Local stakeholders trained to build smart stoves in Sierra Leone

ECREEE co-organized a training to support local manufacturers to build smart cookstoves. Held from 24 – 29 April 2023, at the Government Technical Institute (GTI) in Kono District, Sierra Leone, the training was organized in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Global Environment Fund, Salone Business Women’s Hub, the Playhouse Foundation and the Ministry of Energy, Sierra Leone.

Gender was mainstreamed in the training. For instance, 15 of the 26 entrepreneurs trained in this phase were females and the training was delivered by a local trainer Women in Energy Sierra Leone Ltd. This training is the second phase of the initiative on Training of 24 Entrepreneurs in Clean Cookstove Manufacturing. The first training was conducted in July 2022, in Kono.

The grant provided by ECREEE was used in purchasing training materials and equipment as well as protective gears (helmets, gloves, boots and overalls). Availability of equipment for panel beating, welding, etc, meant that trainees could work individually. The result from this investment was significant – the learning time in this training was shorter than the first training, with trainees completing their stove projects two days earlier than in the first training.

The end goal of this effort is to support the trainees to establish smart cookstove businesses, empowering them economically and contributing to the local economic development of Kono. A 3-day entrepreneurship development training will be conducted for the trainees by Salone Business Women’s Hub in partnership with the Playhouse Foundation in June 2023 with funding from UNDP-GEF.

ECREEE’s participation in this initiative contributes to the objectives of the West Africa Clean Cooking Alliance (WACCA) and, by extension, the ECOWAS Bioenergy Policy.

The main purpose of WACCA is to improve living conditions (economic, social and health) of the population of ECOWAS countries through increased access to clean cooking energy services (efficient stoves and sustainable fuels) thus reducing locally and globally adverse environmental impacts through reduced deforestation. WACCA works specifically to:

  1. promote the adoption of clean and efficient cooking equipment and disseminate sustainable biofuels and modern fuels for all households of ECOWAS,
  2. ensure the quality and sustainability of cooking equipment distributed in terms of environmental performance and public health in the ECOWAS countries, the quality and sustainability of biofuels disseminated, and the quality and safety of modern fuels distributed,
  3. introduce an appropriate regional governance mechanism for consultation, coordination and funding to ensure coordinated implementation of actions in the field of cooking energy.