By Nation Reporter
ZAMBIA and other countries will soon benefit from the added European Union (EU) toolbox for the development of agriculture and electricity, says EU ambassador to Zambia Alessandro Mariani.
Mr Mariani said the toolbox, which comprised the Electricity Financing Initative (ElectriFI) and Agriculture Financing Initiative (AgriFI), would see the beneficiary countries being entitled to 50 percent own capital in the pilot phase of the projects.
He explained in an interview that the ElectriFI support scheme would bridge the gaps in structuring and financing electrification projects.
He said the scheme also stimulated the private sector, mobilised financiers, including the local banking sector, and had a catalytic impact on economic growth.
“ElectriFI will support renewable energy investments with a focus on rural electrification, of a total budget above EUR 0.5 million.
He said the total amount contributed by ElectriFI would however not exceed EUR10 million per project at a certain stage and that the secondary debt repayment period could be between 10 and 20 years.
Meanwhile, Mr Mariani said the AgriFI was designed to effectively contribute to fostering private sector development investment while complementing classical development approach.
He explained that the key feature of the AgriFI was the provision of the EU support which would mobilise additional public and private investment, particularly through provision of risk capital.
Mr Mariani said the project also responded to the lack of financing mechanisms adapted to farmers and agri-entrepreneurs, particularly smallholders.