda has observed.
Mr Chikwanda said it was imperative for government to come up with more innovate ways of resource mobilisation to multiply the efforts of Rural Electrification Authority (REA) in this regard within the frame work of energy reforms which were currently under way.
He said REA was doing well by connecting thousands of grass thatched households to solar power, noting it was clear that the State had put the Zambian energy sector on the correct path.
The energy expert said pushing for solar panel installations in more than one million rural households is labour intensive adding that it will create jobs and improve the life of the people.
Mr Chikwanda has been invited as one of the speakers at this year’s World Energy Council-Africa Region Premier gathering dubbed: “Africa Energy Indaba” billed for South Africa where participants would discuss business opportunities linked to energy efficiency.
He said the indaba will provide an opportunity to discuss the efficiency of various public support mechanisms and public-private partnerships across the continent as well as reviewing new data and the latest technological trends globally.
Mr Chikwanda explained that Africa’s power utilities were on a burning platform and caught up in what he termed as the web of energy trilemma, saying the cost of energy had continued to go up even as governments have been removing fuel and electricity subsidies.
“Now oil prices have come out of the doldrums and have spiked more than 20 percent in the last couple of months and will soon start to cause exogenous ripple effects in most African countries.
“I am extremely passionate about this sector because it is the engine for the global economy and Africa must continue to arise,” he said.
The Africa Energy Indaba Conference is the definitive energy conference for Africa providing an annual programme that shapes energy policy for the African continent, with discussion to key issues that impact the African Energy Sector on the outcomes of the 2018 Africa Energy ministerial roundtable.
The United Nations adopted UN Sustainable Development Goal Number 7 calls for universal access to clean, affordable and sustainable energy by 2030.