I’m writing to you from Accra, Ghana, where I’ve just participated in the ECOWAS High Level Forum: “Paving the Way for Sustainable Energy for All in West Africa through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.” In my remarks I spoke about the need for clean cookstoves and fuels across West Africa, and highlighted the potential of increased regional coordination to both raise public awareness and scale up. I was very pleased to learn that the ECOWAS Secretariat has emphasized clean cooking as one of three priority areas to tackle by 2020.
The Alliance has been busy planning the Clean Cooking Forum 2013 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to be held March 18-22. The response to our selection of Cambodia as the conference site has been fantastic and we are looking forward to working with our local partners to bring you a stimulating event! The Forum’s website – complete with registration form, travel and lodging, speaker, and agenda information, and more – will be sent out in the next couple weeks. We will also be circulating the abstract submission form for those wishing to apply for a limited number of speaking slots.
Our second year anniversary event last month was an important moment for us to take stock of our accomplishments, recognize the important work of our partners, and provide a vision for where the sector is going. I want to make sure you didn’t miss some important information in the flurry of announcements that took place that day, including the:
- Suite of new research grants the Alliance has recently awarded;
- Swedish government commitment to a Loan Guarantee Fund:
- $9 million investment in Clean Star Mozambique by the Soros Economic Development Fund and the International Fund for Developing Countries;
- $2 million Alliance Spark Fund to support entrepreneurs in the sector;
- Newest Alliance Ambassador, Ghanaian musician and artist Rocky Dawuni;
- Finalization of our strategic business plan; and
- Former Irish president Mary Robinson joining the Alliance’s Leadership Council.
Since then I’m honored to announce that Michelle Bachelet, the former Chilean president and current UN Women Executive Director, and Gunilla Carlsson, the Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation, have also joined the Leadership Council!
Inside October’s newsletter you’ll: preview the Alliance’s Ghanaian Country Action Plan after our stakeholder workshop last week; see the progress the Alliance and its partners have made on a clean fuels strategy and stove inventory process; meet our new colleague spearheading the Alliance’s market-development work; read about the work of our partner Burn Design Lab in Kenya and Washington State; and as usual, learn about upcoming events, media highlights, and new Alliance partners. We’re particularly honored to announce France has recently joined the Alliance as a national donor partner!
I also want to take this time to remind you that Monday, November 12th is World Pneumonia Day. With so many cookstove-related deaths and illnesses attributable to pneumonia, it is imperative we all use this day to raise extra awareness about the disease.
Thank you for your continued support of the Alliance.