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Kenya Clean Cooking Week Blog Series Day 2: Transforming the Enabling Environment to Achieve Universal Access to Clean Cooking by 2028

2nd March 2023
Electric Cooking

By Syprose Ochieng (Gamos East Africa), Dr Jon Leary (Gamos East Africa), Dr Faith Wandera-Odongo (Ministry of Energy and Petroleum), Beryl Onjala (Gamos East Africa), Philomena Mitalo (Clean Cooking Association of Kenya), Brian Murumba (Clean Cooking Association of Kenya)

In this second part of the blog series, we highlight a sequence of sessions that occurred on the 2nd day of Clean Cooking Week (CCW) hosted by the Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK) in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (MoEP) and their partners at the Panari Hotel in Nairobi from 28th November to 2nd December 2022.

The event themed: “Transforming the Enabling Environment to Achieve Universal Access to Clean Cooking by 2028”, was remarkably well attended by 200 key stakeholders from Kenya’s clean cooking sector. It offered a rich programme of activities exhibiting testimonies, initiatives, and resolutions to accelerate clean cooking in communities, and institutions in Kenya and globally.

The Clean Cooking Week day 2 officially commenced on 29th November 2022 with a keynote address from the Principal Secretary, MoEP, Maj Gen (Rtd) Dr. Gordon Kihalangwa who represented Cabinet Secretary, MoEP, Davis Chirchir. Mr. Chirchir affirmed to the audience that “the Ministry is committed to strengthening partnerships with the Ministries of Health, Environment and Forestry, Industrialization, Agriculture and the National Treasury and Planning to deliver on Universal Access to Modern Energy Cooking Services to Kenyans by 2028”.

The Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK) Chairman, Jechoniah Kitala also echoed that “the theme of the Clean Cooking Week 2022 was inspired by the realization that transformation in the cooking sector cannot be delivered through the implementation of individual solutions by companies, development organizations or even government. The solution lies in addressing underlying systemic constraints through a multi-actor sector development approach which included working with national and sub-national governments, private sector, financial institutions, and development partners”.

Permanent Secretary, MoEP, Major General (Retired) Dr Gordon Kihalangwa launching the MoEP trucks for the BCC Campaign. Image by Clean Cooking Association of Kenya.

The Principal Secretary of MoEP Maj Gen (Rtd.) Dr. Gordon Kihalangwa was later joined by participants to launch the MoEP/CCAK USSD code *789*788# which links the suppliers of improved cookstoves with users and flag off 3 awareness creation trucks purchased for MoEP through financing by the Green Climate Fund – Climate Friendly Cooking Project and GIZ for the purpose of implementing the Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) Strategy for Clean Cooking that was launched on 19th July 2022. 

After the launch, the CCW participants were taken through enabling policies and strategies by Dr Faith Wandera-Odongo, Senior Deputy Director of Renewable Energy, (MoEP).  She highlighted the Bioenergy Strategy, Behaviour Change Communication Strategy, Gender in Energy Policy, Energy Efficiency Strategy, and the Cooking Energy Compact as some of the government initiatives put in place to achieve the ambitious target of “Universal access to clean cooking by 2028”. The MoEP is also leading the development of the Kenya National Clean Cooking Strategy (KNCCS) which will bring cohesion to the clean cooking sector and the Kenya National Electric Cooking Strategy (KNeCS), which will bring together the clean cooking and electricity access sectors, both of which were highlighted in subsequent sessions.

Dr Faith Wandera-Odongo, Senior Deputy Director of Renewable Energy at MoEP presented enabling policies and strategies to participants. Image by Clean Cooking Association of Kenya.

In the second session, Murefu Barasa, Managing Partner at EED Advisory presented their approach to developing the KNCCS. The KNCCS aims to bring coherence to the sector and map out the pathway toward universal access by 2028. The session complemented the open committee meeting on the KNCCS that was held on Monday, 28th November 2022 by raising awareness of the ongoing strategy development process amongst the high-level stakeholders present in the opening session. This was followed by Dr Elsie Onsongo, Director at Nuvoni Centre for Innovation Research who presented on the KNeCS. The vision of the eCooking Strategy is to bring together the clean cooking and electricity access sectors to facilitate the growth of the emerging eCooking sector. The KNeCS is underpinned by a baseline study that will evaluate the current usage of electricity for cooking in Kenya, entry points for accelerating uptake, and an evaluation of the potential impacts of scaled uptake on the environment, health, gender equity, and the grid itself.

