Press release | Manifesto to achieve universal access to clean cooking by 2030 launched at Africa-Europe Foundation Forum


BRUSSELS – The Clean Cooking Manifesto, launched today at the Africa-Europe Foundation’s first ever Forum since it was established in December, calls for a decisive political and financial reboot to achieve universal access to clean cooking by 2030.

The Clean Cooking Manifesto, signed by over 65 high-level personalities and organisations from across Africa and Europe, urges governments, development partners and the private sector to adopt a collective action agenda on clean cooking, to ensure that billions around the world can prepare food in a safe, clean and affordable way.

Urgent action is needed if we are to achieve SDG 7, which commits to ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, by 2030. Nearly 2.6 billion people still lack access to modern cooking solutions across Africa, and the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse progress and further exacerbate inequalities.

Historic commitments and investments in clean cooking have not matched the global magnitude of the challenge. With outdated cooking infrastructure taking a heavy annual toll on human health, forests, climate, and local economies, clean cooking solutions must be central to global energy strategies and to post-COVID recovery plans.

The next 12 months represent a critically important moment for world leaders to take action on energy and international development. The UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy, the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and the Africa-Europe Summit in early 2022 provide an opportunity to make ambitious commitments and implement concrete actions to achieve universal access to clean cooking by 2030.

Commenting on the launch of the Manifesto, H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Honorary President of the Africa-Europe Foundation and former President of the Republic of Liberia said: “All across Africa, women’s and children’s health, as well as landscapes’ vitality are damaged day after day due to reliance on wood fuel and charcoal. Let’s turn this around and invest in clean cooking solutions. Delivering clean cooking solutions to millions of households in low- and middle-income countries in Africa is far from a menial, ‘housekeeping’ topic, and must become a shared priority for Europe and Africa.”

Dymphna van der Lans, Member of the Africa-Europe Foundation Women Leadership Network and Strategy Group on Energy, and CEO of the Clean Cooking Alliance said: “Clean cooking urgently needs to be integrated into bolder national plans, supported by efficient financing and delivered by a robust clean cooking industry. This is the right time for the Clean Cooking Manifesto to guide governments, development and finance institutions, and the private sector to elevate clean cooking as an important opportunity to deliver vital climate, health, and economic outcomes through true collective action.”

Kandeh Yumkella, Co-chair of the Africa-Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Energy, Member of Parliament in Sierra Leone and former Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All said: “Lack of access to clean cooking solutions is a silent tsunami killing over 4 million people every year, which is as much as the current COVID-19 pandemic. This Manifesto we launched today is the product of collaboration of public and private institutions and lays out an action agenda to save lives, protect the environment and spur economic development.”

Sheila Oparaocha, Member of the Africa-Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Energy, ENERGIA’s International Coordinator and recipient of the Sixth Annual Carnot Prize said: “We need to include both clean cooking and gender in energy policies, planning and programs. Women are the main users of cooking fuels, yet they are also dramatically underrepresented in the clean cooking value chain, from producing and distributing products to entrepreneurship and executive leadership. For a true inclusive transition to clean cooking, it is crucial for governments, the private sector and development actors to join forces and develop policies, allocate funding and implement programmes that are gender-inclusive.”

The Manifesto identifies 10 immediate actions to ensure clean cooking for all is achieved by 2030:

  1. Ensure a just energy transition that leaves no one behind
  2. Integrate clean cooking into nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and national energy planning
  3. Create and resource governmental clean cooking ‘delivery units’
  4. Enact favourable and stable fiscal policies to sustain business growth and increase affordability
  5. Support countries to develop appropriate policy frameworks and technical support to enable the rapid growth of clean cooking solutions
  6. Increase funding to match the magnitude of the clean cooking challenge
  7. Develop sustainable markets that deliver clean and affordable solutions
  8. Increase private sector investment in clean cooking solutions
  9. Build stronger partnerships with the electricity sector to advance electric cooking
  10. Increase participation of women and integrate gender issues

Bold action must be taken to ensure that billions of people have the means to prepare food in a safe, clean and affordable way.

The Clean Cooking Manifesto is an initiative launched at the Africa-Europe Foundation Forum, taking place from 28 June 2021 to 2 July 2021. The Forum brings together in a virtual environment the members, leaders and partners of the Foundation and its Strategy Groups across Health, Digital, Transport and Connectivity, Sustainable Energy, Agriculture and Food Systems.

About the Africa-Europe Foundation:

The Africa-Europe Foundation is a consortium entity co-founded by Friends of Europe and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, in partnership with the African Climate Foundation and the ONE Campaign and with a multitude of stakeholders from civil society, business, policymaking and the youth sector across Africa and Europe. The purpose of the Africa-Europe Foundation is to facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue, catalyse partnerships and unlock new opportunities that can transform Africa-Europe relations into action.

The theme of the first ever Africa-Europe Foundation Forum this week is “Ambition”. History has taught us that major crises create opportunities for accelerating social, economic and political change. How can the Africa-Europe Foundation, and our collective efforts as a platform of platforms, help write an aspirational new chapter of the Africa-Europe partnership at this critical time for our societies?

About the Women Leaders Network:

The Africa-Europe Foundation Women Leaders Network (WLN) brings together leading personalities from the neighbouring continents to transform dialogue into action on the most pressing issues of the day, from much-needed job creation, to improved healthcare systems and tackling the climate emergency. The Women Leaders Network was launched on the initiative of the honorary Presidents of the Foundation: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of the Republic of Liberia and Nobel Laureate, and Mary Robinson, first woman President of Ireland and Chair of the Elders. For more information about the Members of the WLN please click here.

For further queries, please contact Anna Muizniece, Communications Executive at

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