Ghana: Poised For Big Changes To Clean Cooking
Ghana is making impressive strides in its aim to be the African leader in clean cooking. High-level government officials, entrepreneurs, NGOs, UN representatives and other key stakeholders recently convened in Accra in early April to share progress and articulate further market enabling interventions to make increased adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels a reality. The Ghana National Clean Cookstoves and Fuels Conference explored a variety of issues currently faced and included presentation by the Ghanaian Energy and Petroleum Minister Emmanuel Buah and US Ambassador Gene Cretz, who, among other leaders in the country, are playing important roles in bringing attention to the issue, mobilizing resources for the sector, and ensuring that necessary policies are in place to enable the market for clean cooking solutions.
The conference, co-hosted by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (Alliance) and the Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GHACCO), with the participation of critical government ministries, was one of a series of events that week that were designed to enable future successes in clean cookstoves and fuels in Ghana. In conjunction with the conference, Minister Buah announced the government has begin a program to distribute LPG cylinders and cookstoves to rural areas of the country with a target of 200,000-350,000 stoves within the next three years.
Concurrent with the conference, the Alliance hosted donors and strategic partners from the corporate, bilateral, multilateral, and private investment sectors for a one week Observation and Learning Trip. Participants visited with local entrepreneurs, government officials, traditional leaders, cookstove users, and had a chance to see firsthand the environmental degradation caused by the use of solid fuels in the country.
With a major awareness campaign in the planning stage, and a multitude of sector stakeholders on hand for the conference, the Alliance also announced two new Ghanaian Champions to help ignite the national conversation around clean cooking solutions. Foreign Minister Hannah Tetteh joined the Alliance Leadership Council, and international soccer legend Stephen Appiah, together with Ghanaian musician Rocky Dawuni will help the Alliance spread the clean cooking message and generate excitement throughout the country.
Highpoints during the week included several major Alliance announcements:
- A partnership with I-DEV International to launch a Catalytic Small Grants Program to help analyze investment readiness and fund enterprise development in Ghana.
- 2014 – 2017 Ghana Cookstoves Road Map
- The 2013 annual Results Report Survey was released, a tool to assess the global state of the sector and stakeholder needs.
- Local stakeholders discussed the results of the Ghana Consumer Segmentation Study, a tool to identify those consumer segments in Ghana with the greatest potential to adopt clean cookstoves and fuels at scale. The study provides insights about consumers’ needs, preferences and behaviors in order to shed light on the factors that influence the purchase and sustained use of improved or clean cooking technologies. Information for the study was collected directly from consumers via household interviews and immersions, focus groups, and a cooking workshop where participants were able to sample various cookstove models through group preparation of a typical recipe.
- No Alliance convening would be complete without a discussion around the critical role of clean cooking technology standards. For a country to have a robust system of testing, standards, and regulation, governmental and non-governmental organizations need to bring their expertise and organizational mandates together. In Ghana, the Energy Commission, Ghana Standards Authority, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, among others, all have important roles to play in designing testing, developing, and enforcing standards. As part of the conference, these organizations and other stakeholders met to discuss the pathway forward in Ghana for developing standards and testing protocols that leverage their respective strengths.
- Members of the public health community came together at a workshop on ensuring the health benefits of adopting clean cooking. The highlight of the workshop was the presentation of ongoing research being conducted at Kintampo Health Research Centre, which is evaluating the impact of clean stoves and fuels on child survival. Active discussions focused on the role of the public health sector in expanding country-specific evidence on health impacts, tracking household cooking energy as a public health indicator, and creating awareness. The importance of better understanding the health consequences of fish smoking, a major source of community-level pollution prevalent in selected areas, was also addressed.
A diverse group of stakeholders from GHACCO actively participated in a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) workshop led by consultants from Eco. Using the broader global Alliance M&E framework as a starting point for discussion, workshop participants discussed pragmatic approaches to tracking progress across the value chain in Ghana.
The variety of topics discussed and strong participation from stakeholder from across the country further strengthened the momentum in Ghana to reach the country’s ambitious goal of 4 million households adopting clean cookstoves and fuels by 2020.