Likely, this headline sounds eccentric. And begs the question how has light found itself glowing at the end of a debt-swap?
Reason being that at least in the figurative sense, light is supposed to be found at the end of a dark tunnel.
The answer lies right between the covers of a document I recently stumbled upon dubbed "Sustainable Use Of Solar Energy And Opportunities For Partnership Between Zesco And The Local Authorities."
Essentially, this document was in fact a presentation by the then Zesco managing director, Enerst Mupwaya himself to a stake-holders' forum way back in 2011.
At the heart of this 15-page document was the unveiling of this unprecedented partnership centering on the consensual debt-swap between Zesco on the one hand and Government on the other.
The gist of this give-and-take accord is that Zesco was to procure solar street lights and solar traffic lights on behalf of the beneficiary Councils.
Then the final installations are jointly done by a team of Council and Zesco workers.
Additionally, the financial nitty-gritty of this debt-swap entailed that funding was to be raised from withholding a portion of the land rates paid by Zesco to the councils and channeling the funds to the project.
In the reciprocal gesture, Government is compelled to cancel all outstanding debts it is owed by Zesco. Could commercial deals be any smarter?
Obviously, this unique, innovative and practical commercial concept has a lot of inherent social and economic benefits for all the stakeholders.
The envisaged positives included the enhanced use of clean and renewable energy, the enhanced security and safety on the streets, the cost-saving on the management of the installation and ultimately the efficient delivery of service.
Summing up these benefits, Mr Mupwaya himself said: "With additional benefits of avoiding the negative environmental effects, the modular nature of solar energy technologies makes them particularly suitable for capital-constrained countries." And there can be no bigger national picture than that official and expert view.
As you read this, the Zesco-Council partnership has already seen some streets in the once-marginalised rural districts like Mansa and Chipata lit up using solar technology. In Mansa, for example, 33 solar street lights have already been installed in Phase One. At the close of the on-going second and final phase, a total of 73 installations will have been made.
In Chipata alone, some 217 kilometres of the district's road network are earmarked for lighting up with some 1,101 solar panel installation.
At the close of the entire national programme, benefits to accrue to those financially-beleaguered councils like Mansa will include well-lit streets without corresponding demand for power or additional costs to the Council's own electricity bills.
Particularly, Councils are expected to derive increased revenues from the adverts that will be stuck on the street light poles, rates collected from improved community services, savings on street and traffic lighting, reduced maintenance costs and technology transfer.
As early as 2000, Zambia and the region had a forecasted a power deficit by the year 2011.
Acting on this, the Zesco management foresaw a challenge and proceeded to formulate a business plan that included the management of the demand supply of the power equation.
It is this same vigorous business plan that has culminated into the on-going nation-wide solar street lighting and solar traffic lighting project which is lighting up the once-unlit rural areas.
The project will not just light up the streets, it will also help end poverty by empowering rural-based individuals, households, communities and small business ventures.
Ultimately, there will be more electricity saved in Zambia to turn the wheels of national development, more money saved in people's pockets let alone more smiles saved for the end of a well-lit rural street or road.
Debt swap: What an amicable and beneficial way to settle commercial scores!