Since October, the Alliance has held in-country stakeholder meetings in Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda designed to finalize the sector-wide Country Action Plan or Platform, as well as the Alliance’s targeted approach in these markets. These discussions largely focused on how the Alliance can tailor its global platform built around its six value propositions to meet the needs of partner countries as well as rolling out specific implementation strategies in these target markets where key leverage points have been identified that can unleash growth in the market and provide applicable information to our other partner markets. Through these consultations, stakeholders identified specific key actions and next steps that will unlock growth in their specific markets and coordinate actors and inform governmental initiatives and policies.
On average over 80 percent of the population in these Target Markets cook over traditional cookstoves or open fires, which contributes to significant deforestation and causes the deaths of almost 90,000 people every year. The Alliance looks forward to working closely with partners on the ground in these markets that have a great need and high potential for scaling adoption and testing innovative approaches. The Alliance is pleased to offer a few highlights from these stakeholder consultations that brought together cookstove and fuel producers and distributors, non-governmental organizations, environmental and women’s groups, various government ministries, and researchers, as well as key donors. If you would like to get involved in any of the in-country activities mentioned here, please join the relevant country discussion group in the community section of our website.
As part of a full-day meeting in Accra, stakeholders outlined five key areas of possible engagement such as stronger integration into the government’s regulatory framework, access to finance for entrepreneurs to scale their businesses, improved quality and performance of locally produced cookstoves, increased consumer choice, and the need to address challenges with fuel production and supply.
After the stakeholder meeting, in a display of the Ghanaian government’s commitment to tackling this important issue, the Alliance participated in a public launch of the Ghana Country Action Plan for Clean Cooking, along with Dr. Mustapha Ahmed, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, and Rocky Dawuni, a singer, songwriter, and social activist from Ghana, and the newest Alliance Ambassador. The launch was part of a broader Ghanaian commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Having completed these discussions the Alliance is in the process of rolling out its implementation plan in coordination in these governmental and international initiatives.
The Alliance co-hosted a two-day stakeholder consultation in Kampala with the World Bank’s Africa Clean Cooking Energy Solutions (ACCES) initiative, which announced that Uganda was the one of three countries that the World Bank has partnered with on clean cooking solutions. During the workshop, the Ugandan government confirmed their commitment to prioritizing clean cooking solutions and issues such as quality control, standards and testing, alternative fuel options, and consumer awareness – all of which were emphasized as clear needs by participating stakeholders. Smaller strategic roundtables on fuels, gender and empowerment, quality assurance and standards, and monitoring tools were held to explore some issues in more detail and to identify the more detailed components of the key interventions.
ACCES and the Alliance will closely coordinate activities, while maintaining priority focus areas for reaching scale. ACCES will focus on quality assurance and technical training, market intelligence, and business development support activities. ACCES is developing a regional quality assurance program and will coordinate with the Alliance to harmonize the program's support with the standards and testing efforts in Uganda. The Alliance identified the carbon finance value chain as a key leverage point in Uganda and received positive feedback from the participants on our plan to improve the access and efficiency to carbon finance and impact investment. The Ugandan stakeholders have also been working toward the formation of the Uganda National Alliance for Clean Cooking, a national coordinating body that can ensure the overall coordination of priority interventions identified in the Country Action Plan or Platform.
Peter Odhengo, the Deputy-Secretary General of the Nairobi-Paris Climate Change Initiative and the Green Energy/Climate Change Inter-ministerial Coordinator of the Office of Prime Minister, opened the Alliance’s stakeholder consultation with an outline of Kenya’s leading role in government and regulatory policies that support universal access to clean energy and a call to action in the clean cooking sector. Mr. Odhengo also highlighted the role of Energy+, an initiative of Norway, to ensure access to sustainable energy for all and avoid greenhouse gas emissions through the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Jacob Moss, the Director of U.S. Cookstoves Initiatives, provided an overview of the funding the US government has mobilized to address the clean cooking sector, and representatives from the US Agency for International Development, The Energy and Resources Institute of India, and Sustainable Energy for All outlined investments they are bringing to the sector in Kenya. Stakeholders participated in substantive working group discussions to further refine and validate the main barriers and key intervention options in the draft Country Action Platform, as well as developed key steps that are critical to the success of the various interventions in order to inform initiatives and implementers with practical information in their planning stages. Additionally, a strategic working session with gender experts focused on integrating gender throughout the relevant interventions prioritized in the Country Action Platform.
With key client market information identified as a key bottleneck, the Alliance will now commission a consumer segmentation study to identify those segments with the greatest potential to reach scale of clean cookstove and fuel adoption. This information will be used to better inform current efforts, including where they can be enhanced, and determine where additional resources should be applied in order to have the greatest impact on the market to refine and inform the Alliance’s implementation strategy geared toward two priority segments.
The Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of the Government of Bangladesh (Power Division) hosted a consultation workshop for the clean cooking sector on December 12 in Dhaka. This workshop is one of a series of consultations facilitated by the Alliance and hosted by the government to identify key barriers and interventions for the Bangladesh market, which will help guide and coordinate the implementation strategies of the many strong players in the sector. The Alliance will continue to engage with the Power Division, which is now in the position to integrate the market information and stakeholder discussions into its policy and regulatory frameworks. The Alliance looks forward to building on the success of the cookstoves and fuels sector in Bangladesh by helping to build and strengthen the enabling environment, while also leveraging innovative distribution models and opportunities to economically empower women and men through improved livelihoods.