Lafarge Zambia PLC embarks on energy recovery programme
LAFARGE Zambia PLC has embarked on a programme of energy recovery from waste where it will be recycling waste and convert it into energy.
During the Renewable Energies Press Conference which was held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka yesterday, Lafarge revealed that the programme will help to mitigate climate change as well as help the country to save on the foreign currency as there will be no need to export waste to other countries.
“In terms of energy recovery, we do what we call thermal substitution. So, we are trying to substitute material like coal which is a wasting asset with renewable sources of energy such as municipal waste and other biomass waste. Technically, we are also contributing to mitigating climate change in terms of using material that is using material that is less polluting like renewable energy sources such as biomass,” Lafarge said.
The company said the project will also help the country save on resources such as foreign currency because there will be no need for companies to export waste for disposal.
Amb. Mukwita thumbs up Africa GreenCo $1.5 million investment
THE investment of 1.5m dollars by Denmark’s Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) into the Lusaka-based GreenCo Power Services to operationalize a new business model for renewable energy in Zambia is a true mark of economic diplomacy says Zambia’s Ambassador to Germany, His Excellency Mr. Anthony Mukwita.
Ambassador Mukwita who has been associated with the process since 2017 said Africa GreenCo Group, together with its operating company in Lusaka headed by Co-Founder of the project Anna-Katarina Hajduka have come a long way since the first engagement at the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) in Bonn under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC.
“Since 2017, Africa GreenCo Group has been focused on investing in the energy sector in Zambia (and the entire southern African region) as the country offers some of the best investment options on the African continent”, Ambassador Mukwita says.
Since 2017, Africa GreenCo founder member Ana Hajduka has had several interactions with high ranking Zambian government officials while the Zambian Embassy facilitated a top-level meeting with H.E President Edgar Lungu.
Since then, Ms. Hajduka and Africa GreenCo have engaged officials from the Ministries of Energy Ministry and National Planning resulting in government approving changes to the energy policy and legislation that paved the way for another player in the energy sector whose role would be that of buyer/supplier and provider of power services.
In a statement, Africa GreenCo Group says the investment by IFU “completes the company’s operational establishment in Lusaka and paves the way for 2021 capitalization of the credit for Independent Power Producers or IPPs.”
Since 2015, Zambia has been experiencing power shortages as the effects of climate change have led to a drastic drop in water levels in the country’s dams where hydropower is generated, a source Zambia depends on to a large extent.
Consequently small, medium to large scale businesses have been affected leading to lower production output, loss of revenue and loss of employment in some unfortunate cases.
In response, the government of President Lungu has embarked on policy and legislative reforms to pave way for private investment in renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass.
The introduction of Africa GreenCo is expected to pave way for more private players in the energy sector whose role is that of buyer and supplier of power, not only within the country but to the southern African region through SADC’s Southern Africa Power Pool.
Currently, ZESCO is the only major buyer and supplier of power in the country, a situation that has led to an unsustainable financial burden on the company.
“The nation should look to the near future with hope and confidence as the energy policies of President Lungu are set to revolutionize the energy sector in the country with the help of Africa GreenCo”, an optimistic Mukwita said.
The government of President Lungu has made massive investments in the energy sector as experts suggest that in under one year, it is possible to put behind the era of power shortages in Zambia.
Ambassador Mukwita said reliable energy is crucial for the development of the agriculture and mineral resource sectors of Zambia which are key to earning foreign currency.
Ministry of Finance launches media campaign to enhance financial inclusion during and post the COVID-19 Pandemic
THE Ministry of Finance has today launched an innovative multi-media campaign that is aimed at further enhancing financial inclusion in Zambia. The campaign, dubbed ‘Better Finances for a Better Today and Tomorrow’ follows Government’s efforts to deepen financial inclusion in the country without leaving anyone behind. This is part of the implementation of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) which was launched in 2017.
For the campaign, the Ministry of Finance is working in partnership with cooperating partner Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSD Zambia) as well as other financial sector players comprising the Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ), Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA), Bank of Zambia (BOZ), Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The campaign follows the development of the Communication Strategy for the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (CSNFIS) which was designed to foster increased awareness of financial services, usage and benefits targeting vulnerable groups across the country.
Today, the context has changed drastically with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers and would-be consumers of financial products and services are even more vulnerable to the effects of a lack of affordable and quality financial services. Many have found their economic situations severely affected and are in need now, more than ever, of reliable and simple financial information as they look to survive in the current and post-pandemic period.
Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Minister of Finance Dr Bwalya Ng’andu said:
“Government recognised the need for a comprehensive National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) to accelerate progress toward an inclusive, stable, and competitive financial sector development in Zambia. The NFIS provides a roadmap to further accelerate our financial inclusion journey in Zambia.
Enhanced financial inclusion in various countries has been proven to contribute to wealth creation, economic growth, and sustainable development.
In light of this, Government is focused in putting up measures towards achieving an overall increase in financial inclusion (formal and informal) from 59 to 80 percent and an increase in formal financial inclusion from 38 to 70 percent by 2022 as set out in NFIS. The media campaign is one of the measures put in place by the Government to enhance financial inclusion during and post COVID-19 Pandemic”.
Meanwhile, FSD Zambia CEO Betty Wilkinson said:
“FSD Zambia is most pleased to be supporting the Government in its efforts to increase financial inclusion. The NFIS enables access to sustainable and client-centric financial services for all families, particularly for women, smallholder farmers, youth, microenterprises, and other vulnerable persons. The broad range of communications about available services will enable households to enjoy an inclusive economy, access to basic services, and a sustainable future”.
The media campaign is expected to run for an initial period of 3 months, during which intense multi-media activities have been planned. The communications mix will include but not be limited to radio (community radio stations) social media, newspaper and mix-use video content. The campaign will employ innovative approaches to reach vulnerable groups that are hardest hit by the effects of financial exclusion.
FSD Zambia Communications Manager, Eneyah Phiri said:
“This campaign comes at a defining movement in world history. In Zambia, many families and their businesses have been heavily harmed by the pandemic. At FSD Zambia, we are working to understand the challenges and help microenterprises and smaller businesses remain resilient during these difficult times. Our team is piloting interventions that address constraints to business such as access to working capital. We believe that an awareness campaign like this one will augment our efforts and those of the Government and others in the financial market on the road to economic recovery post pandemic.”
In its Vision 2030, Zambia has set out an ambitious goal to become a prosperous middle-income nation by 2030. Further, Vision 2030 aims to create a new Zambia defined as a “strong and dynamic middle-income industrial nation that provides opportunities for improving the well-being of all, embodying values of socio-economic justice. It comprises three priority sectors:
- Economic growth and wealth creation
- Social investment and human development
- Creating an enabling environment for sustainable social economic development.
The achievement of these priorities is primarily dependent on the equitable distribution of income and ultimately, wealth creation in all corners of the economy, including those that are underserved, the vulnerable groups. The media campaign has been launched towards the achievement of this goal.