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The strong market response to the second funding round by the Modern Cooking Facility for Africa exceeds expectations

12th March 2024
Clean Cooking

The Modern Cooking Facility for Africa (MCFA) received very strong interest in its second funding round to support access to and scale-up of high-technology clean cooking solutions in Sub-Saharan African countries. Close to 100 eligible applications across the seven MCFA project countries have passed the initial screening.

The second funding round invited interested private companies selling modern and clean cooking solutions to compete for funding. In total, 99 applications passed Nefco’s initial screening, double the number of the first call launched in spring 2022.

“Looking back, 2024 will be seen as a watershed year for the clean cooking industry. It is extremely positive to see such significant interest in our funding from the private sector. It demonstrates that clean cooking is now receiving more attention and that there is a viable pipeline of companies in the clean cooking sector,” says Ash Sharma, Head of MCFA and Vice President of Special Funds at Nefco. “This MCFA round is oversubscribed more than ninefold, demonstrating that financial support is needed to scale solutions in the private sector”.

Applications that successfully passed the first screening are divided across the project countries as follows: 11 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 15 from Kenya, 18 from Malawi, 9 from Mozambique, 10 from Tanzania, 22 from Zambia and 14 from Zimbabwe.

Figure 1: Country division of Applications passing the pre-screening compared to the first MCFA Call for Proposals.

The received applications represent a diverse range of technologies, with some applications including multiple technological solutions. The offered technologies indicate significant development in electric cooking solutions and solid biofuels compared to the first funding round. LPG, a new technology under MCFA, was also strongly represented in the pipeline.

Figure 2: Technology division of Applications passing the pre-screening compared to the first MCFA Call for Proposals.

“We are overwhelmed by the interest we received in our second funding round and wish to thank all our partners and donors, as well as the local associations for clean cooking and renewable energy in MCFA countries, for their support in providing visibility to the programme and open call,” comments Heli Sinkko, Programme Manager of MCFA at Nefco. “With such a high number of applications received, we will be able to make a significant contribution to the transition to clean cooking alternatives in all the MCFA project countries.”

The second funding round aims to incentivise companies to establish or scale up their existing innovative sustainable local businesses in the project countries and thereby accelerate access to modern, higher-tier clean cooking services for consumers in these countries. The funding round is divided into two funding windows combining results-based financing and catalytic grant financing. The total available funding for both windows across all country programmes will be up to EUR 16 million, and the individual ticket sizes will range from EUR 500,000 to 2.5 million.

The Modern Cooking Facility for Africa (MCFA)’s second funding round (MCFA2) closed on 31 January for clean cooking providers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The applicants have been notified of the Pre-Application outcome and those that passed the initial screening have been invited to send their business plans by 2 April and financial offers by 15 May 2024. More information about all the steps of the funding round is available on

For further information, please contact:

Heli Sinkko, Programme Manager, Modern Cooking Facility for Africa, Nefco, +358 10 6180 659

Emma Yrjölä, Programme Officer of Modern Cooking Facility for Africa, Nefco, +358 10 6180 826

Clean cooking and renewable energy associations/working groups in the MCFA countries

About MCFA
The Modern Cooking Facility for Africa is a multi-donor facility established and managed by Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank – with the aim to support the development of new markets for the clean cooking sector and accelerate access to high-technology, modern and affordable cooking equipment for consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa, combining results-based financing with catalytic grant financing to companies active in the clean cooking market to grow and scale up their businesses in the programme countries.

The overall aim of the MCFA programme is to provide access to clean cooking solutions for approximately 4 million Africans. The current EUR 61.5 million MCFA programme was announced in November 2021 and is funded by Sweden and the European Union. Read more on

About Nefco

Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank – is an international financial institution based in Helsinki, Finland, owned by the five Nordic countries, focusing on environmental and climate investments to work with concrete actions to accelerate the green transition. Nefco also manages external funds in the climate and energy space. It is accredited by the European Union and the Green Climate Fund and is the Facility Manager for the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa, a EUR 126 million multi-donor results-based financing facility funded by Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden and USAID. Read more on