Rural Electrification Fund


The Government of the Republic of Zambia established the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) as early as 1994 when it committed a portion of the sales tax on electricity to the fund through an administrative arrangement. Despite this effort, the pace of electrification was very slow resulting in only less than 3% of the rural population having access by 2003. To further enhance the management of the REF, GRZ created the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) through enactment of the Rural Electrification Act No. 20 of 2003 to oversee and manage the fund.

Since 2003, REA has been a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) by Government for managing the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) and implementing the rural electrification programme in Zambia.

The REA has three sources of funding:

  1. Money appropriated by Parliament on an annual basis
  2. The 3% electricity levy from ZESCO
  3. Loans and donations