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Environment

Agriculture Minister attends Clean Cooking Summit in Paris

todayMay 15, 2024 10

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The Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Minister Calle Schlettwein attended the Clean Cooking in Africa Summit in Paris, where they held talks about “Catalysing Multi-stakeholder Partnerships” during a plenary session. The International Energy Agency, which is a co-host of the summit, said a lack of progress in clean cooking, with nearly four in five Africans still using polluting fuels and traditional stoves remains a concern. Here is Minister Schlettwein.

Currently, over a billion people in Africa rely on fuels like charcoal and wood for cooking, causing serious risks to health and the environment. While clean cooking has been achieved in China, India, and Latin America, it remains a universal failure in Africa. According to the IEA, in countries like Benin, Ethiopia, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tanzania, more than 80 percent of the population still depends on biomass for cooking, while in Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana, it’s 70 percent. The World Health Organisation says that 3.2 million people die annually from household air pollution generated by dirty fuels and stoves for cooking, with Africa bearing the brunt of this problem.

The global health cost is estimated at $1.4 trillion annually, with over half, $700 billion, being in Africa. During the summit, the International Energy Agency revealed that it would only cost $4 billion a year in Africa to achieve universal access to clean cooking. Adesina, therefore, urged African governments to take on a leadership role in this endeavor.

Globally, 200 million hectares of forest are at risk due to the climatic effects of cooking with charcoal, biomass, and wood, with 110 million of them in Africa. Providing access to clean cooking is not only the right, fair, and just thing to do but also the globally responsible thing to do, stated Adesina during his address to the Summit plenary session.

Chaired jointly by the leaders of Tanzania and Norway, alongside the African Development Bank, the Summit on Clean Cooking in Africa secured financial commitments from governments, development institutions, and companies.

The African Development Bank Group pledged $2 billion over 10 years towards clean cooking solutions in Africa—a significant step toward saving the lives of 600,000 mainly women and children each year.

At the landmark summit on Clean Cooking in Africa held in Paris, the Bank Group’s President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, announced that the institution would now commit 20 percent of all its financing of energy projects to promote safe alternatives to cooking with charcoal, wood, and biomass.

Written by: Tonata Kadhila

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