Zambian Rural Electrification Authority to work with REEEP´s Edison tool

The Zambian Rural Electrification Authority (REA) is working with REEEP to leverage the newly-redesigned Edison platform to as a key tool to monitor and support Zambiarural electrification.

Our online kick-off workshop with many REA colleagues on August 27th, 2021, was very engaging and got us started, and two of my colleagues spent last week (27/09-01/10) in Zambia, talking to REA leadership, their software developers and visiting energy production sites. While I am waiting to hear everything about their mission trip, I want to share what we hope to achieve in this collaboration with REA.
The Rural Electrification Authority of Zambia (REA) and REEEP have announced this summer that they had signed a memorandum of understanding outlining a joint effort to leverage the Edison data platform, originally developed to collect and analyze data for the Power Africa Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia, to monitor and support Zambia’s broader electrification efforts on behalf of the REA.
The Rural Electrification Authority of Zambia (REA), created by an Act of Parliament in 2003, has a mandate to provide electricity infrastructure to all rural areas using appropriate technologies. REA’s aim is to increase the electrification rate to 51% by 2030, and thereby enhance living standards and productivity, while improving quality of life for all Zambians. In the next few years, the REA is the focal point of a number of initiatives – including capital subsidy support, solar, mini-grid, and hydro projects – that will enable new and existing energy service providers to reach thousands of new customers in rural and peri-urban areas.
The REEEP team has begun working with the REA to utilize the Edison data platform to monitor these initiatives, building on the success of the Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia (BGFZ), which has already helped energy service providers in the country provide energy services to over a million Zambians. Edison is a data platform created for BGFZ providing the Fund with real-time, accurate and precise data and information on energy services, giving the program as well as ordinary Zambians an unprecedented and transparent view into the Fund’s impact and results.

“We are excited to begin this partnership with REEEP and the Edison team, and to help give the Rural Electrification Authority the data and analytics tools they need to ensure Zambia’s rural people are getting the power they are promised,” said Clement Silavwe, CEO of the REA.
The partnership with Edison will begin by launching a pilot data collection effort for a new REA program to turn existing solar-powered grain mills in rural areas into mini-grids, bringing power to local villages. The REA-Edison pilot is being generously funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) as part of its ongoing support to the Edison initiative. “The potential benefits of improved data collection and monitoring for Zambia are enormous, especially as we see the sector advance so rapidly,” said John Tkacik, REEEP’s Director for Analytics and Technology. “It will be important to ensure that the huge volume of data generated in these efforts is handled responsibly and for the good of the Zambian people.” REEEP will also support the REA in understanding and mapping out its long-term needs in data collection and monitoring, with a view to develop a broader plan for REA to leverage Edison to monitor its portfolio of electrification projects, including a planned handover of Edison operations and system infrastructure to the REA.
Expect to hear more about this exciting project and the next phase of Edison development! 
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