OREANDA-NEWS. Zambian Minister of Energy and Water Development, Dora Siliya, announced that her Ministry will in the next fortnight meet African Development Bank (AfDB) Resident Representative Damoni Kitabire in Lusaka, to discuss modalities of supporting local entrepreneurs seeking to develop renewable energy projects.

Siliya said her Government is keen on working with the AfDB to empower local entrepreneurs of small and medium enterprises with the capacity to explore avenues of how the power deficit hit country could generate renewable energy.

She said this during a panel discussion at the ongoing AfDB Annual Meetings, taking place May 23-27, 2016 in Lusaka.

The panel discussion was dubbed “Financing Renewable Energy in Africa” and Siliya was joined on the panel by Millennium Resources Strategies Limited London Managing Director Vivek Mittal, and African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) Executive Director Lemma Senbet.

Other panelists were International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director, Knowledge Policy and Finance, Henning Wuester, and Energy and Extractive Sectors Expert Allan Narayadu.

The AfDB meetings which conclude Friday are being held under the theme “Energy and Climate Change.”

“Zambia has the political will to make sure that renewable energy projects work and I will in the next two weeks be meeting officials from AfDB to put this vision into reality,” Siliya told the audience.

She announced that her Government has shortlisted 15 private companies to undertake solar power infrastructure development projects across the country.

During the same discussions, Wuester said there was need to build the local financial capacity of African states to implement off-grid electricity power projects.

He noted that institutions such as AfDB, with its strategy on lighting up and powering Africa as enshrined in the High 5 vision of President Akinwumi Adesina, were better placed to support the continent realise the goal of producing renewable energy.

Senbet said his institution was very interested in helping Africa to realise its potential of running economies wholly on renewable energy.

He said there was a lot of energy on the continent which only required the right resources to tap effectively and make the continent productive.

“Africa currently stands at the net creditor of wealth to the rest of the world because it does have the capacity to exploit its own natural resources.

“The potential for Africa to generate renewable is readily available and only requires the investment of the right resources to be tapped into and enhance production capacity,” he added.