Government is optimistic that Zambia’s electricity generation levels will increase when water levels across the country’s reservoirs eventually rise, says Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu.

The Minister said this at his office, Tuesday, when he met the CPG Troika countries consisting of Germany, Chairperson, represented by Ambassador Achim Burkart and British High Commissioner to Zambia Nicholas Woolley, among other officials, ahead of a High-Level Policy Dialogue (HPLD) with the Cooperating Partners Group (CPG) at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre (MICC) in Lusaka, Wednesday.

The Troika members are tasked with the responsibility of leading and coordinating the engagement of the CPG with the Zambian government on a six month rotational basis, and hold quarterly meetings with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of National Development Planning.

“The Minister shared optimism that electricity generation would increase when water levels rise to requisite levels. Dr Ng’andu also took the opportunity to encourage the Troika to visit the Maamba Thermal Plant in Sinazongwe to appreciate the current rehabilitation works on a damaged component on one generator, adding that, ‘although the main ingredient is coal, the facility is clean and environmentally friendly,’” read the statement, issued via Ministry of Finance spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta, Tuesday.

“Dr Ng’andu informed the Troika that a proposition on debt management, in line with the governments commitment to tackle the debt situation with the seriousness it deserves, will in a few weeks be presented to Cabinet.”

And speaking on behalf of the Troika, Ambassador Burkart confirmed that various Cooperating Partners in Zambia were working the United Nations System to compliment the efforts of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) in the Office of the Vice President to facilitate acceleration of relief food supply to needy areas.

“Mr. Burkart also observed that the current electricity deficit has resulted in higher costs in many sectors of the economy. The High-Level Policy Dialogue will provide a platform for policy discussions on various sectors. At the event, the Minister of Finance will make a presentation on economic performance with specific focus on debt, social sector spending, and health services. The other focus areas will be energy reforms, climate change, drought and the environment,” read the statement.

“At today’s (Tuesday) meeting, the issues discussed include: the impact of last season’s drought, challenges of access to food in areas that were impacted by the drought; the electricity deficit and the resultant need for elevated diversification of energy sources. Other issues touched on include public procurement, enhancement of public expenditure control, and Information and Communication Technology solutions in the delivery of public services.”