In the Republic of Zambia, more than 10 million people –about 70 percent of its population, live without access to electricity. In the rural areas, only four percent of its disparate population have access to power.

In 2021, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded a cooperative agreement to implement the Zambia Electric Cooperative Development Program (ZECDP). ZECDP, in collaboration with local stakeholders and partners, aims to develop viable electric cooperatives in rural communities, that will play an important role in the electrification expansion efforts in Zambia.

In July 2023, more than 150 people gathered in Ntatumbila for the inaugural general assembly of the Ntatumbila Power Electric Cooperative Society. They approved co-op bylaws and elected a board of directors. If all goes as planned, electricity from a solar-powered minigrid should start to flow to about 400 homes by the end of 2024.

To help facilitate future mini-grid projects designed to expand electricity access to the country’s rural areas, on behalf of the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank, NRECA International developed mini-grid technical standards and specifications for government stakeholders and project developers. Working with the Zambia Bureau of Standards and country stakeholders, the project team defined engineering and performance standards and advised the government on how to oversee and ensure compliance with the new standards.

Funded by the World Bank, the team provided the Ministry of Energy to develop a National Electrification Strategy.

Most recently, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded a cooperative agreement to NRECA International to support formation and growth of electric cooperatives that will play a key role in supporting economic development in rural communities in Zambia.

All this work will help the country achieve its “Vision 2030” goals, which includes 90 percent electricity access for urban/peri-urban areas, and 51 percent for rural areas by 2030.


  • U.S. Agency for International Development
  • International Finance Corporation
  • World Bank