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Kenya Clean Cooking week blog series, Day 3: Thematic Panel Discussions

15th March 2023
Clean 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 third post of the blog series, we draw attention to some of the key takeaways from the myriad of rich sessions held on day 3 that hosted over 200 participants.

The six-panel sessions, focused on the following themes: Short-Lived Climate Pollutants and Impacts of Household Air Pollution on Health,  Ongoing Clean cooking Initiatives, Enhancing Demand, increasing Supply and Keeping the voice of the customer at Clean Cooking’s Core, Financing the Clean Cooking sector for the Energy Transition, Just & Inclusive Clean Cooking Transition, Gender mainstreaming and social inclusion in Energy and Understanding Critical Cost Drivers for Clean Cooking Business Model, as elaborated below.

Short-lived climate pollutants and impacts of household air pollution on health

This session, moderated by Mr. Antony Wainaina (Ministry of Health) brought together experts from the health and air quality sector to discuss the critical research on clean cooking and health. The panelists discussed how air pollution affects health, particularly household air pollution. Mr Lolem (Ministry of Health) referenced a study done by Kemri which found that at least 23,0001 Kenyans die annually due to household air pollution. He said that the MoH through GIZ has trained 60 Trainer of Trainees (TOTs) who have trained 2600 community health volunteers to promote primary prevention strategies to enhance the transition to cleaner sources of fuel and energy. Dr Mwitari from Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) indicated that Clean Air Africa has been trying to strengthen the community health systems, especially the workforce, to create awareness in the community. Dr Osano spoke about the Integrated Assessment of Air Pollution and Climate Change for Sustainable Development in Africa report which identifies measures through which African countries can achieve sustainable development goals and meet agenda 2063 goals. This was developed by Stockholm Environment Institute Africa, the United Nations Environment Program, the Africa Union Commission, and Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

Image 1: from left, Mr Fred Amariati (GIZ), Mr Jonathan Waita (Practical Action), Florent Eveille (GIZ), Ms. Myra Mukulu (KOSAP), Mr Peter Thobora (Ministry of Energy), Mr Jechoniah Kitala (CCAK). Image by Clean Cooking Association of Kenya.

Ongoing Clean Cooking Initiatives

This panel session, moderated by the Chairman of CCAK Mr Kitala, explored some of the ongoing initiatives in the sector, achievements, challenges, opportunities, outlook, and what needs to be done differently to achieve the goal of “Universal access to modern cooking energy solutions by 2028”. GIZ, a key partner in many of the energy studies in Kenya, has been able to innovate its clean cooking programs in response to changing local and international contexts. As shared by both Mr Fredrick and Mr Florent, this programme focused on aspects of the value chain, like specific stoves, technologies, and how to help producers and suppliers meet specific criteria as per the existing global requirements. GIZ has an African Biodigester component that not only focuses on the biogas but also the biofluid to improve the business model of biodigesters. This approach makes them more affordable and more beneficial for households, which aligns with the Government’s efforts to have higher penetration and a strong contribution towards the target of universal access to clean cooking energy by 2028.

Kenya Off-grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP) aims to enhance access to renewable energy solutions in 14 underserved counties in the Northwestern, Northeastern, Southeastern, and Coastal regions of Kenya. As pointed out by Ms Myra, KOSAP’s result-based finance model provides market development incentives to encourage private sector engagement in marginalized regions. Advance payment is made for suppliers to go into these counties, set up shops, offer after-sales service, and recruit local agents.

Image 2: from left, Mr Adams Amenya (Sistema Bio), Mr Don Gaitano (Kijani testing lab), Mr Weche Akarla (ISAK), Mr Peter Scott (Burn Manufacturing), Mr Dinesh Thembekhar (Lean Solutions), Ms Dorothy Otieno (Nyalore Impact), Ms Mabel Rubadiri (Koko Networks) and Mr Daniel Wanjohi (EED Advisory). Image by Clean Cooking Association of Kenya.

Enhancing demand, increasing supply, and keeping the voice of the customer at Clean Cooking’s core

This discussion moderated by Mr Daniel Wanjohi (EED Advisory) emphasized the need for generating insights on consumers to tailor services and products to their needs, behaviours, and constraints. It explored what is being done, what needs to be done, and how to facilitate demand creation and strengthen supply chains. In the panel, Ms. Mabel of KOKO Networks described their climate tech platform that manufactures and sells two-burner cookers that run on ethanol fuels. She said that they now have over 700,000 customers whom they are continuously engaging with. BURN Manufacturing, the world’s largest vertically integrated stove manufacturing company, makes about 250,000 units a month and is on track to do 600,000 units per month by June 2023 said BURN CEO, Mr Scott.

On constraints to clean cooking adoption, Ms Dorothy, founder, and CEO of Nyalore Impact, like other panelists identified a lack of awareness and finance to pay the upfront cost of cookstoves as key constraints towards adoption.

