21 of April 2023

New partnership aims to promote investment in clean cooking markets in Africa

The African Guarantee Fund (AGF) and the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) have launched a partnership to promote financial innovation, access to responsible carbon finance, and investments in clean cooking companies and programs. 


In line with its mission, AGF will work through selected financial institutions to carry out the goals of the partnership. Both organizations will focus on markets in eastern, southern, and western Africa, where there is significant need and opportunity to expand investments in green projects through clean cooking. 


An estimated 2.4 billion people worldwide rely on polluting open fires and inefficient stoves for cooking, contributing to 3.2 million premature deaths and harming livelihoods, the climate, and the environment. However, current levels of investment in clean cooking – estimated at around US $130 million each year – fall far short of the US $10 billion needed to reach universal access. 


Through their partnership, AGF and CCA aim to increase financial investments to grow clean cooking markets and expand access to modern fuels and technologies in Africa. 


“This partnership brings together two organizations with distinct and complementary areas of expertise,” said Feisal Hussain, CCA’s Senior Director of Innovative Finance. “AGF’s deep knowledge of financial institutions and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa, combined with CCA’s unique understanding and connections across the clean cooking and carbon markets, present exciting opportunities. The partnership will enable carbon project developers to access pre-financing, thus helping to speed up both customers’ access to clean cooking and the flow of carbon revenue to clean cooking value chains, generating the volumes of carbon credits that buyers need. And for commercial banks, this presents a low-risk strategy for entering the carbon market before taking advantage of market growth. Importantly, we aim to lower the entry barrier for smaller clean cooking companies, helping to build carbon markets that are accessible to many.” 


AGF Group CEO Jules Ngankam said, “Our partnership with the Clean Cooking Alliance targets financial institutions to enable them to grow their clean energy portfolios by developing innovative financial solutions that promote clean cooking and use of clean fuels. Through AGF’s Green Guarantee Facility and Technical Assistance, financial institutions will be able to address capacity building gaps and risks associated with lending to green SMEs across Africa, while preparing these SMEs to become credit- and investment-ready, to allow them to fully play their role of promoting sustainability and growing Africa’s green economy.”


Through this new partnership, AGF and CCA will collaborate in the following ways: 

  • Generating interest and demand from banks – Providing banks with direction on markets for clean fuels and cooking appliances, enabling them to understand the value of investing in clean energy markets. 
  • Building the capacity of private finance initiatives – Providing targeted technical assistance prior to board decisions and, afterwards, supporting activities such as staff training and preparing business processes.
  • Creating a pipeline of credit-ready, clean energy SME projects and carbon project developers – Providing technical assistance to SMEs in clean fuel and appliance markets to make them credit ready. 
  • Guarantee, re-guarantee, and co-guarantee partnerships – Exploring opportunities to facilitate enhanced financing for clean energy projects. 
  • Partnerships and advocacy – Engaging potential donors and investors and partnering with associations, alliances, and other partners to promote clean cooking and energy sectors more broadly.


Source © Clean Cooking Alliance