Sub-Saharan Africa gets $2.2bn for clean cooking

  • : LPG
  • 24/05/14

Governments, financial institutions and private-sector firms made a string of funding pledges at this week's IEA summit, write Peter Wilton and Matt Scotland

Public and private-sector pledges amounting to $2.2bn to provide access to clean cooking fuels, including LPG, in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 were announced at the IEA's Summit on Clean Cooking in Africa in Paris on 14 May.

Governments, financial institutions and private-sector companies made a string of funding pledges at the event, which attracted heads of state from Norway, Tanzania, Togo and Sierra Leone, as well as 21 ministers.

From the public sector, the EU has earmarked €400mn ($432mn) for clean cooking under an existing EU-Africa investment package. Norway's prime minister Jonas Gahr Store added $50mn to this commitment, while French, Danish and UK ministers pledged €100mn, $72mn and £8.5mn ($10.7mn), respectively, under various clean cooking initiatives across the continent to 2030. The US will add a minimum of $40mn in the next two years alone.

Private-sector pledges were led by energy firms active in the region, many of which operate in the LPG sector. Trading company Vitol committed $550mn towards infrastructure, LPG cylinders, distribution and cookstoves across the firm's African operations, while Italy's Eni pledged $300mn to lift the number of beneficiaries of its clean cooking programme in Africa from 500,000 to 10mn by 2027 and 20mn by 2030.

TotalEnergies will invest $100mn in additional LPG production and associated local distribution in Uganda, and $400mn across Africa and India in developing LPG cooking markets, chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said. LPG is a "pragmatic, existing enabler for access to clean cooking", he said.

Africa50 — a financial institution founded by African governments and the African Development Bank (AFDB) to mobilise investment in infrastructure in the continent — pledged $500mn of finance for LPG infrastructure projects, according to chief executive Alain Ebobisse. This is on top of a previous commitment from the AFDB, announced at the UN's Cop 28 climate summit in November, to allocate 20pc of its energy lending budget — worth around $2bn over the next 10 years — to clean cooking. The bank has also urged local governments in Africa to allocate 5pc of their current energy investments to clean cooking, which would raise another $3.5 bn/yr, AFDB president Akinwumi Adesina said.

LPG plays a crucial role in the IEA's vision for clean cooking in Africa. Under the Paris-based agency's "access for all" policies scenario, around 45pc of the transition will be to LPG by 2030. The IEA wants to mobilise $4 bn/yr of investment in clean cooking in sub-Saharan Africa, 80pc of which will be for end-user equipment and 20pc for infrastructure, a goal that it says is achievable now. The region can look to emulate successful LPG transitions in Brazil, India, Indonesia and Ghana, Tanzanian president Samia Suluhu Hassan said.

IEA executive director Fatih Birol said he hopes the world will look back on the summit "as the turning point" for tackling the problem.

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