The Governments of Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to fund a USD 1.2 billion power inter-connector project that will connect the Eastern African Power Pool (EAPP) to the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).
The Zambia-Kenya-Tanzania (ZTK) power interconnector project is scheduled to be launched at the end of 2015 or in early 2016 and is expected to be completed by December 2018.
According to the Zambia Minister Mines, Energy and Water development, Christopher Yaluma, the government of Zambia is committed to the completion of the ZTK project, but will need financial support from development partners in order to achieve their goals.
“The three countries cannot fully realize the project in the absence of financial support from the development partners and other financing institutions,” he said, “Therefore, I wish to appeal to our development partners to support the project by providing the required financial support.”
Additionally, Tanzania’s Minister of Energy and Minerals, Sospeter Muhongo, explained that nearly 50% of the population in Africa lives in rural areas with no access to electricity.
“We need an investment of between 300 to 500 billion dollars as a region to meet some of these challenges,” he said, “By 2030, both rural and urban Africa must have access to electricity.”
Witnesses to the MoU included the European Union (EU), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Norwegian Fund, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the China Development Bank as well as a number of other financial institutions.