Radha’s Message for February 2014
I have just returned from a very productive trip to Kenya which included significant progress in further catalyzing the clean cookstoves and fuels sector in the country, and advancing discussion on new challenges that need to be addressed to fully develop the market. Here are some highlights from that trip and the Alliance’s work this past month in support of our global partners:
• Finalized and announced the winners of $3 million in transformative grants under our Spark Fund, Pilot Innovation Fund, and Women’s Empowerment Fund;
• Co-hosted with the Clean Cooking Association of Kenya a multi-stakeholder strategic dialogue on the Kenyan Country Action Plan, and detailed the initial steps toward development of a large-scale awareness campaign in the second half of the year;
• Co-hosted with ISO and the Kenya Bureau of Standards the first-of-its-kind meeting which brought together 19 national standard bodies and cookstoves actors from around the world in an effort to advance global standards for the cookstoves sector;
• Held a joint meeting with the World Health Organization to release newly approved Indoor Air Quality Guidelines that will inform global health officials of the dangers of household energy pollution and outline solutions for addressing this deadly problem;
• Hosted our first Observation Trip to Kenya for Alliance supporters from the bilateral, philanthropic, and corporate sectors to see our market-based work firsthand; and
• Visited four Spark grantees from Round 1 while in East Africa: Ezylife Kenya, GVEP, Impact Carbon and Burn Manufacturing and witnessed their early success, learned more about the companies’ business models, and heard about their remaining challenges.
The Alliance will engage in similar discussions and market building efforts in all our focus countries this year to measure progress against each Country Action Plan and determine areas of deeper engagement. We look forward to similar CAP discussions in Guatemala in early March, and Ghana in early April.
As we move into March and International Women’s Day, the Alliance is working to ensure that the world pays attention to the ways in which more efficient and clean cookstoves and fuels can truly empower women both as end users and as active contributors through the supply chain. We will host events in New York and contribute to the discussions that will take place in many of our focus countries. For those of you on social media, please share the special cookstoves tweets we’ve prepared for International Women’s Day.
Photo credit: Alex Kamweru for UN Foundation