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AfDB : 2 Billion USD to improve clean cooking and save forests

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AfDB : 2 Billion USD to improve clean cooking and save forests

In Africa, 1.2 billion people lack access to clean cooking facilities. This shortage is one of the main causes of deforestation in Africa. The AfDB’s funding is a major step towards saving the lives of 600,000 people, mainly women and children, each year.

Funding to improve public health

The African Development Bank (AfDB) promises to invest 2 billion USD over the next decade in clean cooking initiatives in Africa. This funding marks a significant advancement in the effort to save the lives of 600,000 people, mainly women and children, each year. This commitment aims to address the health risks associated with traditional cooking methods that rely on charcoal, wood, and biomass, which contribute to severe respiratory diseases and environmental degradation.

AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina announced that the Bank would allocate 20 % of its energy project financing to promoting safe cooking alternatives. This initiative is part of the institution’s goal to improve public health and promote sustainable development in the region. It also highlights the urgent need for innovative and sustainable energy solutions to replace harmful traditional practices.

Commitments from the Paris Summit on clean cooking in Africa

At the Clean Cooking Summit in Africa, held in Paris, France committed to investing 100 million EUR over five yearsin clean cooking methods. Additionally, the French government promised to mobilize further resources through the Paris Pact for People and the Planet and Finance in Common. The summit was chaired by Tanzanian President Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, Dr. Adesina, and Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency.

« Access to clean cooking is not just about preparing meals; it’s a matter of dignity… It’s not just about lighting a stove; it’s a matter of life itself. It’s about equity, justice, and equality for women, » Adesina said, recalling how, in his youth, he damaged his eyesight by blowing on smoky wood fires.

Avoiding harmful fuels

Globally, more than two billion people lack access to clean cooking methods, with over half of them in Africa. Using charcoal, wood, agricultural waste, and animal dung as fuel, they inhale toxic and harmful fumes, which have disastrous health consequences. It is the second leading cause of premature death in Africa. Educational, employment, and independence opportunities are also severely affected, as women spend hours each day searching for rudimentary fuels.

The Bank’s commitment of 200 million USD per year is a significant contribution towards the 4 billion USD needed annually to provide African families with access to clean cooking facilities by 2030. In addition to its dramatic impact on human lives, the lack of clean cooking facilities is a major cause of deforestation in Africa.

According to figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA), 200 million hectares of forests worldwide, including 110 million in Africa, are threatened by the climate effects of charcoal, biomass, and wood cooking. « Providing access to clean cooking methods is not only fair and equitable but also a globally responsible approach. »

Norway to invest 50 Million USD in clean cooking in Africa

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre stated : « Improving access to clean cooking improves health outcomes, reduces emissions, and creates economic growth opportunities. Norway is a strong supporter of clean cooking, and I am pleased to announce that we are committing approximately 50 million USD to this important cause. »

This summit has made a firm commitment to an issue that has been overlooked for too long. Achieving this level of funding would allow the world to deploy the necessary cookstoves and fuel distribution infrastructure to reach universal access to clean cooking in sub-Saharan Africa.

In this context, Danish Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy, Dan Jannik Jørgensen, praised the African Development Bank’s initiative to create a sub-program dedicated to clean cooking under the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA).

AfDB : Strong advocate for clean cooking access in Africa

The AfDB is a strong advocate for access to clean cooking methods in Africa. In July 2023, it published a comprehensive report on clean cooking solutions with the International Energy Agency. At COP28, the AfDB organized a roundtable on clean cooking, during which it committed to dedicating 20 % of its annual energy loans to clean cooking, generating 2 billion USD over the next decade.

Asia and Latin America have largely solved this problem over the past twenty years. But today, in Benin, Ethiopia, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania, more than 80% of the population still relies on biomass to cook their meals. In Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana, this figure reaches 70 %.

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