ZAMBIA and France are scheduled to hold a conference of various key stakeholder to assess the potential of the renewable energy sector in Zambia and its future prospects.
This follows a high-level meeting that was held between French Ambassador to Zambia Sylvain Berger and Minister of Energy Mathew Nkhuwa that was hosted by the French-Zambia Chamber of Commerce.
The meeting was to push the agenda and give impetus to the forth-coming two-day conference to be held on 27th and 28th October on the theme, “Renewable Energy in Zambia – opportunities for French and Zambian Companies”.
The conference major objectives include to assess the potential of the renewable energy sector in Zambia and its prospects, highlight the technical expertise of the French companies involved in renewable energy projects on the national level and give visibility to companies sponsoring the event through media coverage and social media.
Further, the conference will be a platform for the private and public stakeholders to meet, share views and debate on thematic subjects, promote interactions between French businesses and the Zambian counterparts and hold exhibitions to showcase the work of the companies involved in renewables.
The French Ambassador to Zambia explained the role of the French government in the funding of energy projects through the French Development Agency and the European Union (EU).
The Ambassador also emphasized the role of the EU and its representative who will be an active participant at the conference.
“France believes in partnerships; this conference will also include African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Institute of Finance and Economics (IFE) which house the French-Zambian Chamber of Commerce”.
He further highlighted the work of French companies in the energy sector in Zambia.
And Mr Nkhuwa hailed the Ambassador and the FZCC for taking the initiative to bring together French and Zambian Energy experts to look at the opportunities in the energy sector and at the same time provide an opportunity for the Ministry and its respective institutions to address the energy challenges the country is facing.
“We welcome the investors in this country, Zambia is a peaceful country since independence, as such creating a favourable environment for investment; if you bring your investments to Zambia, you can be assured that they will be protected in this haven”.
The conference has been sponsored by 10 companies, both French and Zambian corporates. These include EDF, Engie Power Corner, Neoen, Lafarge, Total, FNB, Razel-Bec, Copperbelt Energy Corporation, GDS International (with Blue Solutions and Earth Technologies), and Africa Greenco.
The conference will include six main thematic topics, Financing, Solar, Hydro, Bioenergy, Wind and Regulation.
Experts will come up with recommendations that will be the basis for the Zambian Government to implement energy projects, the private sector to better understand the government energy and policy regulations, funding agencies to intensify resources for the sector.