Norway invests NOK 200 million in clean cooking solutions in Africa

Over 2.3 billion people do not have access to clean cooking facilities and must use charcoal and other fossil fuels to put food on the table, putting their health at risk. Norway announces a NOK 200 million agreement that will give up to 3.6 million people in Africa access to clean cooking.

At COP28, Norway announces a NOK 200 million contribution to the Nordic Green Bank, NEFCO, and the Modern Cooking Facility for Africa (MCFA) programme, which offers financing to developers of more advanced clean cooking stoves. The programme considers not only energy efficiency and emissions, but also user-friendliness, profitability, safety and accessibility. The long-term goal is to develop new, sustainable and commercially viable markets for these stoves that will also be used by poor households in urban and peri-urban areas. 

'Investing in clean cooking is investing in women's health. In Africa, it is often women and girls who cook for their families and who breathe in smoke and other dangerous gases when using heat from coal, wood and twigs. Norway's contribution to clean cooking stoves is also a contribution to women's rights, which is one of Norway's main priorities in its foreign and development policy', said Minister of International Development, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim. 

Indoor pollution, mainly from smoke associated with cooking, is linked to 3.7 million early deaths annually, according to the International Energy Agency, IEA. While electrification has seen significant progress in recent years, clean cooking has not seen the same positive development. This has been further exacerbated by the pandemic with a major economic downturn and high inflation and many can no longer afford to choose clean solutions. 

The programme Norway supports has six priority countries: Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  

'This is part of the green transition necessary to achieve sustainable development. Not only do traditional cooking methods jeopardize the health of those who prepare the food, they also contribute to deforestation in many places, which is bad news for our climate', said Tvinnereim.