The plenary session was followed by three-panel sessions in the afternoon as follows:

Panel 1: Planning for Clean Cooking at the County Level

This discussion moderated by Erick Muriithi (Blaze Entertainment Ltd), consisted of 4 panelists; Mariam Karanja, Technical Advisor (GIZ), Jechoniah Kitala (SETA), Wilfred Baya, County Energy Director (Kilifi County), and Rachel Mwangangi, Assistant Director Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, (Kitui County). The discussion focused on how counties could support the achievement of Kenya’s ambitious target of achieving universal access to clean cooking by 2028, both at the household and institutional levels. The panelists discussed how Kenya’s diverse cultures and natural resources influence cooking methods in various regions.  Some of the clean cooking initiatives cited included the Kilifi County government which has increased its focus on renewable energy and clean cooking in its County Integrated Development Plan.

Additionally, Sustainable Energy Technical Assistance (SETA) is working in several counties to build the institutional capacity of the counties, private sector, and civil society organizations to promote the adoption of clean cooking solutions. Mr. Kitala reaffirmed that they are sensitizing the counties on the need for energy planning and that the energy delivery model has been piloted in Kitui.

Panel 2: Biomass Cooking- evolution and scale on the road to achieve universal access by 2028

This panel consisted of Colm Fay, Senior Director of Market Strengthening (CCA), Maxwell Musoka, Technical Advisor (GIZ), Timothy Mwangi, Head of Consulting, (Practical Action), and was moderated by Dr Faith Wandera-Odongo. It focused on how biomass businesses involving biomass segments attract investments, what was missing to reach scalable biomass fuel distribution models, and what opportunities and challenges are in the ecosystem. The panelists shared with the participants what the cooking sector was doing to support SMEs involved in developing improved biomass solutions. Colm Fay revealed that there were efforts to create awareness and understanding of the solutions and the benefits of biomass stoves. GIZ is helping SMEs to have quality biomass stoves, innovation to improve stoves, capacity building of SMEs, financial literacy, business skills, and awareness creation to suit the environment, based on the target market. Meanwhile Practical Action is empowering women entrepreneurs through business training, and awareness creation platforms to exhibit and sell their products and link them with larger manufacturers. Colm also noted that business is evolving in the finance sector and bio-financing and its impacts are shifting towards greater and more advanced action in terms of a manufacturing process in Kenya and beyond industrialization and modernization.

From left Dr Jon Leary (Gamos East Africa/ MECS), Joanes Atela (ARIN), David Njugi (GOGLA), Ruth Kimani (CLASP), Irene Wanjohi (KPLC), and Aaron Leopold (EnerGrow). Image by Clean Cooking Association of Kenya.

Panel 3: Accelerating the Electrification of Cooking in Kenya

This session moderated by Dr Jon Leary, Senior Researcher at MECS and Director at Gamos East Africa, consisted of 5 panellists: Dr Joanes Atela, Director Partnership (ACTS), David Njugi, East Africa Regional Representative (GOGLA), Ruth Kimani, Senior Associate (CLASP), Irene Wanjohi, Principal Customer Relations Officer (KPLC), and Aaron Leopold, CEO (EnerGrow). 

The panellists shared their insights on how their various projects were accelerating the uptake of eCooking in Kenya. Joanes emphasized the need to connect clean cooking and electrification policies to create an integrated policy framework that can support the growth of the emerging eCooking sector. David talked about the role of eCooking beyond the limits of the grid, with new technologies that enable off-grid households to embrace eCooking. He emphasized the need to leverage innovative business models from the off-grid sector to address affordability. Ruth discussed the progress that has been made in building capacity for eCooking appliance testing in Kenya through the Global LEAP+RBF programme. Irene shared that KPLC has continued to create awareness through demonstration centers that focus on educating its customers on the use of electric cooking appliances to help make cooking easier and grow electricity demand. Aaron highlighted the role of Energrow as a microfinance company that was set up to support utilities and mini-grid developers to grow demand for electricity by offering their customers appliances on credit.

You will be able to read more about Kenya’s Clean Cooking Week in our next blog in the series.

For more information on clean cooking week refer to the full report.

Click here for the first blog post in this series.

Featured Image: Permanent Secretary, MoEP, Major General (Retired) Dr Gordon Kihalangwa addressing the participants of the CCW. Image by Clean Cooking Association of Kenya.

Opportunity: Women in Modern Energy Cooking (WMEC) initiative launched