Multiple benefits from new rural service station format in Zambia

By our News Team | 2023

Rollout of 25 service stations in rural communities will help local businesses, and improve banking and pharmacy access for residents.

Puma Energy, the international oil marketing company operating out of Singapore and Switzerland, has begun rolling out customised service stations to cater to rural communities in Zambia.


The programme will see 25 of these stations open across Zambia over the next three years, with plans to expand the programme into other parts of Africa as well.

Busines Strategy

Crowds at the opening of the first site in Chifunabuli District. Photo credit: Puma Energy

Puma already operates in many African countries and says the new rollout will benefit rural economies by serving local businesses, farmers, fisherman and miners through improving their access to fuel.


Currently, 46 out of 116 districts in Zambia do not have a service station and immediate access to fuel.


The first service station opened in Chifunabuli District, Luapula Province, in August. It was officially opened by the Minister of Energy, Honourable Peter Chibwe Kapala, MP, who represented Mr Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia. at the event.


‘Commendable investment’, says President


In a speech read by the Minister of Energy, President Hichilema commented:


“This commendable investment that has been made by Puma Energy is in line with my Government’s aspirations to foster inclusive economic growth in rural areas. This service station now stands as testimony to what can happen if we are innovative, bold and ambitious and leverage on the potential that public private partnerships offer. 


“The Puma Energy Chifunabuli Rural Service Station is a shining example of how private enterprises can positively impact rural communities by addressing their unique needs and challenges.”


Puma Energy Head of Africa, Fadi Mitri, said the move demonstrates the energy company’s commitment to extend vital services to underserved communities in the rural areas, as well as ancillary banking and healthcare services.


Apart from selling fuel and lubricants, each petrol station offers banking services through a partnership with Zambia National Commercial Bank Plc (Zanaco) and has a pharmacy on site.


The company also plans to provide the community with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for domestic cooking. This will improve access to clean cooking and help reduce the use of charcoal, which has negative effects on people’s health and the environment.   


Comments Trendtype, the London-based emerging-market consultancy: “We consider this new rural service station as an interesting pilot, but note that the pace of deployment (25 service stations over three years) is not groundbreaking for a format that is geared towards cheaper, rapid deployment and therefore it remains to be seen if this new format can be transformative.”

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.