The Ministry of Mines and Energy together with Nored yesterday officially launched a service level agreement (SLA) on grid-connection financing mechanism.
The SLA was launched at the ongoing Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair 2023.
Government, through the Ministry of Mines and Energy, has identified rural electrification as a programme of crucial importance to improve the livelihood of rural communities and promote economic development in the country.
The Mines Ministry last year reported that about 70-80% of rural households have no access to electricity, with 300,000 Namibians believed to be in the dark.
According to the last national census, 15% of households in rural Namibia use electricity as an energy source, while candles were the second-most prevalent energy source used for lighting, with some 37% of all households relying on them, with 51% of all households in Namibia that make use of this being in rural areas.
According to the Acting Director of the National Energy Fund at the Ministry of Mines and Energy,AnnaLibana, the Solar Revolving Fund (SRF) collaborated with the regional electricity distributors, inclusive of Nored, to provide financing to qualified individuals and businesses for grid connection.
“According to the Ministry’s strategic plan, SRF targets to finance 400 off grid households during this financial year. To achieve this objective, the Ministry is establishing strategic lines with regional electricity distributors that allow consumers living in off grid areas to make use of available financing programme and subsidy to enable them to have access to electricity by connecting to the grid,” Libana explained.
Nored’s Chief Executive Officer Fillemon Nakashole said the strategic collaboration between Nored and the Ministry marks the beginning of a shared vision to increase access to electricity.
“This collaboration is to complement other initiatives towards achieving the objective of universal access to electricity in Namibia through great consumer connection namely rural communities to make use of the solar revolving financing and subsidy,”Nakashole indicated.
“Nored further commends the Ministry of Mines and Energy through SRF for championing this innovative finance mechanism for on grid connection for specifically rural areas,” he added.
“I am appealing to all stakeholders for development both at public and private levels to join the bandwagon and devise more innovative financial approaches to provide and improve electricity access in rural villages through grid connection,” said the Nored chief.
Meanwhile, Oshana Governor Elia Irimari stated that the grid connection financing mechanisms will pave the way for increased access to clean and affordable energy for rural areas.
“The launch of this grid connection financing mechanism will pave the way for increase access to clean and affordable energy for our community, contributing to the overall prosperity of our region and the country at large,” he said.
The Governor stated that the innovative mechanism will not only help reduce the electricity course but will also contribute to the stabilisation of energy supply, making them less dependent on traditional power sources.