Republic of Zambia Address by His Excellency, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, on the occasion of the Official Commissioning of the First Unit of the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro-Power Station, in Chikankata District, Southern Province Friday, 23rd July 2021

Royal Highness Chieftainess Nkomenshya Mukamambo II

Republic of Zambia Address by His Excellency, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, on the occasion of the Official Commissioning of the First Unit of the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro-Power Station, in Chikankata District, Southern Province Friday, 23rd July 2021

State House Lusaka

The Patriotic Front Chairman Hon. Ngonga Mukupa;

The Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr. Mike Masiye;

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Ms. Veronica Mwiche;

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Economic Management and Finance, Mr. Danise Chisenda;

Your Royal Highness Chieftainess Nkomenshya Mukamambo II,

Your Royal Highness Chieftainess Sikongo;

Your Royal Highness Chieftainess Chiawa;

Your Royal Highness Naluama

The Ambassador Of The People’s Republic Of China To The Republic Of Zambia, His Excellency Mr. Li Jie;

All Other Co-Operating Partners Present;

The Chairperson of the Zesco Limited Board of Directors, Mr. Chibwe Mwelwa;

The ZESCO Managing Director, Mr Victor M. Mundende and Management Team;

Senior Government Officials;

The Main Project Contractor–Sino-Hydro Corporation and their Representatives;

Members of the Media;

Patriotic Cadres and Members;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

I would like to start by reminding all of us that on Wednesday 7th July, 2021, we laid to rest a visionary, our founding father Dr. Kenneth David Buchizya Kaunda, who laid the foundation upon which this country is built.

His government built the Kariba North Bank Power Station, and the Kafue Gorge Upper Station to boost power generation in our country.

It is, therefore, fitting that we celebrate his life by continuing on the trajectory of development that he and his colleagues envisioned. we ought to continue on the legacy of our founding fathers by leaving an indelible mark on our country’s history of power generation as we deliver the 150 mega watts Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro-Electric Power Station to the people of Zambia.  Whether you like it or not Dr. Kaunda left an indelible mark on the Kariba North Bank Power Station, and Edgar Chagwa Lungu is leaving an indelible mark here today.

President Lungu at Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro-Electric Power Station

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Upon forming government, my administration identified the need to invest in infrastructure, and we have continued to identify and aggressively implement projects which will lead to more inclusive economic growth.

We in PF government have made tough but necessary decisions to unblock the challenges brought about by inadequate infrastructure in many sectors of our economy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is no secret that my government continues to invest in roads, clinics and hospitals, airports and power infrastructure such as the one we are witnessing today. We in PF firmly believe that infrastructure development is critical to opening up development for the entire country.

The economic gains that will accrue from these investments will no doubt benefit our country and outlive not just the current hurdles but will benefit all of us who are present here.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our country has, over the years, seen increased demand for electricity to power activities. Demand has been in various sectors such as mining, agriculture, tourism, industries, education, healthcare services, and indeed our homes. The growth on demand for power has necessitated accelerated investments in power generation and transmission infrastructure.

It is not a secret from 1977 to 2011 that investments in power generation did not grow proportionately with increased demand.

The PF government, therefore, upon taking power in 2011 embarked on investing in robust power generation, transmission and distribution projects.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today’s commissioning of the first unit of the flagship Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro-Electric Power project, is testimony to our commitment and resilience in ensuring that the country’s electricity needs are secured and meet our needs today and the future.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

This investment has been accomplished amidst financial and global health challenges, especially the covid-19 pandemic.

The commissioning of this power station today, demonstrates our resolve as we stand determined against cynicism to put this country firmly on an energy secure footing.

This investment has not only been in electricity generation projects but also in transmission and distribution projects.

My government’s commitment to harnessing the country’s comparative advantage to generate, transmit and distribute power to citizens is meant to achieve our mantra of not leaving anyone behind.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This government has overcome so many challenges and achieved so much in the electricity sector.

