U.S.-Zambia Partnership Set to Boost Rural Electrification

Five-year cooperative agreement expected to spur economic development through increased access to reliable and affordable electricity.

The United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has signed an agreement with National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) International to support widespread electrification and economic development in rural communities in Zambia.

The $5.3 million Zambia Electric Cooperative Development Program launched November 16 as part of the Zambian government’s initiative to achieve universal electricity access by 2030. Outside of Zambia, NRECA International has established more than 250 rural electric cooperatives, which provide more than 180 million people with access to reliable and affordable electricity. NRECA International’s support of local partners to adapt the cooperative business model to suit local conditions has proven effective to improve access to electricity, which results in increased economic growth, better healthcare services, and higher quality education.

The U.S. government will provide technical assistance through NRECA to Zambian communities to form electric cooperatives.  Electric cooperatives provide electricity for household and productive use to communities that currently do not have access to electricity.

The Zambia Electric Cooperative Development Program aligns with the Zambian government’s priority of increasing access to electricity through scaling up investments in off-grid green energy solutions.  This new program aligns with Zambia’s Cooperative Development Strategy promoting and facilitating the formation and growth of cooperatives across all sectors.