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AfDB Commits $2bn To Clean Cooking

IN a significant move to address a critical health and environmental issue across Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed $2bn over ten years to promote clean cooking solutions. This commitment, announced during a landmark summit held in Paris on May 15, aims to save the lives of 600,000 mainly women and children each year.

At the summit on Clean Cooking in Africa, AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina emphasised the urgency of this initiative. He declared that the Bank would allocate 20 percent of its energy project financing towards promoting safe alternatives to cooking with charcoal, wood, and biomass.


President Adesina highlighted the devastating impact of the lack of clean cooking facilities, particularly on women and children. He passionately stated, ‘Access to clean cooking is about more than cooking, it is about dignity… It is about fairness, justice, and equity for women.’ The Bank’s commitment aims to tackle this issue directly, recognising that it is not just an energy problem but a fundamental human rights and health issue.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who hosted the summit at the Elysee Palace, praised the AfDB’s leadership and commitment. The summit resulted in significant pledges totalling $2.2bn from public and private sectors, demonstrating a collective global effort towards addressing clean cooking challenges in Africa.

The lack of access to clean cooking facilities affects over two billion people worldwide, with more than half in Africa. This reliance on open fires and basic stoves fuelled by charcoal, wood, and biomass leads to dire health consequences, deforestation, and impediments to education and economic opportunities, particularly for women.

President Macron emphasised the urgency, stating, ‘We are mobilizing $2.2bn to provide clean alternatives to populations in Africa,’ as part of the broader Paris Pact for People and the Planet.

The summit, co-chaired by Tanzania’s President Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan and Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, underscored the importance of clean cooking in protecting the environment, health, and promoting gender equality.

‘No woman in Africa should have to cook again with firewood, charcoal, or biomass. It is time to restore dignity to women who cook in Africa,’ Dr Adesina declared.  The commitment of funds by the African Development Bank marks a crucial step towards achieving universal access to clean cooking in Africa by 2030.

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