What innovative financing is needed to unlock access to clean cooking in Africa?

While the electricity sector is attracting more and more funding, clean cooking remains the poor relation of the energy transition in Africa. The sector does not seem to be attracting any major financial backers. That’s why players in the sector are now turning to innovative financing. Afrik21 takes stock at the Energy Access Investment Forum (EAIF 2024).

Financing for clean cooking is relatively rare in Africa. But last April, the start-up Burn succeeded in raising 12 million dollars to develop its activities in Africa south of the Sahara. The carbon financing was raised from Key Carbon (formerly Carbon Neutral Royalty) to roll out its clean cooking solutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria.

This is undoubtedly the largest financing granted since the beginning of 2024 to a provider of clean cooking solutions in sub-Saharan Africa. For the moment, this sector attracts very few institutional investors. Among the few that have come forward in recent years is the European Union (EU), which has provided €12.5 million for Zambia as part of the Modern Cooking Facility for Africa (MCFA) launched by Sweden to support private companies that develop and sell clean cooking services.