Capacity building on construction of improved stoves – WACCA Camps 2015

From July 20 to 24, fifteen stove producers from the 5 Anglophone countries in ECOWAS will convene in Accra, the capital of Ghana to participate in the capacity building on improved cookstoves (ICS) construction.

At the global level, 2.6 billion people still depend on traditional cookstoves or open fires for cooking and heating their homes (World Energy Outlook 2012). This results in 4 million premature deaths per year globally, mainly women, who bear the burden of cooking and their infant children (under 5) due to indoor-air pollution (WHO 2012). Additionally, this prevalent use of biomass-based fuels for cooking using inefficient stoves such as the three-stone fire has been identified as one of the leading cause for deforestation, which is one of the main drivers for climate change.

At the ECOWAS regional level, the majority of households (about 80%) still rely on traditional biomass as their primary cooking fuel. In several countries in the region, biomass based fuels (wood fuel and charcoal) represent more than 90% of the household energy needs especially in rural and peri-urban areas.

The West Africa Clean Cooking Alliance (WACCA) initiative launched in October 2012 to support a wide distribution of efficient, affordable, sustainable and safe cooking fuels and devices to the ECOWAS population is therefore organizing this hands-on workshop to allow cookstove manufacturers to learn from one another. Under the guidance of Mr. Suraj Wahab, who is operating one of the most successful cookstove businesses in the region, participants will strengthen their technical and entrepreneurial skills. This training is the first of a kind relying solely on south-south knowledge-sharing where 100% of the participants and trainer are all from the ECOWAS region and are from one core group of the value-chain. Another innovation is the fact that only participants from English-speaking countries are attending this workshop in order to remove the language barrier. From the perspective of Mr. Siré A. Diallo, coordinator of the WACCA, “changes allow the training to be laser-focused. Small is efficient, in this case”!

This capacity-building training will help WACCA reach its objectives of bringing clean, safe, affordable cooking energy solutions to the entire ECOWAS population by 2030. At the end of this intensive five-day training, Mr. Diallo, hopes “participants are able to see the possibilities out there using Toyola as case-study and living proof of success in the cookstove industry’’. The training is designed to be fluid, organic and interactive while topics covering all aspects of stove production from material sourcing and equipment selection to quality control and dissemination.

According to John Yeboah, project officer at ECREEE, ‘’there is a need to make this activity perennial because it is very rare that producers from the region have this type of opportunity’’.

This training also is a testimonial to WACCA’s strategy of leveraging synergies as it was organized in collaboration with the Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GHACCO) and the Global Alliance on Clean Cookstoves. WACCA is grateful to the Austrian Ministry of Environment for funding this activity, which is a big step toward ensuring a viable clean market in the ECOWAS region.

For more information about this workshop or about WACCA in general, please contact Mr. Siré A. Diallo, coordinator of WACCA, at