With the theme of “Investment, Innovation, and Impact,” the three-day Clean Cooking Forum 2019 wrapped up in Nairobi, Kenya, on Nov 7. Co-hosted by the Clean Cooking Alliance and the Kenya Ministry of Energy, the Forum brought together over 550 people from 50 countries.
As the clean cooking sector’s preeminent event, the Forum set the stage for a range of important announcements and commitments poised to drive progress on clean cooking. Just a few of the major milestones included:
- The Kenyan government committed to achieving universal access to clean cooking by 2028, two years ahead of schedule.
- The Kenya Ministry of Energy unveiled the Kenya Household Cooking Sector Study and committed to petitioning the United Nations to establish an International Day of Clean Cooking.
- The World Bank outlined plans for its $500 million Clean Cooking Fund.
- Nairobi-based Equity Bank pledged to invest $100 million in the clean energy sector over the next two years, with the majority going to clean cooking.
- A coalition of partners launched “Clean Cooking Is…”, the first global advocacy campaign created exclusively to drive greater support for and investment in clean cooking.
- Former United Nations Under-Secretary General Kandeh Yumkella announced the creation of the High-Level Coalition of Leaders for Clean Cooking, Energy and Health, bringing together political representatives from ministries of health, energy, and finance.
- TOTAL, ENEA Consulting, SEforALL, and Acumen launched the Energy Access Booster 2020 and announced a call for projects to support energy access entrepreneurs in Africa and Asia.
- The Global LEAP Awards previewed a new competition for electric pressure cookers, in partnership with the UK Aid-funded Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) programme and the Efficiency for Access Coalition.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) and others noted progress on the Health and Energy Platform of Action, which is gaining momentum in helping countries strengthen the political and technical cooperation between the health and energy sectors.
The Opening Plenary featured opening remarks from representatives of the Kenya Ministry of Energy, the European Union, the Netherlands, Norway, the World Bank, WHO, the African Union, and the Clean Cooking Alliance. Mr. Franciscus Albrecht Makken, Dutch Ambassador to Kenya, affirmed his government’s commitment to ambitiously promote clean cooking solutions, noting that they empower women, create business opportunities and jobs, and avoid deforestation and negative climate impact. The Plenary also included a high-level panel discussion that explored the role of global advocacy, increased investment, and national policies can play in achieving universal access to clean cooking by 2030.
Following the plenary, a Business-to-Business Matchmaking session, supported by GET.invest, facilitated nearly 200 meetings between business leaders, investors, policymakers, and experts. In addition, widely-attended breakout sessions covered increasing sector investment, leveraging research to support policy development, driving consumer demand, implementing standards, and accelerating access through the MECS programme.
Following a day of engaging breakout sessions, Day 2 featured a closing plenary focused on women's outstanding leadership across the clean cooking value chain. From a session with Alliance Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award winners and select ENERGIA entrepreneurs, to an engaging high-level panel of women leaders, the closing plenary created a space for women to share their unique experiences, elevate their voices, and express the momentous efforts they are leading to grow and scale the sector.
The day wrapped up with a tour through the Innovation Expo, which showcased 22 companies and organizations helping to drive the clean cooking sector forward, and a networking reception supported by Equity Bank.
Nearly 150 participants joined a wide range of site visits that showcased innovative clean cooking solutions in and around Nairobi. Site visits included BURN Manufacturing’s biomass stove facility, Proto Energy's cylinder manufacturing and refilling factory, KOKO Networks’ ethanol cookstove facility, biogas cooking home visits, and a culinary tour of Kenya using electric appliances, supported by MECS.
“We have to do things differently, disrupt our way of thinking, as business-as-usual will not enable us to achieve our global and national aspirations.” – Hon. Simon Kachapin, Chief Administrative Secretary, Kenya Ministry of Energy
“Cooking is a silent tsunami. Failure to address the problem does not reflect inadequate technology or even insufficient resources, but a lack of political will.” – Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General For Sustainable Energy for All, and Former two-term Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization
“Women need to lead from the front, come up with products, and market them. When women produce, market, and distribute, then we succeed.” – Phoebe Makungu, Deputy Director for Gender and Development, Kenya Ministry of Energy
“In case you haven’t already, please set a big, bold, clean cooking goal for yourselves. Clean cooking is worth it.” – Neha Juneja, CEO and Co-Founder, Greenaway Appliances