AfDB will dedicate $2 billion to clean cooking over the next 10 years

AfDB will dedicate  billion to clean cooking over the next 10 years

Last week, clean cooking was at the center of a high-profile event in Paris, France. It was the African Clean Cooks Summit, co-chaired by French President Emmanuel Macron, Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Norway, Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). ). Group and Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

At this historic summit dedicated to clean cooking, the President of the AfDB announced his institution’s commitment to dedicate $2 billion over the next ten years to access to clean cooking. This corresponds to 200 million dollars a year. The AfDB thus becomes the first development financial institution to include clean cooking among its priorities in Africa.

Deforestation and pollution

This is an issue with economic, climatic and health implications. “Access to a clean kitchen is more than a question of cooking, it is a question of dignity… It is much more than turning on the stove, it is an existential question. “It’s about equity, justice and equality for women,” Akinwumi Adesina said. Currently, 1.2 million Africans continue to cook their food with charcoal or firewood.

As a result, 200 million hectares of forests, including 110 million in Africa, are threatened by the climate effects of cooking with charcoal, biomass and wood, according to IEA figures. Among the African countries most affected by deforestation related to charcoal production is the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Read also: What innovative financing is needed to unlock access to clean cooking in Africa?

In this country located in the heart of the Congo basin, trees are cut down en masse to produce charcoal, also in the Virunga National Park. According to the Development Innovation Fund (DIF), charcoal is the energy source for 90% of the population in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Faced with this crisis, which affects most sub-Saharan countries, the president of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan, asked at the Paris summit that “a generous replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF), including $12 billion for clean cooking.”

The commitment of France and Norway

For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to invest “100 million euros in five years in clean cooking solutions and mobilize more through the Paris Pact for people, planet and finances together.” Norway is expected to contribute $50 million.

Despite the $2.2 billion pledges made in Paris, much remains to be done to achieve universal access to clean cooking in Africa, especially as 1.2 billion Africans continue to cook their food over wood fires or other fossil fuels. As a result, “In 10 years, 6 million people, mainly women, will die prematurely. This is unacceptable”, said the president of the AfDB in Paris. We need to invest $8 billion each year in Africa to achieve universal access to clean cooking. We are still very far from achieving it.

Jean-Marie Takouleu