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Kenya MECS team & KPLC discuss future collaborations for tapping into the huge potential for rolling out electric cooking solutions nationwide.

19th April 2021

By Victoria Chengo, Syprose Ochieng, Mourine Chepkemoi, Joanes Atela, Paul Osogo (African Centre for Technology Studies) and Jon Leary (Loughborough University).

On 14th April 2021, the MECS team in Kenya led by the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) met with a team from the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC); Wairimu Njehia, who leads the pika na power (which translates as ‘cooking with electricity’) program; Irene Wanjohi, the Sales Growth team lead; and Christina Kiwiri, the Industry and SMEs liaison. In attendance was Dr Jon Leary (Loughborough University /MECS), who has previously engaged with the Pika na power programme. This engagement opened opportunities for KPLC such as the Shamba Shape-up TV programme feature, collaboration with BURN Manufacturing on the Jikokoa stove, among others.

From Left to Right: Dr. Jon Leary (Loughborough University), Irene Wanjohi (KPLC), Wairimu Njehia (KPLC), Christina Kiwiri (KPLC), Paul Osogo (ACTS), Syprose Ochieng (ACTS), Victoria Chengo (ACTS), Dr. Joanes Atela (ACTS). Image credit: ACTS, 2021.

This meeting aimed to discuss the potential areas of convergence in eCooking (electric cooking) that MECS and KPLC can collaborate on. From the discussions, it was clear that there is a huge potential in the electric cooking space in Kenya that MECS can tap into, and most importantly, the striking similarities between the MECS objectives and the initiatives driven by programmes within the KPLC in terms of electric cooking. Some of the potential areas of collaboration that were identified include awareness creation e.g., through media campaigns and training community champions; capacity building e.g., technology advancement through the KPLC technical centre; demand stimulation through communication and eCooking demonstrations e.g., establishing demonstration centres across Kenya or through mobile kitchens; advocacy and policy influence; and finance access and entrepreneurship support e.g., through revolving financing mechanisms. As such, a Memorandum of Understanding between ACTS (MECS in-country partner) and KPLC will be developed to facilitate this collaboration. As a way forward, regular meetings will be held between the two teams to advance the outlined agenda.

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