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Launch of Kakamega County eCooking hub, Kenya

7th June 2023

In an attempt to address the problems revolving around clean cooking, the Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK), Modern Energy Cooking Services program (MECS), Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) and Gamos East Africa, are promoting electric cooking through launching an eCooking hub in Kakamega County on 8th of June 2023. The eCooking hub mandate in the region is to create awareness and stimulate demand for eCooking. The hub is expected to be a centre of excellence, bringing together the clean cooking & electricity access sectors. Funded by UKPACT, the hub will be supported by CCAK, its Partners, Kakamega County Government, the eCooking hub Hosts, and suppliers in the eCooking sector. Besides, local champions were identified from 6 sub counties who are to spearhead the clean cooking agenda and carry out awareness programs regularly to mirror the weekly KPLC’s Pika na Power demonstrations program.

Electric Cooking presents a potentially transformative opportunity for Kenya’s clean cooking sector to break out of this ‘business as usual cycle’. Kenya is the birthplace of mobile money and a hotbed for innovation in the development sector. Many of the new electric cooking technologies and business models developed by Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) program are being piloted in Kenya, where they are able to leverage the ecosystem of actors and the strong enabling environments in the converging clean cooking sector. Meanwhile, Kenya Power is actively stimulating demand for its almost exclusively renewable electricity through the Last Mile Electrification Programme, which has connected many new customers with very low demand. However, despite this, Kenya has made enormous progress on electrification with coverage increasing from 19% to 75% in just 10 years. Nonetheless, most of the population still rely on polluting fuels such as firewood, charcoal, and kerosene for cooking. Currently 0% of Kenyans use electricity as their primary cooking fuel, meaning that there is an enormous untapped potential for electric cooking, which is increasingly drawing the interest of the government, consumers, and the private sector. These transitions have laid the groundwork for Kenya to take the next step towards its goal of achieving universal access to energy ahead of the 2030 SDG targets, by leveraging the progress it has made in electrification to drive forward the clean cooking agenda.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Ruth Wambui

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