Energy Expert Johnstone Chikwanda


The issue of negotiating a fuel procurement transaction directly with a leading oil producing country has been pending for over 20 years as successful administrations have not been able to conclude for reasons which remain unknown to members of the public. Instead, we have been procuring fuel from open markets where prices are generally higher when compared to transactions based on energy diplomacy within a bilateral framework.

Angola has been calling us for a very long-time expressing desire to support us with reasonably priced fuel but we have not been able to actualize the offer. The New Dawn Government has very good opportunity to conclude and actualize bulk fuel procurement from Angola. Government can either bring this fuel for the industry or can focus on creating a bilateral framework which private sector can utilize to import cheap fuel and pass the benefits to the consumers. To this end, I wish to commend Government for making follow up with Angola offer. This is a welcome development.

I would like to advise Government to appoint a technical implementation task force to actualize the bilateral agreement which Government went to follow up in Angola. The Implementation task force must include private sector and Government representatives of both Angola and Zambia. Include players who have not just industry knowledge but also practical oil industry business experience. The same task force must look at other oil producing countries as well and conclude in a defined time frame. The task force must structure the transaction and look at transportation options and cost implications as well both in the short term and long term.

There are issues which have made past efforts fall in cracks. It is important that they are dealt with once and for all. There is no other option which can guarantee cheap fuel other than direct procurement based on energy diplomacy with a producing country. The other option is to discover own oil which can take time.

Johnstone Chikwanda, Energy Expert and Chairperson-Energy Forum Zambia


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