Zambia is home to a highly dispersed population, with more than 60% of people living under the poverty line, and some 70% of whom have no access to modern energy. Neither the national utility nor energy service providers had been able to effectively deliver energy to rural and peri-urban areas, hindered largely by a lack of capacity and investment, including into the range of new technologies and solutions around distributed, off-grid energy services powered by renewable energy.
In 2016, the Power Africa: Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia (BGFZ) was launched to help support private sector-led energy service provision and stimulate the local energy market, with the ultimate aim of connecting one million Zambians to modern energy services. Today the Swedish-funded programme is on track to connect 1.6 million people – or 13% of the population – by 2021.
To determine the socioeconomic impacts of the BGFZ programme, the Centre for Energy, Environment and Engineering Zambia conducted a study through a series of interviews with 164 energy customers benefitting from BGFZ. The study aimed to understand the relationship of customers with the services and service providers.
The highlights of this study were collected and summarised in ”Beyond the Grid: Beyond the Numbers – The Impact of BGFZ” This informative report offers an excellent overview of the first phase of BGFZ and the impact it has had on the lives of thousands of Zambians.