“Every woman, every mother must be able to turn on the gas cooker and cook a decent meal like anywhere else in the world”—Adesina; African Development Bank to scale up contribution to clean cooking solutions; “Lack of access to clean cooking is a stain on humanity”—Birol.
Africa requires $4 billion in annual investment, to provide 250 million with clean cooking energy, says the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Fatih Birol.
Birol said developed nations must scale up their funding to provide clean cooking solutions to 900 million households in Africa and warned, “without solving the problem of clean cooking in Africa, the global plan of decarbonising would not be meaningful.”
“We believe this issue should be solved because it is a stain on humanity,” Birol told a high-level event to promote access to clean cooking held on the sidelines of COP28 in Dubai.
He announced plans to make clean cooking a key topic on the IEA’s global conference agenda involving more than 50 governments in February 2024.
The President of the African Development Bank Group Dr Akinwumi Adesina said the bank will allocate up to 20 percent of its approved annual lending for energy toward clean cooking solutions.
The Bank’s contribution will generate $2 billion for clean cooking over the next 10 years, Adesina said in a call to action to provide universal access to clean cooking for women in Africa.
Adesina urged national governments to allocate at least 5 percent of the current $70 billion annual energy investment for the provision of clean cooking solutions.
He said accessibility and affordability to clean cooking solutions should be assured in the development of liquefied petroleum gas upstream capacity, especially for production, storage and distribution infrastructure.
Adesina said multilateral development banks should set aside a significant share of their annual energy financing to provide clean cooking solutions.
Close to one billion people in Africa do not have access to clean cooking and rely on biomass or kerosene, which cause high levels of indoor air pollution. As a result, about 600,000 African women and children die annually from the hazards of cooking with wooden biomass or fossil fuels, according to official data.
The global economic cost of women’s time lost in search of fuel wood is estimated at $800 billion annually. The health cost is estimated at $1.4 trillion annually. Globally, universal access to clean cooking will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5 g tonnes through 2030.
Adesina said, “Providing access to clean cooking is clearly doable in Africa. Let us prioritise saving the lives of women and children; let us make it easier for women to cook in dignity and safety. Clean cooking will save forests, climate and lives of women and children.”
Tuesday’s event, titled: “A Call for Action: Universal Clean Cooking Access in Africa,” saw the unveiling of an Africa Clean Cooking Consortium to accelerate universal access to clean cooking solutions across the continent. It brought together the African Union Commission, five African governments—Kenya, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Senegal—as well as the government of Ireland and the private sector.
Adesina said the Bank is ready to forge partnerships to promote universal clean cooking in Africa. “The African Development Bank stands ready to work with everybody—all the partners—to mobilise the resources and the political actions, and the policy shifts that are necessary to get this done once and for all. So today, I ask that we create a spark that will trigger a movement to resolve this problem that will assure 100 percent access to clean cooking for women in Africa.”
The President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, affirmed the commitments of African governments to prioritise clean cooking across the continent.
“We will stand together as leaders of Africa to bring clean cooking to the highest political level and make it a priority development issue for the whole world,” President Bio said in his message to COP28 participants, delivered by Dr Kandeh Yumkella, Chairman of the Special Initiative on Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Food Security in Sierra Leone.
Ireland’s Minister for Climate Eamon Ryan commended African leaders for uniting around climate change and putting the continent at the centre of global discussions. He urged the developed world to deliver on its financing commitments to developing countries, including Africa.
Many African governments, including Kenya and Sierra Leone, are prioritising clean cooking. In September, Kenya announced the inaugural Clean Cooking Delivery Unit, a team of experts embedded within its president’s office, to accelerate clean cooking access. Sierra Leone has announced similar plans.
Also on the margins of COP28, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, on 3 December 2023, launched the African Women Clean Cooking Support Programme (https://apo-opa.co/3t7gBJS).
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).
Communication and External Relations Department
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The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: www.AfDB.org