Rural communities are set to benefit from a $40 million solar project being initiated by a local mobile company, an addition to an already running $100 million initiative by the same company.

The first communities set to benefit from the solar project include Ndodlwane in Bulilima, Sezhube in Gwanda and Nkayi.

Locals in these different areas will be assisted in projects which include poultry, agro   processing and youth innovations.

With most rural people are not financially capacitated, the Econet initiative is expected to play a huge role in boosting economies in marginalised parts of the country.

Ugesi Energy Group Executive, Mr Norman Moyo said apart from the energy initiative, the $100 million fund will assist those with ideas from the rural communities and youth while no collateral is required to access the fund.

“We work primarily with locals, we would like to encourage the youths in the areas to register with us in developing their areas. In addition to providing electricity, the project is also meant to provide support to economic activities in targeted areas,” Mr Moyo said.

This development is in line with the government initiatives to uplift the livelihoods of rural communities, create and support entrepreneurial ventures and improve access to clean, and affordable sustainable energy.

“Such an initiative will complement the national grid and position Zimbabwe as a potential exporter of electricity, added Mr Moyo.

According to the United Nations (UN), access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is crucial to achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from poverty eradication via advancements in health, education, water supply and industrialisation.