Zambia, a landlocked Southern African country, has many strengths: political stability, mining resources, great economic potential and rich biodiversity. But poverty remains high and inequalities prevail. The country also needs to improve the quality of its infrastructure to promote its economic development.
Since 2012, AFD has been operating in three priority sectors: energy, water and sanitation and transport.
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Mongu market, Zambia
AFD and Zambia: Improving access to basic services and developing infrastructure
Mongu market, Zambia

Fostering energy independence and access

electricity, Zambia


Recent economic growth in Zambia has resulted in an increase in electricity demand by around 3% annually. In order to respond to this growing demand, the Zambian government has committed to developing and maintaining energy infrastructure and services, as well as exploring alternative sources of energy.

AFD is a long term partner of ZESCO, Zambia’s national electricity provider, and has been instrumental in assisting the country in diversifying its energy mix. Renewable energy sources are abundant in Zambia, notably solar, hydro, thermal, biomass and wind. Around 92% of the country’s electricity comes from four hydroelectric plants. AFD has played a major role in increasing Zambia’s installed electricity capacity by co-financing the construction and operation of a 120 MW power plant at the foot of the Itezhi Tezhi Dam. This project is the first public-private partnership in Zambia’s energy sector.

Since 2012, AFD has been investing €212M in the sector. Through our projects, 12 350 new domestic and commercial electricity connections are planned by 2019. In the energy sector, the total (AFD/Proparco) investments are around $70.4M ($34.4M for the Itezhitezhi hydro transmission lines and $36M for Proparco for the Itezhitezhi hydropower station).

Upgrading essential water and sanitation services

drinking water, Tanzania


In Zambia, access to water and sanitation is uneven across the country: 83% of Zambians living in urban areas had access to clean drinking water, compared to 50% of people living in rural areas in 2013 (latest available figures). The urban/rural divide extends to access to adequate sanitation: 57% of urban people compared to 34% of rural people in 2013. In addition, the existing water and sanitation systems have not been upgraded for more than 50 years and are struggling to meet growing demand.

AFD has made long-term investments in water and sanitation infrastructure in Zambia with the aim of improving access to clean water and adequate sewerage and sanitation throughout the country. AFD’s most recent project consists in the rehabilitation and expansion of water and wastewater services in the mineral-rich Copperbelt Province. The project will result in improved access to reliable, sustainable and affordable clean water and waste water services for 460,000 residents.

Accelerating economic development through better and safer roads

road works, border between Zambia and Zimbabwe


In 2012, the Zambian government launched the Link Zambia 8,000 project to accelerate road construction in the country through the Road Development Agency (RDA). The project has already resulted in the upgrade and construction of more than 6,000 km of roads, reaching 75% of the original 8,000 km target.

AFD is supporting the Zambian government with the rehabilitation of the Great East Road, a 360 km-long single carriageway road that is part of the Nacala Corridor connecting Zambia with the port of Nacala in Mozambique (via Malawi). This project is expected to boost agricultural production in the eastern regions of Zambia by facilitating the movement of goods and people. The Great Eastern Road will offer Zambia an alternative port for sugar and cotton exports, therefore benefiting the country’s economy.

projects financed since 2012
million euros in commitments in 10 years
km of roads upgraded

Present in the country since 2012, AFD has been working with the Zambian government to improve road infrastructure, expand access to electricity and water, and support the transition toward a sustainable energy future.

Between 2012 and 2017, AFD’s portfolio was mostly focused on sovereign lending, but the organization is now diversifying its lending options to include non-sovereign loans and credit guarantee schemes to both private and public sectors.

AFD's Zambia office is directly attached to the Southern Africa regional office in Johannesburg.

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