COP28: Next-generation clean cooking solutions

Incentivising change with pan-Nordic results-based financing

Date & time: 4 December, 17:00-17:45 (GST)
Location: COP28 venue, Nordic pavilion, Blue Zone (Building 75, Zone 6)

Modern Cooking Facility for Africa is arranging a side event during Finance day on 4 December at the Nordic pavilion during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), which is taking place from 30 November – 12 December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The event will cover discussions on the need for financial support, access to carbon financing, policy advocacy and development of technology standards from a private-public angle. These measures can support the private sector to de-risk market expansion, scale up activities and implement innovative business models, thereby promoting the creation of new markets for modern clean cooking solutions to strengthen climate resilience in Africa.

Event agenda

17:00: Welcoming words by Ash Sharma, Head of Modern Cooking Facility for Africa

17:05: Opening words by Per Fredrik Pharo, Director of Department for Climate and Environment, Norad

17:10: Panel discussion with Jakob Granit, Director-General of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Sophie Odupoy, Group Head of Public Affairs at KOKO Networks, Donee Alexander, Chief Science and Learning Officer, Clean Cooking Alliance

17:35: Q&A session

Moderator: Ash Sharma, Head of MCFA and Vice President, Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank

Watch the event

The event will be live streamed on Broadcasts from COP28 | Nordic cooperation (


Jakob Granit, Director-General, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

Jakob Granit is Director-General of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) since September 2023. Prior to taking this position, Granit was the Director-
General at the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, the Swedish national government agency responsible for delivering on the blue economy in the areas of water, ocean- and fisheries management, for seven years. Granit is an experienced leader, manager and researcher in the area of sustainable development and has 30 years of global work experience from Sweden, Europe, Eastern & Southern Africa, the Middle East and the U.S and regionally in the Southern Oceans and the Baltic Sea.

Sophie Odupoy, Group Head of Public Affairs, KOKO Networks

Sophie Odupoy is a Government and Stakeholder Relations, Business Strategy and Communications expert with multiple years’ experience across both private and public sector. Odupoy is responsible for securing and defending legislative changes that improve the affordability of KOKO’s solutions and engaging various stakeholders around transforming the cooking sector. Odupoy is passionate about making a difference in the lives of women and children who are often overlooked in the provision of necessities and also in mentoring the next generation of leaders.

Donee Alexander, Chief Science and Learning Officer, Clean Cooking Alliance

Donee Alexander, Chief Science and Learning Officer at Clean Cooking Alliance, works with research, evidence, and learning (REL) activities at CCA. Prior to joining CCA, Alexander was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago and has over 15 years of experience evaluating the health effects of household air pollution in low-income countries and has published on both the maternal and child impacts of exposure to household air pollution. Alexander provides expert consultation to the World Health Organization’s Household Energy Programme, and is a regular peer-reviewer for articles in multiple academic journals.

Per Pharo, Director, Department for Climate and Environment, Norad

Per Pharo is the Director for the Department for Climate and Environment at Norad. Prior to Norad Pharo was running the Norwegian Climate and Forest Initiative for 14 years, first as deputy director and then from 2011 as director. In 2018-2019 he co-lead the Food and Land Use Coalition Global Consultation Report Growing Better: Ten Critical Transitions to Transform Food and Land Use. Previously Pharo held leadership positions in the Norwegian Ministry of Defence and worked at McKinsey & Company and the Norwegian Institute of Defence Studies.

Ash Sharma, Vice President, Nefco

Ash Sharma, Vice President of Special Funds at Nefco, is a climate, environmental finance, policy and investment specialist with over 30 years of experience in over 60 countries, with a current focus on Africa. Sharma has served on various international climate change steering and working groups for Nordic Council of Ministers, UNEP, World Bank, G8 and G20 and has been an adviser to the European Commission, Innovate UK and the Climate Policy Initiative.

Background information

Lack of access to clean cooking is a global challenge. Supporting next-generation clean cooking solutions through results-based financing can accelerate the green energy transition and help combat climate change in Africa. Globally, about 2.3 billion people still lack access to clean cooking, of which some 900 million live in Sub-Saharan Africa. The use of charcoal and firewood as primary fuel sources results in harmful indoor air pollution and deforestation and undermines Africa’s forest sinks.

Published: November 10, 2023
Reading time 5 minutes