Boost for rural electrification

Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge flanked by permanent secretary Patson Mbiriri (right) and REA board chairperson Willard Chiwewe follow proceedings at a meeting in Harare yesterday. — (Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)

Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge flanked by permanent secretary Patson Mbiriri (right) and REA board chairperson Willard Chiwewe follow proceedings at a meeting in Harare yesterday. — (Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter—
Rural areas are set for a major boost following the completion of the Rural Energy Master Plan whose implementation will ensure fast-track electrification of marginalised places in readiness for industrialisation and the creation of employment. The Rural Energy Master Plan, which took over 29 months to complete, was developed by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development in partnership with Norconsult Consultants.

The ambitious rural electrification project fits in Government’s industrialisation vision and the 10 Point Plan for Economic Growth enunciated by President Mugabe, as energy is a major economic driver.

Addressing delegates at the final Rural Energy Master Plan (REMP) workshop held in Harare yesterday, Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge said the plan was important in supporting Government’s strategy for long term energy development.

“As we welcome the finalisation of the Rural Energy Master Plan, we need to look forward as Government and reflect on the policy framework under which the REMP and other energy initiatives will be implemented,” he said.

“Once finalised and adopted, the Rural Energy Master Plan becomes our national plan for provision of energy to all rural areas in Zimbabwe, hence its importance in supporting Government’s strategy for long term energy development for the country cannot be over-emphasised.

“It is Government’s responsibility to outline the country’s vision or energy development agenda such as universal access by all by 2030 and defines the targets to be achieved and the timeline before allocating precise roles and responsibilities to stakeholders involved in energy development between Government agencies, beneficiaries, incumbent service providers, contractors and non-governmental organisations.

“The Sustainable Energy for All initiative by the Government defines the country targets and provides the road map for development of the various types of technologies, as well as operationalisation of the Government development agenda.”

Dr Undenge said the Rural Energy Master Plan should address numerous challenges, considering that electricity lines in rural areas were usually long, but supplied low loads to low-income earners.

Said Dr Undenge; “It (Master Plan) should also identify to whom the energy will be supplied and the type of technologies through which energy would be supplied.

“In the framework, the methods for prioritisation of energy projects need to be declared and so should the procedures for effective implementation and monitoring.

“The sources of revenues needed to carry out investments in energy development and ensure service sustainability need to be identified.”

Rural Electrification Fund board chairman Mr Willard Chiwewe said: “It is my wish that once this draft Rural Energy Master Plan is finalised and adopted, you will work out mechanisms to from your Government colleagues, as this Rural Energy Master Plan has relevance not only to your ministry (Energy and Power Development), but to all other sectors of our economic endeavour as well.

“I wish to say now we are coming to the end of the journey, kindly make sure that you (stakeholders) participate actively in order to give a positive shape to the final Rural Energy Master Plan.”

The Rural Energy Master Plan was launched in 2015, with five phases namely inception and planning, market study, master planning, financial and economic analysis and the REMP Finalisation phase.

Its implementation is expected to change the outlook of rural areas, which will have access to electricity through the rural electrification programme.

It is expected that constant power supplies to the rural areas will turn service centres into employment hubs, as investors attracted by the abundant natural resources in such areas flock in.

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  • Madara

    I also have a plan to build a fusion reactor under my house. which will power the whole of zimbabwe for free and with plenty of power to sell to the rest of africa. my plan is so that we can sort all our problems so easily.
    step one… get money…
    step 2….???
    no further steps.

    • succuba

      Just copying off Wicknell…kikikiki

  • Madara

    whos the rightful owners?
    big wigs who do nothing with the land?

    • Gonzondishefu

      You’re delusional,with adequate rains this year our farmers have proved they can produce. Thousands of families are thankful because they benefited from the land redistribution exercise.

  • succuba

    Hey Shefu… why have you gone absent from the sanctions debate you started here…

    Still waiting for your reply… come on let’s get it on…

    • Gonzondishefu

      The mining industry has always played a major part in our economy.Could you tell me why the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation,was on the list of targeted companies? Why were the sanctions lifted after a number of years if,the EU didn’t believe sanctions on this company were hurting our economy in general. Our human rights record is still the same so why were these sanctions lifted? We lost billions of dollars because we had to resort to selling our diamonds on the black market in countries like China. I remember minister Mpofu talking about how they were resorting to selling the diamonds under the cover of darkness.

  • Emru Kunanti

    29 months to write a plan? something that takes a couple of days…..

  • succuba

    Looks like Gonzondishefu has left the building….. I wonder why!!