In less than seven years my government has introduced an additional 1,350 megawatts of power generation to the national electricity. Today as I speak we have a total national installed capacity of 3,250 megawatts. This is an increase of more than seventy per cent from the previous installed national capacity of approximately 1,900 megawatts.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My government has undertaken the following developmental projects:

The new Lunzua Power Station was upgraded from 0.75 megawatts to 14.8 megawatts in 2015 this was meant to improve the quality of power supply to people in Mbala, Mpulungu, Nkamba, Kasaba Bay and surrounding areas. With the new Lunzua Power Station and the proximity to the Sumbawanga Export Line, we have increased export prospects to our neighbouring sister Republic of Tanzania.

The 120 megawatts Itezhi-Tezhi Hydro-Electric Power Station was commissioned in March, 2016. This plant came at a critical time when the country was faced with a devastating climate induced power deficit, which lasted from 2014 to mid-2017.

I can give an example of the Musonda Falls Hydro Power Station located in Mansa district which was upgraded and uprated from 5 mw to 10 mw to support a growing base of diverse investments in fish farming, agriculture and mining amongst others.

There is also the new 15mw Lusiwasi Upper Hydro Power Station constructed near Serenje in central province which is almost ready for commissioning. Because of that Serenje and surrounding areas have seen increased activities in agriculture and mining in recent years.

There is also soon to come the Lusiwasi Lower Power Hydro Station.  This is a Mini- Hydro Power Station of 6mw capacity which was constructed in 1974 and will be increased to 86 megawatts.

In 2014, the PF government also commissioned the Kariba North Bank Extension Power Station, which brought in an extra 360 megawatts into the national grid. This represented the largest injection of power into the Zambian power grid since the construction of the last major power station.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In collaboration with the World Bank, my government has since commenced promotion of the construction of two renewable solar plants in the Lusaka Multi-Facility Economic Zone at a combined capacity of 82 megawatts of power.  This will add renewable solar in line with our vision to diversify the generation of power to mitigate climatic challenges.

In addition, the German sponsored Getfit project will produce 200 megawatts of solar power.

My government is also supporting a 600 megawatts renewable solar project, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between ZESCO and Power China.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Northern, Eastern and Muchinga provinces, had suffered unreliable electricity supply before we formed government. Citizens in these areas complained of constant low voltage, especially during peak hours.

From 2016, my government invested in a massive transmission line upgrade from 66 kilo volts to 330 kilo volts. This has since changed the lives of the people in those provinces.

In 2017, my government worked in collaboration with the German government, to complete a major project which connected the districts of Mwinilunga, Kabompo, Mumbezhi, Mufumbwe, Zambezi, Chavuma, Mushindamo, and Lukulu (in Western province) to the national grid.

Country Men and Women,

Previously, the entire Northwestern province apart from Solwezi and Kasempa were supplied by small diesel generators. We in PF have since connected western and north western province to the national grid.

My government has connected Nalolo, Sikongo, Lwampa, Luangwa, Chitambo, Lusingazi, and Rufunsa district to the national grid.

Also connected to the national grid are Lufwanyama, Msanzala, Chasefu, Chipangali, Mpika Kanchibiya area, Monze North, Muzuma-Kozo, Kasamato Kachumu, Mporokoso to Mbereshi, Mufumbwe to Kabompo and Chavuma, Zambezi, Mwinilunga, and Ikelenge.

In addition, my government has invested in the Chama-Lundazi transmission infrastructure to connect the two districts as a matter of urgency as you know previously we used to get power for these districts from Malawi.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Before, I conclude I wish to recognise the significant contribution by the Chinese government on this project. China is an all-weather friend to Zambia. China does not put conditions on our friendship.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me end by stating that I am proud to be President of Zambia and a torch bearer of outstanding investments in the energy sector aimed at making the lives of our people better.  We wouldn’t have been here today without your support to my government and ZESCO.

The legacy of our investments in the energy sector will continue to glitter in Zambia and within the entire southern African region. Therefore, continue supporting our investments in the energy sector and together we shall transform this country into an electricity hub of the region.

President Edgar Chagwa Lungu at Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro-Electric Power Station

It is now my singular honour and privilege to commission the first unit of the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro-Power Station, here in Chikankata District.

I thank you and God Bless you all

And our great Republic of Zambia.

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