In cooperation with the World Bank Group, the government of Mozambique is reportedly transforming the lives of rural residents by making electricity affordable and readily available.
With the project, dubbed “Energy Development and Access Program“ (EDAP), which started five years ago, the government has connected thousands of households in rural Mozambique to existing networks.
So far, close to 42,500 new clients have been connected to the grid, and the government hopes to expand the existing networks in major towns and cities, including the establishment of more than 400 kilometers of new transmission and distribution lines.
“Now that we have electricity, we have been able to earn 5,000 to 7,000 MTs (about $60 to $100) a month from the sale of ‘badjias’ and other cookies. We have started to use the conventional oven that allows us to diversify our products and expand the business,” Laura Chissico, a resident of Moamba district in southern Mozambique, told the World Bank.
Other regions that have been impacted by the project include Cabo Delgado, Niassa, Manica, and Inhambane-Laura provinces.
Prior to this project, people in these areas solely relied on homemade unreliable kerosene lamps, locally known as “xiphefo,” as their main source of light, making it impossible for them to do any meaningful business at night.
The kerosene lamps produce harmful fumes that cause terminal illnesses, such as lung cancer.
But with the ongoing investment in new electricity distribution lines, installation of transformers, and new connections in rural Mozambique, residents are optimistic that their lives are about to change for the better.
Local business owners say access to electricity has improved their productivity and quality of their services.
“We have bigger orders today, and our lives improved significantly,” Jose Filimone, a wood artisan in Maputo province, said.
Highest Rate of New Connections
Schools, hospitals, and other public facilities in rural Mozambique have also benefited from this project, with the World Bank hoping to connect more facilities by the end of its second phase of EDAP, which is estimated to cost $120 million.
Where connections to the national grid are still difficult, the bank is supporting the establishment of renewable energy solutions, such as photovoltaic solar panels.
At least 500 health centers and 300 schools in Inhambane, Manica, Cabi Delgado, and Niassa provinces have been connected to electricity using solar panels.
According to the World Bank, Mozambique is one of the sub-Saharan African countries with the highest rate of new electricity connections. The country has recorded at least 120,000 new connections every year for the last five years.
Authorities in Mozambique acknowledge that faster expansion and access to electricity in rural areas has been integral to alleviating poverty in the country.