Radha’s Message for February 2016
It was great to see clean cooking continuing to make waves at the highest levels of development this month.
Every year, Bill and Melinda Gates write an “annual letter” outlining their take on key global issues. Their focus this year – energy access and time poverty. “Poverty is not just about a lack of money,” they write. “It’s about the absence of the resources the poor need to realize their potential. Two critical ones are time and energy.”
I couldn’t agree more. These issues are at the heart of what the 1,400 partners of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves have been working on. Household energy is critical to powering productivity within the home and in the local community. Hours spent collecting fuel and cooking inefficiently over an open fire could be hours saved with a more efficient cookstove or fuel.
To draw broader attention to the Gates letter, which made multiple references to cooking, the Alliance issued a supportive response. I encourage you to read the full text here, as well as to share with your networks and on social media to help us spread the word about these important issues.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to meet African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina and the leadership from his gender, energy, and climate finance teams. President Adesina is very supportive of clean cooking, which he has prioritized as part of AfDB’s New Deal on Energy for Africa. We will be working closely with the AfDB to frame the policy, regulatory and financing needs that we jointly address to accelerate availability and adoption of clean and efficient cooking solutions throughout Africa. President Adesina has some big ambitions and we look forward to working together with the bank and our African partners to make them a reality.
This month I also had the opportunity of meeting with Nick Hurd, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the UK Department for International Development. I welcome Minister Hurd onto our Leadership Council and look forward to his active engagement.
Looking ahead, March 8 marks International Women’s Day. The Alliance and numerous partners will be highlighting the many ways clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels can help improve the lives of women and girls around the world. While women are the focus, the Alliance asked a select group of influential men to talk about why they support clean cooking on this International Women’s Day. The quotes are still coming in, but I wanted to share one of my favorites so far, this one from world-renowned chef and Alliance Global Ambassador Jose Andres:
Inspirational words that I’ll leave you with for now.
With warm wishes,