Zambia’s government is taking measures to ease power shortages and the southern African nation will be a net exporter of electricity within 12 to 13 months, President Edgar Lungu said on Friday.
Zambia’s economy is likely to grow by less than 5 percent in 2015 due to a power crunch that has hit output from mining companies, already grappling with a slide in global copper prices.
“Let me assure the nation that my government has rapidly moved to address this problem,” Lungu said when opening parliament.
Lungu said the government would invest in the energy sector and attract private entrepreneurs to address shortages.
He said investment in energy and infrastructure that supported growth would benefit Zambia and the country did not risk falling into a debt trap.
“Our debt is around 40 percent of gross domestic product. The nation has borrowed mainly to finance roads, energy and infrastructure as a long-term investment that will spur economic development,” Lungu said.
Lungu also split the ministry of finance, moving national planning to a new ministry of Development Planning.