DAY ONE HIGHLIGHTS: Clean Cooking Forum 2015 Kicks Off in Ghana

Forum-Stage-Shot-VIPs_800Speakers at the Opening Plenary of the Clean Cooking Forum 2015 included (l to r): Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Ghana’s Minister of Petroleum; Pamela Abdulai, 11-year-old Ghana Girl Guide and advocate for clean cookstoves and fuels; Radha Muthiah, CEO, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves; John Alexander Ackon, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Rocky Dawuni, international musician and Ambassador for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

More than 500 attendees from 50 countries have come together this week in Accra to kick off the Clean Cooking Forum 2015. The Forum, being held for the first time in West Africa, kicked-off today with an impressive Opening Plenary discussion and continued with a broad range of break-out sessions that will continue throughout the week. A few of the many highlights from Day One included:


Attendees heard from a wide range of leaders, experts, and advocates working in the cookstoves and fuels sector during the opening plenary and panel discussion that followed. While the speakers included leaders from government, business, non-profit, and academia, an 11-year old student and cookstoves advocate stole the show:

Pamela Abdulai: 11-year-old Pamela Abdulai, a Ghana Girl Guide, spoke passionately about the need for increased usage of clean cookstoves and fuels. To a standing-room-only audience, Abdulai said, “I want to make sure everyone knows about the benefits of clean cookstoves, and I hope one day that all girls in my country will use only clean cookstoves and fuels in their homes.”

Selected quotes from speakers:

Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister of Petroleum, Ghana: “Ghana has made large strides toward increasing access to cleaner-burning cooking fuels. The Clean Cooking Forum will serve as a great opportunity to showcase Ghana’s work on increasing energy access and improving the lives of all Ghanaians through the broader use of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels.”

Radha Muthiah, CEO, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves: “Progress in Ghana’s cookstoves and fuels sector is a fitting example of how the comprehensive approach supported by the Alliance and delivered through a wide-variety of in-country stakeholders can deliver on its full potential, making Ghana a fitting place to celebrate the growing momentum around this issue. Together, we have made tremendous progress and celebrated many successes in the cookstoves and fuels sector, but we can’t stop until we reach a world where cooking doesn’t kill.”

John Alexander Ackon, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection “The greatest contribution that we make by promoting clean cooking is the improved health of our mothers, sisters, and daughters and, indeed, the few men who also find their way into the kitchens to cook.”


Morning Panel: A Dynamic Sector: Accelerating Markets. Scaling Solutions.


EN0A1024_800Ghanaian journalist and television host Anita Erskine moderated a lively discussion of experts working in the cookstoves and fuels sector.

Speakers included:

Dr. William Checkley, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University
Anita Marangoly George, Senior Director, Energy & Extractives Global Practice, World Bank Group
Ben Good, Chief Executive Officer, GVEP International
David Martin, General Manager of Production, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria
Boston Nyer, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Burn Manufacturing
Suraj Wahab, Founder and CEO, Toyola Energy Group


GVEP BREAKFAST: Crowd Sourcing New ideas for the LPG Sector
Wednesday morning, 7:00 am, Bamfo Hall

EN0A0933_800Huge crowd attended the opening plenary.



Evaluating the Child Health Benefits of Clean Cooking

  • Presenters discussed the preliminary results of three ongoing studies, which focus on child health outcomes in Nepal, Nigeria, and Ghana. The studies, which are due out next year, are showing promising early results: populations who have never used clean fuels, including ethanol and LPG, are adopting the fuels intensively and near exclusively where possible. As a result, major reductions in exposure are being observed, and preliminary analyses suggest child health benefits including improved infant lung function and reduced pneumonia during pregnancy. Be on the lookout for more on this in 2016.


ISO Standards and WHO Guidelines: Latest Developments and What They Mean

  • New developments with international standards address the dual goals of international collaboration and national adaptability.  An updated tier system was proposed to reflect the lessons learned from the 2012 International Workshop Agreement.
  • 40 countries are working together toward an agreement on setting ISO-approved international standards. It has taken significant effort to bring such a wide array of standards and testing perspectives together, and there is now a higher level of agreement and trust than ever. But additional review is still needed to ensure global input and buy-in, and to make sure that standards enable both international collaboration and local adaptability. Technology performance, use, and impacts are complex and depend on many factors.

EN0A1171_800Alliance Advisory Council Member Wanjira Mathai addresses today’s panel on gender capacity-building.

Gender Capacity-Building to Strengthen Business Models

  • There are many benefits for businesses conducting gender assessments and developing gender action plansto both enhance bottom line outcomes and increase impact for women.
  • The Alliance offers a range of services for gender capacity-building beginning with conducting gender analysis using the Alliance’s gender due diligence tool. Enterprises that have gone through this process have benefited greatly and shared their firsthand experiences implementing gender interventions. The session also highlighted investor perspectives on gender-informed approaches as they evaluate clean cooking sector enterprises for potential investment.


Generating and Applying Consumer Insight

  • The Alliance launched Market Research in the Clean Cooking Sector: Tools and Tips, a new resource designed to support organizations in the sector in designing and managing effective market research that uncovers consumer insights critical to success in the design and marketing of clean cooking solutions.


Consumer Awareness of Cookstove Technology and Fuel Options and Performance

  • The panelists drew out key lessons and recommendations from various pilot programs from the cookstoves, fuels and other sectors as a way to explore methods to increase consumer understanding of different technology and fuel options and demonstrate how and when labeling can be applied to increase benefits to consumers.    


SITE VISITS ON THURSDAY: Make sure you register for site visits. Space is limited, so we encourage you to do it before Wednesday afternoon as there are no walk-ons for the field trips.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT: Download the Forum App or check the web site to have the schedule in your hand. Get the app here. The daily schedule on the Forum website is here.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow the Forum on social media and tweet with the hashtag: #Cookstoves2015