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VideoFebruary 16, 2024

Zambia: Access to Electricity Changes Lives

In this video, meet Elizabeth Banda and other beneficiaries in Zambia as they share how electricity has positively changed their lives.

The World Bank Electricity Service Access Project is supporting Zambia to improve electrification in rural areas by connecting more households and entrepreneurs to the grid through subsidizing their connection fees.  So far, 22,000 rural households and over 8,000 micro and small enterprises have gained access to electricity at reduced connection fees.

Electricity and other forms of modern energy are critical for spurring any country's economic growth. Zambia’s overall electrification rate remains at 42%, below the Sub-Saharan Africa average of 47%.  While over 75% of urban households in Zambia have access to electricity—almost exclusively through the grid—less than 12% of rural households have any kind of electricity. This lack of reliable electricity severely restricts the country’s potential for improving per capita GDP and reducing poverty. Having access to electricity, especially in rural parts of the country, is crucial as it reduces the need for alternative fuels like firewood and charcoal that contribute to deforestation, as well as reducing the use of pollutants like kerosene, diesel, and dry cell batteries. Increasing rural access to modern energy also promotes social cohesion and assists the government in economic development initiatives.