U.S. Embassy and WECREATE Host Fourth Economic Discussion on Power

LUSAKA, Zambia — In coordination with Women’s Entrepreneurial Centers of Resources, Education, Access, and Training for Economic Empowerment in Zambia (WECREATE Zambia), the Embassy of the United States of America to the Republic of Zambia was pleased to hold our fourth panel discussion on Zambia’s economy, with this session focusing on Zambia’s power/energy sector. The discussion was part of a series of panel discussions that the U.S. Embassy and the WECREATE Zambia Center are holding to support Zambia’s economic growth and prosperity. The panel discussion took place on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at the U.S. Embassy.

The event featured presentations from an esteemed panel of leaders on the challenges and potential for economic development in Zambia. Panelists included U.S. Ambassador Eric Schultz, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Water Development Director of Energy Oscar Kalumiana, Swedish Ambassador to Zambia Henrik Cederin, Western Power Company Chairman Sipho Phiri, Copperbelt Energy Corporation Managing Director Owen Silavwe, and Africa Carbon Credit Exchange Chairman Professor Lloyd Chingambo.

During his remarks, U.S. Ambassador Schultz said the purpose of the economic policy discussions was to think of what policy changes Zambia could consider in the light of the energy deficit countrywide that negatively affect the mining, agriculture, tourism, and trade sectors.

For its part, the U.S. government is committed to helping Zambia achieve energy security, through the Power Africa initiative, which the U.S. government co-leads with the Swedish government in partnership with the World Bank and African Development Bank, Ambassador Schultz said.

“Through Power Africa, we are providing technical assistance, financing support, and transaction advisory services to promote private sector investment in clean, renewable power generation and to expand access to electricity throughout the country,” said Ambassador Schultz.

He told the panel discussion audience that with the right policy and investment climate, Zambia has the potential to become an energy powerhouse—one that meets its national energy requirements and exports to the entire Southern African Development Community. A more enabling environment for private sector investment is the key to making this happen.