Why e-cooking is the way to go for Kenya

Despite Kenya being a country where clean cooking is given less attention, players in the clean cooking sector are doing well in terms of advocacy, lobbying, and information dissemination.

Among the many clean cooking methods, few people would have anticipated the emergence of the electric cooking (e-cooking) sub-sector which is now looking steady and rearing to become the crown jewel of clean cooking.

Kenya has drastically increased electricity access over the last few years, from 2.3 million connections in 2013 to 8.2 million in 2021 thereby achieving an electricity access rate of over 75% as disclosed during the joint meeting of HYPERLINK “https://www.comesa.int/kenya-lauded-for-achieving-75-electricity-access-rate/ last year.

The government’s initiative to extend the national grid into rural areas and increase the network to reach low-income households through the Last Mile Connectivity programme has prepared the platform for the launch of e-cooking into the future.

As the clean cooking sector looks to make e-cooking one of the most preferred methods of cooking, there are a few barriers that have to be overcome. They include; broken links between the clean cooking sector and the electrification programmes, disconnected institutional policy priorities with different institutions promoting different forms of cooking, limited supply of electric appliances, high initial costs to acquire e-cooking appliances, and high electricity costs among others.

Despite the challenges in the sector, e-cooking sits on a mighty spring that could catapult it to glory in the coming years.

It is strongly believed by the players in the clean cooking sector that e-cooking can be one of the cleanest modern methods of cooking that can alleviate the population that still depend on biomass energy forms for cooking. With the stage now set through electricity connectivity, the sector players are working around the clock to leverage the government’s masterstroke.

Further to this, the government, through the Ministry of Energy and Kenya Power in collaboration with the Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK), the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), and the Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) programme among other stakeholders have been setting up regional e-cooking hubs around the country. Among the first hubs to be launched were Kitui, Nakuru, Kisumu, and Makueni counties, other hubs are to be planned and established in due time.

According to the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), the hubs are not only expected to help converge and catalyze action among clean cooking and electrification stakeholders at the regional level but also broker linkages between the national and local governments by integrating electric cooking in the county energy planning processes.

The hubs are also expected to help create direct linkages between local communities and technology service providers and provide a platform for technology access, awareness, capacity building, policy influence, and consumer financing.

What makes e-cooking an attractive venture is the development of the e-cooking strategy. After its release, the document is expected to guide the players in the e-cooking space and the clean cooking sector. With the stakeholders working tirelessly on it, we can only hope for a bright future in e-cooking and the clean cooking sector at large.

  

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