Rwanda has signed an agreement with KOKO Networks (“KOKO”) to develop the world’s first nation-wide renewable cooking fuel utility.
Rwanda is targeting universal access to clean cooking by 2030, in order to solve the deforestation, carbon emissions and indoor air pollution deaths caused by the use of charcoal and wood for cooking, which is still prevalent in Rwandan homes today.
KOKO has developed a proprietary climate-tech platform for the low-cost delivery of bioethanol cooking fuel, which has been proven at scale in Kenya.
Households use a modern 2-burner bioethanol KOKO Cooker with a smart KOKO Canister that enables access to a dense Network of high-tech “KOKO Point” Fuel ATMs, which in turn are refilled by a fleet of Smart MicroTankers.
KOKO’s cloud software manages the flow of payments, fuel, appliances and carbon.
KOKO has partnered with Dalberg to establish KOKO Rwanda, in order to develop a nation-wide Network that will enable convenient clean fuel access for all Rwandans.
Clare Akamanzi, CEO, Rwanda Development Board, said the protection of natural environment is a strategic priority for Rwanda, both nationally and in line with our international climate commitments.
“Equally, clean cooking is an essential part of Rwanda’s efforts to meet the UN Goals around Health, Gender and Economic Development. We are pleased to partner with KOKO and Dalberg to enable the roll out of this important climate technology solution for the benefit of all Rwandans,” she said.
Under the agreement, the government of Rwanda will provide the enabling policy environment including removal of VAT and import duties on equipment and ethanol fuel, with the full benefit of these cost reductions passed to households via lower consumer prices.
KOKO Rwanda will deliver the technology, capital and expertise to build and operate a nation-wide Network, leveraging private climate finance of US$ 25 million to create 500 direct jobs and new income streams for thousands of small business partners.
Greg Murray, CEO of KOKO, believes through this agreement, Rwanda takes a real leadership position in the fight to protect Africa’s forests through replacing demand for deforestation-based charcoal, while also saving the lives of women and children.
“Consumers want ultra-clean cooking fuel available at very low prices within a short walk of their home. Our platform enables this, when combined with fiscal policies that level the playing field with charcoal,” he said.
James Mwangi, Executive Director of Dalberg, said he is pleased to partner with KOKO and the government of Rwanda in building a transformative new climate venture.
Meanwhile, Dalberg has been deeply engaged with the clean cooking sector for over a decade, and has seen KOKO prove its unique platform at scale.
“This agreement represents a unique and compelling combination of leading-edge technology, private climate finance and policy best-practice, and is an example for other nations who seek to get serious about solving the dirty cooking fuel crisis,” Mwangi said.