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Master plan for the ethanol cooking fuel industry launched in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 3 -The launch of the Kenyan Ethanol Cooking Fuel (ECF) Industry Masterplan was announced today, a move set to grow the local production of bio-ethanol cooking fuel in the country and reduce reliance on imports, while creating a major new Kenyan bio-economy industry.

The Masterplan, commissioned by Germany’s International Climate Initiative (IKI), was developed in close collaboration with Government, including the Ministries of Agriculture, Industrialisation, Energy and Environment, as well as key private sector players. With demand for bioethanol cooking fuel growing fast in Kenya, the study set out to assess what is required for local production to catch up.

The formal publication provides potential investors, policymakers, and researchers with the evidence base to guide the material development of bioethanol cooking fuel production, infrastructure and distribution systems.

The Masterplan – which focuses on Kenya’s potential to grow both cassava and sugarcane feedstock production – also makes targeted recommendations on policy measures that will support the industry’s development, with potential to spur the creation of hundreds of thousands of rural jobs and major investment into the Kenyan sugar industry.

Speaking at the event, David Njugi, CEO of the Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK), commented: “With more than 21,500 Kenyan deaths each year as a result of dirty cooking, the need for affordable clean alternatives for all Kenyans has never been more pressing. With consumer demand for this new fuel already growing fast, the launch of this Masterplan will have a significant socio-economic impact for the country in major sectors, while also contributing to Vision 2030 and the Government’s Big Four Agenda.”

Edna Odhiambo, Country Engagement Lead at SouthSouthNorth, the organisation which managed the Masterplan development, commented: “With so many sectors of our economy struggling in the wake of the pandemic, the launch of this Masterplan is a timely boost to the clean cooking sector and the country at large. The role of the green economy in our recovery will be significant, and I know that the Government is eager to continue working with the private sector and international climate financiers to see the huge economic potential of bioethanol production come to fruition in Kenya.”

The Masterplan highlights the impact potential that can be derived from growing Kenya’s local bioethanol production, including- 370,000 rural jobs in the agriculture sector, which continues to be a critical driver of growth for the Kenyan economy; Sh25 billion investment into Kenya’s sugar and cassava producing regions and Sh180,000 additional annual income for smallholder farmers.

It also includes 54 million trees saved through reduced demand for charcoal and Sh2.6 billion annual savings to Government due to reduced health burden from dirty cooking fuel among others.

The clean cooking sector is an essential part of Kenya’s continued socio-economic growth, contributing towards the achievement of Kenya’s international commitments on clean energy and climate change, such as the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative and Kenya’s pledges under the Paris Agreement on climate change.

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