Promoting Clean Cooking Investment at Nairobi Forum

EEP Africa moderated a panel on “Clean Cooking Investment: What are Investors Looking for?” at the Clean Cooking Forum 2019 in Nairobi on 6 November 2019

On 6 November, EEP Africa Portfolio Coordinator Fred Eklund led a panel discussion on clean cooking investment at the Clean Cooking Forum 2019. He began by highlighting recent trends in the sector, including a shift towards more holistic approaches that often include the fuel and an all-inclusive package catering for all energy needs of a household by also providing lighting and electricity. PAYGO schemes are becoming the norm and the internet of things has entered the sector and enables the providers to track cooking in real time. In general, the clean cooking sector has been influenced by business models that have enabled the SHS sector to grow.

These trends are all evident in EEP Africa’s portfolio of innovative projects in the clean cooking sector. To date, EEP Africa has committed EUR 13 million to 45 clean cooking projects (cookstoves, biomass, biogas, waste-to-energy). Collectively, these have achieved EUR 44 million in household savings and income generation, created close to 3,400 direct jobs, potentially reduced or avoided over 779,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions. Over 35% of these projects have been in Kenya, confirming the Clean Cooking Alliance’s recognition of Kenya as a leader in the sector. Learn more in a new EEP Africa fact sheet on clean cooking.

At the session in Nairobi, the introduction was followed by a one-on-one chat between an investor, Faith Chege from Factor[e] Ventures, and the managing director of a company, Esther Altofer from Sistema.bio. The women and Mr. Eklund were then joined by the rest of the panel for a lively discussion on emerging business models, investment criteria and current capital flows. The full panel included: Jorund Buen of DIFFER, Louis Boorstin of Osprey Foundation, and Nick Quintong of Paygo Energy. (Short bios of all panelists can be found on the Clean Cooking Forum website.)

Co-hosted by the Clean Cooking Alliance and the Kenya Ministry of Energy, the Clean Cooking Forum 2019 attracted over 500 people from 50+ countries. This annual event is the largest gathering of those working to achieve universal access to clean cooking. This year’s theme of “Investment, Innovation, Impact” put a focus on creative financing and investment opportunities, as well as innovative approaches and strategies to strengthen the inclusion of women in the clean cooking value chain.

Promoting gender inclusion and new economic opportunities for women was the theme of EEP Africa’s most recent call-for-proposals. Out of 285 applications received, 19% proposed innovative clean cooking solutions and 79% of these were submitted by women-led organisations. From this 2019 call, 5 new clean cooking projects were approved with total financing of EUR 1.25 million. Learn more in a brief analysis of EEP Africa’s genderthemed call.

For more about our work in this sector, read the new EEP Africa fact sheet on clean cooking.

And check out the Clean Cooking Alliance’s new global advocacy campaign at https://cleancooking.is/

Photo credits: Emerging Cooking Solutions by Jason Mulikita (top image); Clean Cooking Alliance (bottom left image)