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Japan has signed a two hundred and 74 billion Kwacha loan agreement with the Zambian government.

The money will be used to connect more areas to the National Electricity Grid and build mini hydro power plants.


Speaking during the signing ceremony Japanese Charge de Affaires, Toshihiko Horiuphi, his country considers access to electricity as a critical pre-requisite to eradicating poverty.


And Finance Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, said the loan will enable government increase the number of households accessing electricity.  


He said this will in turn enhance Zambia’s economic performance. The loan is from Japan’s Official Development Assistance Programme to Africa.


In another development Japan has given the ministry of Local Government a grant of about one billion kwacha to buy spare parts for hand pumps in the country.


Local Government permanent Secretary, Coillard Chibbonta, says latest statistics indicate that 30 percent of existing bore holes in Zambia are not functioning due to broken down hand pumps.


He says the money will therefore help to repair the hand pumps and ensure sustained access to water in rural areas of Zambia.


The grant has been given under the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme.


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