Access to modern stoves could be a game-changer for Africa’s economic development

Today, nearly four in five Africans still cook meals over open fires or on basic stoves. And this number is climbing every year. On average, households spend five hours a day gathering firewood and cooking over rudimentary stoves.

The clean cooking challenge is not a technical problem. It is a policy and finance issue.

Based on International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates of $4 billion a year between now and 2030, stoves and infrastructure needed to provide universal access to clean cooking in sub-Saharan Africa can easily be deployed. It will require strong national leadership and programs underpinned by financial support from development institutions and the private sector. The cost of reaching this goal is relatively small, but its impacts will be transformative in the lives of many Africans and communities.