Programme objectives

The aim of the Modern Cooking Facility for Africa (MCFA) is to provide 3 million Africans with access to clean cooking solutions, initially in six Sub-Saharan African countries, improving health and climate by reducing indoor air pollution, avoiding CO2 emissions and mitigating deforestation.

MCFA will do this by financially incentivising companies offering clean cooking solutions, so-called Cooking Service Providers, to engage in the business of offering affordable, high-quality and energy-efficient clean cooking services to peri-urban and urban customers and thereby accelerating the creation of a long-term sustainable market.

The programme supports the use of cleaner and sustainable cooking fuels, such as sustainably produced bioethanol, bio-LPG, biogas, electric cooking solutions and solid biofuels from sustainable sources, e.g. pellets and briquettes. Read more about supported technologies.

The aim is for the supported projects to result in the distribution of up to 600,000 higher tier cookstoves using sustainable fuels. This will result in avoiding CO2 emissions, saving forest, decreasing consumers’ exposure to black carbon and reducing respiratory diseases especially for women and children.

This will also help to increase job opportunities in the project countries with the focus on empowering women by incentivising companies to enter, grow and scale up existing operations to all regions in the project countries.

Programme impact

MCFA contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

SDG 3 on good health and well-being

SDG 3 Health and well-being

The use of firewood and charcoal (polluting solid fuels) for cooking leads to exposure to indoor air pollution, which is the main cause of various respiratory illnesses that, according to WHO cause the premature death of over 3.8 million people annually and accounts for 45% of deaths due to pneumonia in children under five years of age. By supporting the use of more efficient high-technology stoves using sustainable fuels, the MCFA programme aims to improve health especially of women and children.

SDG 5 on gender and empowering women and girls

SDG 5 Gender equality

Using clean cooking solutions has significant positive impacts on the daily lives of women who spend much of their daytimes collecting firewood and preparing meals for their families. Clean cooking technologies have lower particulate matter (soot) and other emissions and reduce the exposure, particularly of women, to indoor air pollution, which is a major cause of various respiratory illnesses.

Across the African continent, households, especially the women and girls, spend up to five hours daily collecting firewood, with a regional average of 2.1 hours, preventing them from participating in economic activities, attending school and, in the worst cases, exposing them to the risk of physical violence. Furthermore, there is immeasurable annual economic loss and opportunity cost associated with time spent collecting fuel and cooking. More efficient higher tier cookstoves greatly reduce the time spent on the above activities, allowing the women and children to pursue economic activities, education, hobbies or simply rest.

The MCFA programme also supports women’s participation in clean cooking and fuel value chains, which offer new business and employment opportunities that support the economic empowerment of women.

SDG 7 on access to affordable and clean energy access

SDG 7 Affordable and clean energy

Almost 900 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to affordable, clean and modern cooking solutions. It is the only region in the world where clean cooking access has not kept pace with population growth. Between 2010 and 2018, there was an increase of approx. 18% from about 750 million to over 890 million people, according to a study conducted by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP). Global efforts are needed to increase clean cooking access in the Sub-Saharan African region to support the implementation of SDG7.

MCFA aims to support the sales of up to 600,000 higher tier stoves and the distribution of up to 20,000 tonnes of renewable fuels by 2027.

SDG 13 on climate change

SDG 13 Climate action

MCFA supports the transition from lower tier technologies to higher tier cookstoves using fuels produced from renewable sources, which reduces the use of wood fuel and charcoal for cooking. The clean cooking technologies supported by MCFA are tier 4-5 electric, biogas, bioethanol and solar thermal cookstoves, and tier 3+ stoves using sustainable briquettes or pellets. By supporting more efficient stoves and renewable fuels, the MCFA will contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gas emissions.

SDG 15 on life on land by encouraging the use of renewable fuels and help to decrease deforestation

SDG 15 Life on land

MCFA supports the climate adaptation efforts of the project countries by reducing deforestation stemming from wood fuel and charcoal use. Reducing deforestation preserves animal habitats and flora, thus promoting biodiversity, combating land degradation and preventing desertification. Forests play a significant role in promoting climate resilience against floods, droughts, landslides and other natural events and risks caused by climate change. Forests also contribute to climate change mitigation and food security, and are important habitats for many terrestrial species.

Supporting local entrepreneurship

The clean cooking sector is highly fragmented and nascent, with a limited number of companies providing clean cooking solutions to consumers, making it difficult to achieve economies of scale. Clean cooking companies often struggle to access finance and rely largely on development partners, but increasingly a few companies are accessing commercial capital.

The MCFA programme will help to accelerate the shift by financially incentivising Cooking Service Providers to engage in the business of offering affordable, high-quality and energy-efficient clean cooking services and thereby accelerate the creation of a long-term sustainable market. MCFA can also help the supported companies to achieve a level of profitability and scale and support the companies to attract funding also from commercial investors.

Programme donor

Sweden, through the embassies in the project countries and Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), is the first donor to MCFA, supporting the programme with SEK 325 million (~EUR 32.6 million). The aim is to develop the MCFA into a multi-donor programme with Nefco as the facility manager.

Swedish embassies in the MCFA project countries:

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Kenya
Mozambique
Tanzania
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Facility Manager

Nefco logo in green

As Facility Manager, Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank – has overall responsibility for the Modern Cooking Facility for Africa, including fundraising, financial administration, procurement of projects and programme consultants, contracting and disbursements, monitoring of project results and dissemination of programme impact.

For more information, please visit: www.nefco.int

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