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02 September 2013

The Rural Electrification Authority (REA) was established by an Act of Parliament No. 20 of 2003. Its primary aim is to provide electricity infrastructure to the whole nation targeting rural communities as mandated by Government. The Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP) which is the blue print for executing this program has been development. Prior to the finalization of the REMP, the REA had been carrying out work in all the nine provinces of Zambia on selected projects since establishment. The main focus of the electrification programme is to target public facilities, commercial undertakings and their surrounding areas. The REA is mandated with the tasks of Administering and managing the Rural Electrification Fund (REF); developing and implementing the REMP, mobilizing funds to support rural electrification, encouraging private sector participation in rural electrification through provision of smart subsides, competitive bidding and community mobilization, financing project preparation studies for rural electrification and recommending to government suitable policies. Of critical importance to REA is the identification of various technologies that can be tapped to improve the standard of living of our rural population. The REA promotes renewable energy resources such as solar, mini hydros and biomass. Solar energy technology is being considered in some rural areas which will not benefit from extension of the national grid and mini hydro potential in the immediate future. For such areas, solar energy becomes a more suitable form of applicable energy source until such a time that the national or isolated grids are taken nearer to these areas. The electrification programme will go on until all rural areas in Zambia have been electrified by either the extension of the national grid or other forms of energy like solar between now and the year 2030.