‘Electricity vital for rural investment’
Published On February 24, 2014 » 1634 Views» By Hildah Lumba » Business, Stories
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By JAMES KUNDA –

THE Government has attributed the poor  flow of  investments in rural areas to inadequate electricity infrastructure needed to support energy intensive industries.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Emmanuel Chenda said most investors were shunning  rural areas due the low power voltage that is only able to support domestic actitities.
Mr Chenda, however said, the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) and Zesco were on course in expanding electricity infrastructure in order to change the status quo.
“The issue at hand is that, we need to step-up electricity capacity if the rural areas are to attract a substantive share of investments,” he said.
Mr Chenda singled out Luapula Province as one area where such projects have taken shape in readiness for the revitalisation of companies like Mansa Batteries and Kawambwa Tea Estate.
“Mansa Batteries and Kawambwa Tea are energy intensive and require a lot of electricity. We have REA and Zesco already on the ground to ensure that the areas where these factories are located have enough power to support their operations,” he said.
A South African investor is in-line to take over operations at the defunct Mansa Batteries while the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) is planning to establish a tea plantation in Kawambwa.

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