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Revolutionizing Africa’s Energy Landscape: Clean Cooking Innovations and Strategic Gas Developments at IAE 2024

During the Invest in African Energy (IAE) 2024 forum in Paris, a significant conversation unfolded between Peter George, Partner and Co-Investment Director at Spark+ Africa Fund, and Amena Bakr, Senior Research Analyst at Energy Intelligence. Their discussion on May 15 centered on the transformative potential of investments in clean cooking technologies across Africa, illuminating how these innovations could profoundly impact the continent’s communities and environment.

The Market and Environmental Impact of Clean Cooking

Peter George highlighted the vast economic opportunities within the clean cooking sector, noting that African markets annually spend $20-40 billion on cooking fuel. This expenditure presents a substantial market for LPG industry growth, electrification initiatives for electric cooking stoves, and enhanced fertilizer use to boost agricultural productivity. George emphasized, “These diverse approaches not only address the energy access gap but also open up numerous market opportunities.”

The environmental benefits of transitioning to clean cooking solutions are equally compelling. The adoption of these technologies is expected to save approximately 200 million hectares of forests globally by 2030 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1.9 gigatons of CO2 equivalent annually. This reduction is roughly equivalent to the combined emissions from all global airplane and ship travel today. George stressed the broad-reaching impacts of clean cooking, stating, “This initiative touches on 11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The economic cost of deforestation and lost productivity is immense, with Africa bearing about $800 million of a global $2.4 trillion cost.”

Leveraging Investments for Sustainable Development

The discussion also covered the strategies for financing the clean cooking sector’s growth. George proposed leveraging concessional investments from the public sector to attract more commercially oriented private capital, which is keen on the higher returns offered by Africa’s developing markets. This blend of investment sources is crucial for scaling up clean cooking solutions affordably and sustainably.

Affordability remains a central concern, as underscored by Amena Bakr, especially given the economic context of many African communities. In response to this challenge, the African Refiners and Distributors Association, in partnership with the Global LPG Partnership, announced a significant initiative during the IAE summit to mobilize $1 billion in funding to support the transition to cleaner cooking fuels.

The Republic of Congo’s Strategic Energy Initiatives

The forum also served as a platform for the Republic of Congo’s Minister of Hydrocarbons, Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, to outline the country’s ambitious energy development plans. Minister Itoua discussed the priority given to establishing a comprehensive gas master plan and a national gas company by Q3 2024. He highlighted recent advancements in major LNG projects, such as Eni’s Congo LNG and Wing Wah’s Banga Kayo projects, which are primarily aimed at satisfying local market demands, with any surplus potentially being exported to meet regional needs.

Minister Itoua also emphasized the crucial role of public-private partnerships in enhancing the country’s energy infrastructure and market stability. He pointed out that nearly 95% of investment in Congo’s oil sector stems from International Oil Companies (IOCs), reflecting the government’s commitment to fostering an attractive investment climate. “Our responsibility is to create the best business environment, legal network, and facilities to attract investors and partners interested in building solutions with us,” Itoua stated.

Balancing Energy Security with Sustainable Transition

In his closing remarks, Minister Itoua addressed the dual objectives of achieving energy security and advancing the energy transition. He affirmed that these goals are not mutually exclusive but rather complementary, especially within the context of resolving energy poverty. “Our starting point is to solve energy poverty – not only for ourselves but for the world. We believe that energy security can coexist with the energy transition, allowing us to address both simultaneously.”


The discussions at the Invest in African Energy Forum 2024 highlighted the critical intersections of investment, innovation, and policy in transforming Africa’s energy landscape. The focus on clean cooking technologies, in particular, showcased a forward-thinking approach to tackling both environmental challenges and developmental needs, setting a path toward a more sustainable and prosperous future for the continent.

Shaping Africa’s Future at the Energy Transition Centre

As we embark on a critical journey towards a sustainable energy future, your involvement is crucial. The Energy Transition Centre at CLG is at the forefront of transforming Africa’s energy landscape, advocating for an energy mix, including renewable energy adoption to foster economic growth and improve quality of life. We invite you to join us in this essential mission. Whether you’re an industry expert, a policy maker, or a concerned citizen, your contribution can make a significant difference. For guidance, insights, or to share your ideas, feel free to contact the Energy Transition Centre today with questions:

Together, we can shape a brighter, more sustainable future.