This discussion provided an opportunity for participants to gain an understanding of how valuable their insights were in ensuring that services and solutions were tailored according to their needs.

Image 3: from left, Prof Ed Brown (MEC), Mr, George Okuthe (Acumen), Mr Walter Kipruto (Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund), Mr Tom Owino (Climate Impact Partners), Ms Maurine Adhiambo (GIZ), Ms Adele Boadzo (AfDB), and Mr Patrick Thimba (Private Financing Advisory Network). Image by Clean Cooking Association of Kenya.

Financing the Clean Cooking sector for energy transition

This session, moderated by Prof Ed Brown of the Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) allowed the panelists to share with the participants what results-based financing and carbon financing are and the different mechanisms they have explored that could activate a new scale of investment for the clean cooking sector.

For instance, under the access to finance programme by GIZ, various players are working to develop bankable proposals at informal and formal enterprise levels. They offer financial literacy across the board on banking and microfinance. AECF through its renewable energy program, financing mechanisms, advisory, and investment services, bridge the gap to sustain commercial funding.

Additionally, Acumen has invested capital in early-stage companies (5) in the clean cooking space, financing to the tune of 6 million dollars and providing solutions to help improve the lives of the poor.

Image 4: from left, Ms Dorothy Otieno (Nyalore Impact), Dr Tullu Bakhari (ICIPE), Ms Prudence Lihabi (Youth for Sustainable Energy), Ms Evelyn Makori (GIZ), Ms Emily Bolo (ACTS), Ms Philomena Mitalo (CCAK). Image by Clean Cooking Association of Kenya.

Just & inclusive Clean Cooking transition, gender mainstreaming and social inclusion in energy

This session, moderated by Philomena Mitalo of the Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK), reflected on why innovation was a crucial enabler for development and one of the key components to achieve SDG7 and making young entrepreneurs a central part of the solution. The panelists gave their experiences as entrepreneurs, researchers, and sector players in the energy space, and this provided young entrepreneurs with the keys to how to turn their ideas into action and how gender and social inclusion can be mainstreamed in clean cooking. The panel, composed of only women, observed that gender mainstreaming and inclusivity are vital in achieving universal access to clean cooking. This can only be made possible by incorporating more men in gender advocacy and communication initiatives.

Image 5: from left, Mr Erick Muriithi (Blaze Entertainment Ltd), Ms Lea Geron Chouhan (Southpole), Mr Fred Amariati (GIZ GCF), Ms Irene Kamande (BURN Manufacturing), Mr. Colm Fay (CCA). Image by Clean Cooking Association of Kenya.

Understanding critical cost drivers for Clean Cooking business model

Results-based financing (RBF), principally through the growth of climate finance and carbon credits, is recognized as one of the most assuring opportunities of the impending decade. Whereas stimulating progress has been made to advance RBF for clean cooking in current years, the real unit costs of clean cooking should be better articulated, transaction costs reduced, and key supply chain actors supported for the sector to capitalize on this prospect.

In this session moderated by Mr Erick Muriithi of Blaze Entertainment Ltd, Mr Colm of the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) emphasized that the most important form of RBF in the clean cooking sector is structured around the output. However, there is a need to shift the mind to outcomes rather than outputs. He proposed that there is a need to incentivize more areas on the supply interventions side, while on demand-side subsidies should be applied to lower the cost to end users. BURN Manufacturing is one of the beneficiaries of carbon finance in Kenya. Ms Irene indicated that the organization gets into RBF agreements to distribute thousands of stoves, an audit is done, the output is verified, and reimbursement is made. Adding to the discourse Mr Fredrick (GIZ), noted that the risk with RBF is the upfront cost, where activities need to be pre-financed, yet payment is typically only made after the verification of results.

Image 6: Mr Mohammed Aminu Lukumanu CEO of GHACCO handing an appreciation gift to the MoE team. Image by Clean Cooking Association of Kenya.

In conclusion, the participants of the clean cooking week were able to gather knowledge from the various thematic discussions held during the day. Depending on which panel session participants chose to be a part of, they were able to understand the various dynamics that are and will contribute to Kenya’s vision of achieving universal access to clean cooking energy by 2028. The day ended with the presentation of gifts to the sponsors of the 2022 Clean Cooking Week and a cocktail session for all participants at the exhibition area.

Image 7: Mr Jechonia Kitala (CCAK/SETA) handing an appreciation gift to the CCA team.
Image by Clean Cooking Association of Kenya.

Further reading:


Featured Image: From left, Mr Lolem Bosco (Ministry of Health), Dr Phillip Osano (SEI Africa), Dr Anne Omambia (NEMA), Mr Antony Wainaina (Ministry of Health), Mr Brian Mounde (Ministry of the environment), Dr James Mwitari (KEMRI). Image by Clean Cooking Association of Kenya.


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