The Modern Cooking Facility for Africa (MCFA) is a new financing programme supporting access to and scale-up of higher tier clean cooking solutions in six Sub-Saharan African countries. Zimbabwe is the latest country to join the programme and, together with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, it will form one of the country programmes in the upcoming Call for Proposals to be launched on 20 April.

With four billion people currently lacking access to sustainable and affordable cooking equipment, the lack of clean cooking solutions is a global challenge. Of these, almost 900 million people live in Sub-Saharan Africa. For example, 69% of households in Zimbabwe still use wood fuel and charcoal for cooking. Recent studies by actors in the clean cooking field conclude that this is the only region in the world where the development and access to modern cooking solutions has not kept pace with population growth.

“The Embassy of Sweden in Zimbabwe is thrilled to be a part of the Modern Cooking Facility for Africa programme. Zimbabwe needs to take advantage of the fast-advancing modern cooking solutions available and in doing so move away from women spending hours collecting firewood each day, burning wood and charcoal inefficiently for cooking and the health risks associated with burns and poor air quality. The MCFA programme will address issues of environmental degradation, deforestation and gender inequality, which are all important areas of our work in Zimbabwe,” said Åsa Pehrson, Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe.

In Zimbabwe, the MCFA programme aims to enable distribution of 60,000-120,000 higher tier cookstoves, providing some 200,000-500,000 people in the country with clean cooking solutions. At the same time, the programme aims to support local companies working in the sustainable energy and clean cooking sector in Zimbabwe and encourage entry of new private companies to supplement the companies already operating in the country.

The goal for the MCFA programme is to provide over 3 million people in Africa with access to clean cooking solutions by offering results-based financing for clean cooking companies to grow and scale up their businesses in the project countries. This will support the development and accelerate the creation of new markets for the clean cooking sector in the MCFA project countries.

“The MCFA programme supports a broad range of cooking technologies using sustainable fuels. By increasing access to higher tier cooking equipment, the programme will contribute to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation, improve people’s health and support entrepreneurship and gender equality in the local communities,” commented Ash Sharma, Head of the Modern Cooking Facility for Africa at Nefco.

Sweden, the initiator and first donor to the programme through Sida, will support the Zimbabwe country programme with SEK 50 million (~ EUR 4.8 million), which increases its total contribution to SEK 325 million (~ EUR 32.6 million). The goal is to develop the Modern Cooking Facility for Africa into a EUR 45 million programme with Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank as facility manager. The programme will be implemented by the end of 2027.

The first MCFA funding round will be launched soon and will consist of two phases. Interested applicants need to submit their applications through an online system during the first Pre-Qualification phase. Selected and contracted Cooking Service Providers will receive financial support based on agreed and reached milestones.

Read more at: moderncooking.africa and sign up to the newsletter to receive information about the programme and the upcoming funding round to be launched on 20 April.

For further information, please contact:

Ash Sharma, Head of Modern Cooking Facility for Africa, Nefco
Ash.sharma@nefco.int, Phone: +358 10 618 06 53

Heli Sinkko, Programme Manager of Modern Cooking Facility for Africa, Nefco
Heli.Sinkko@nefco.int, Phone: +358 10 6180 659

Lucinda Tyser, Programme Officer, Climate and Environment, Embassy of Sweden
in Harare, Zimbabwe
Lucinda.Tyser@gov.se M: +263 772 365 375

About Sida

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is the Swedish government agency for development cooperation. Sida strives to reduce world poverty by allocating resources and knowledge with the goal of making a difference for people in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. To achieve this, Sida collaborates with actors from civil society and universities as well as the public and private sectors. Sida’s activities are funded through Swedish tax revenue. Read more at www.sida.se

About Nefco

Nefco, the Nordic Green Bank, is an international financial institution (IFI) that provides risk capital for Nordic green solutions. Established in 1990 by the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, Nefco serves the interest of its owners. Our task is to work with concrete actions to accelerate the green transition. By focusing on small and medium-sized projects with tangible results, we have been able to demonstrate how to implement climate and environmental projects in a sustainable and cost-efficient way. We evaluate our impact against the EU Taxonomy, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and our own environmental criteria. Over the years, Nefco has implemented some 1,500 private and public projects across different sectors all over the world. Nefco’s headquarters is located in Helsinki, Finland. Read more at www.nefco.int