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THE Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has allocated EUR480,000 (about K11.3 million) towards the implementation the Scaling of Clean Cooking Solutions projects in Zambia.

The Swedish Embassy in Zambia has partnered with the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) to kick start the first phase to carry out detailed scoping, looking into ways to test the use of Results-Based Financing (RBF) to incentivise the development and sales of innovative clean cooking solutions at scale.

The focus will be on accelerating the use of higher tier clean cooking solutions such as bio ethanol, liquid biofuels, biogas, solid sustainable biofuels, Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or LP gas) and solar (electric) cooking, and how to make this market reach scale.

Second Secretary and Programme Officer at the Swedish Embassy in Lusaka Antonia Grönvall said this in a statement issued in Lusaka and made available to the Techwatch News.

Ms Grönvall said, “The initiative forms an important new contribution to the Swedish bilateral development cooperation in Zambia, which aims to create new and innovative opportunities for Zambians to improve their living conditions”.

She said it has been proven that the use of effective and clean cooking solutions has clear positive effects on the daily lives of women and children by reducing indoor air pollution, and easing the workload of collecting wood.

“It reduces deforestation and soil degradation. Now, we want to take this to the next level and speed up the use of better, cleaner and more effective cook-stoves as a part of Swedish efforts to reach Sustainable Development Goal number seven on access to modern, clean and affordable energy for all,” Ms Grönvall explained.

During the first phase, NEFCO, with the support of a consultant, will carry out a market assessment of the present clean cooking market in urban areas of Zambia, together with an outlook on the situation in Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Existing project economics for each principal technology will be assessed to ensure affordability and overcome financial barriers for customers.

The second phase will include proposals for the detailed design of publicly financed instruments to incentivise the clean cooking sector to offer higher tier cooking solutions whilst mobilising private financing sources.

The programme forms part of Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA), a facility also managed by NEFCO and funded by Sweden through Sida.

Head of the BGFA and Project Lead for the initiative at NEFCO Ash Sharma states, “The BGFA seeks to speed up the creation of sustainable markets for distributed and stand-alone off-grid energy services in rural and peri-urban Africa”.

Mr Sharma said the aim is to explore how donors and financial institutions can play a catalytic role in helping project developers in the clean cooking space to get to scale and mobilise additional investments accordingly.

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Written by Arthur Mwansa