Three ways South-South Cooperation is driving progress on clean cooking
South-South Cooperation, the term used for the exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge between developing countries, first emerged more than five decades ago. Recently, it’s been experiencing a renaissance moment, particularly in the clean cooking sector.
Traditionally focused on technology and trade, these exchanges are now being utilized by countries across the Global South to tackle and help accelerate progress on broader development and climate action goals. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves has spearheaded the use of South-South Cooperation to advance clean cooking solutions by bringing together policymakers, entrepreneurs, and investors in developing countries to highlight successes and exchange lessons learned on previous work in the clean cooking sector. These stakeholders have first-hand knowledge of their countries’ and companies’ needs and capacities and can provide valuable and practical insights that may advance other countries’ clean cooking markets.
[pullquote]Starting with an Alliance-hosted workshop this month in Kenya, below are three examples of Global South-South Coordination the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves has helped facilitate:
Multilateral Exchange in Kenya
With more than 30 participants from over eight countries in Africa and Asia, the Alliance and several partners hosted a South-South Cooperation Workshop in Kenya in July as part of a workshop series begun last year. The first-ever Alliance South-South Cooperation Workshop on clean cooking gathered government representatives from 15 countries in Vienna in September 2017. The inaugural gathering kicked off a workshop series aimed at building government capacity to translate clean cooking-related climate commitments into reality. The recent Kenya-based workshop was hosted by the Alliance, Government of China, UN Climate Change (UNFCCC), and Vanke Foundation, with additional financial support from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). The Government of Kenya provided strong support for this workshop; Dan Kithinji, Director of Bio-energy of Ministry of Energy gave opening remarks and Dr. Alice Kaudia, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment formally opened the workshop.
“These South-South exchanges are critical in learning what strategies are working and what is not working in creating the right policy and business environment for increased adoption of clean cooking solutions in Africa and beyond,” said Paula Edze of the Energy Commission, Ghana, at the workshop.
South-South Cooperation has the potential to energize the clean cooking sector and make good on the international community’s commitments. At this critical moment in household energy access, South-South Cooperation is certain to be one of the catalysts driving the solutions into the future.
Continuing a South-South Cooperation program started last year, the Alliance recently facilitated a learning exchange between India and Ghana, helping host a delegation in Ghana of technical experts from across the Indian LPG value chain. In May, these experts visited Ghana’s existing LPG operations, discussed their plans for implementation of its new LPG recirculation model, and identified opportunities to learn from India’s national cooking gas program. Participants from Ghana gained critical insight, while also getting answers to key questions on a wide range of topics, particularly around safety.
While South-South Cooperation has long been a centerpiece of China’s global strategy, clean cooking has largely been missing. The Alliance was the first to introduce clean cooking to China’s South-South approach and worked with China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to develop a strategy report to review barriers of Chinese stove enterprises doing business in overseas markets and identify opportunities for South-South Cooperation and financing.
China signed an agreement with the Government of Myanmar in 2014 to demonstrate their support for bilateral South-South Cooperation for clean cooking and in 2017, the Alliance partook in a ministerial-level official visit to several pilot project villages in Myanmar led by China's Minister Xie Zhenhua and Myanmar's Minister U Ohn Win.
In the coming years and in close cooperation with relevant partners, the Alliance will continue the South-South Cooperation workshop series as part of government capacity-building focused on clean cooking for climate mitigation. The Alliance expects to host at least one workshop each year to provide policymakers, entrepreneurs, and investors with opportunities to exchange experiences and gain knowledge.
The Ghana and India exchanges will continue and deepen, and the Alliance will facilitate additional bilateral cooperation with countries that show interest.