Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has directed his minister of energy to speed up the process of importing electricity.
The country has been hit by a major electricity problem after the state-owned power generating company–Zesco- announced it will be rationing power by as much as 15 hours a day.
The situation has been worsened by low water levels in the Kariba dam – the main source of the country’s hydro-electricity.
“[The] government has been making frantic efforts to diversify energy for us to avoid relying only on hydro power,” Mr Lungu is quoted as saying by the state-owned Zambia Daily Mail newspaper.
“Zesco is also directed to complement hydro power with solar power by mid-next year so that load shedding is permanently consigned to history.”
He said the shortage of electricity was hurting other sectors of the economy.
Mr Lungu directed the Minister of Energy Matthew Nkhuwa to meet him at State House to explain the progress made in the importation of power.
However, plans to import from South Africa have been hampered by demands by the country’s power utility company Eskom for payment of $41m (£31m) as a two-month security deposit, local media report.