About Zengamina Power Ltd (ZPL)
ZPL is a rural power utility company focused on generating and distributing electricity as a service to its approximately 1,000 customers. ZPL was founded in 2004, the year in which it began construction on a 700kW run-of-the-river hydro plant and associated grid, which it commissioned in 2007. Originally funded by European and African donors through the North West Zambia Development Trust (NWZDT), ZPL’s primary mission has been to provide base load electricity to commercial, residential, and institutional customers with the goal of stimulating economic growth in the Ikelenge District. Recently, ZPL partnered with Virunga Power, a Nairobi-based energy developer, investor, and operator, and Hydro Electric Power (“HEP”) a Zambian energy company. ZPL will build upon its legacy and initiate a new drive of economic growth and social development in the district, while also implementing the operational and commercial changes required to return the Company to profitability and making the investments required for growth. Examples of these efforts are ZPL’s recently approved tariff increase by the regulator, and the development and marketing of a 5-year, ~$15M investment program that would result in ~4.5MW of additional generation and storage capacity and an expansion of the grid to up to 5000 households in the Ikelenge District.
About the Role
The General Manager’s role is both technical and commercial/administrative. It has 4 key elements:
Sustainably improve and manage the company’s operations, customer service, and safety processes and procedures, safety and customer service perspective
Sustainably improve and manage the company’s revenue collection processes and procedures
Build on strong relationships with community stakeholders through effective stakeholder engagement and management
Manage significant capital expansion projects in distribution and generation
- The General Manager will lead all aspects of the company’s day to day operations including: Personnel management, service delivery, maintenance and investment project planning and execution, billing and collections, financial and management reporting, regulatory reporting, environmental and social management, customer and stakeholder management.
- The successful candidate will be driven by the potential for improving operations through hands-on management and training of the team, detailed planning, effective communication, and holding others accountable.
- He or she will also be driven by the opportunity to create large-scale positive impact by electrifying all of the Ikelenge District in a sustainable and equitable way.
- He or she will require solid technical knowledge, close attention to detail, and keen interest in developing a highly effective and productive team.
- The candidate needs to embrace being located in a rural area and be resourceful and gain satisfaction from solving a myriad of challenges.
- The candidate must have proven experience of community engagement.
- The General Manager will be based in Ikelenge, Zambia and will be asked to make occasional trips to Mwinilunga, Solwezi, and/or Lusaka in support of company operations.
- The position will report to Virunga Power’s Head of Utility Operations and the Director of Zengamina Power Ltd.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The General Manager will be expected to fulfil the following duties and responsibilities:
Build strong operational systems:
- Ensure daily activities are planned, communicated, and well-understood by the ZPL staff
- Design and implement monthly management reporting processes that allow for effective tracking of the Company’s performance against its Key Performance Indicators
- Ensure constant compliance with ZPL’s environmental, health, and safety policies and improve ZPL’s “safety culture” and general awareness of safety hazards
- Improve and manage ZPL’s billing and collections practices with the aim of achieving 95% monthly collections rates
- Work with stakeholders and customers to develop and implement programs aimed at 1) increasing productive use of electricity across the existing customer base and 2) growing the customer base with the ultimate goal of achieving annual revenue growth targets
- Design and implement annual technical training programs for ZPL’s staff and annual “awareness” trainings for ZPL’s customers
- Oversee the implementation of ZPL’s environmental and social management system (ESMS), including timely monthly reporting.
Plan and execute capital expansion projects:
- Work closely with the procurement team to develop and implement a project planning and materials procurement process that allows for on-time completion of projects
- Work closely with ZPL’s Managing Director and Head of Utility Operations to Conduct detailed planning for the district-wide expansion of the grid and/or expansion of the generating capacity of ZPL and, once funding is secured, play a leading role in implementing the projects
Positive Community synergy and stakeholder management:
- Develop and implement a stakeholder management plan with the goal of maintaining open lines of communication with the District’s chiefs, government officials, and large customers
- Improve and formalise ZPL’s customer communication protocols
- Coordinate and communicate with ZESCO and/or its contractors on matters related to their operation in the district
- Work closely with ZPL’s Managing Director and Head of Utility Operations and community leaders to Establish a Community Based Organisation (“CBO”) through which community development projects can be identified, planned, and executed with funding from ZPL royalties leveraged by grants and/or governmental funds when possible
The ideal candidate would have the following skills and credentials:
- Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline. Registration with the Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) or similar accredited engineering registration board will be an added advantage.
- 10+ years of work experience in a related field with at least 3 years of experience managing a team of at least 10 staff
- Demonstrable experience in managing staff, customers, and operations in a rural context
- Strong understanding of health and safety practices in a rural utility context
- Strong understanding and demonstrated performance in stakeholder management in Zambia or Africa
- Strong understanding of the current rural African electrification market including latest technologies, best practices, case studies, and research
- Effective organisational skills, including the ability to prioritise processes and schedules, develop sound project plans, conduct constructability, operability, maintainability reviews and juggle multiple assignments with competing deadlines
- Highly resourceful with the ability to work independently in a self-directed, entrepreneurial environment
- Ability to work well in rural environments and collaborate with rural communities.
- Strong competency on computer administration, MS Office Suite of programs (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Project, etc).
- Report writing and analytical skills.
- Strong written, verbal communication and interpersonal skills; a proactive communicator across electronic media/platforms.
- While not mandatory, the following would be desirable in an applicant:
- Additional languages spoken which are relevant to working in the region
- In-depth technical understanding of hydro power design, engineering, and operational concepts
- In-depth technical understanding of electricity grid design, engineering, and operational concepts
- A competitive monthly salary will be offered with respect to market rates and experience.
- Monthly bonus: based on team performance vs. monthly KPIs
- Annual bonus: based on company performance vs. annual KPIs and continued employment
- Allowances: housing, laptop, phone, and electricity.
Method of Application
All interested candidates must complete a pre-screening questionnaire located at
Candidates who pass the pre-screening questionnaire will then be instructed on next steps of the application process.