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USAID funds local cookstove projects

22 November 2013, 12:04

Nairobi - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced three projects had made it through to the $1 million Fuel-efficient Cookstove Distribution in Kenya Grants Competition.

USAID will fund the projects -Boma Safi Ltd, BURN Manufacturing Co and Micro Enterprises Support Programme Trust (MESPT) - as part of its $18-million commitment to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, whose members hope to foster the adoption of 100 million clean stoves by 2020.

“Creating commercially viable supply chains for fuel-efficient stoves is key to resolving distribution challenges and encouraging large-scale uptake of these devices,” said USAID Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth, Education and Environment Eric Postel.

“As a result, USAID is funding these innovative partnerships in hopes that solutions can be found which enable large numbers of people to achieve the social, economic and environmental benefits that come from using efficient cookstoves.”

The three local competition winners were selected from among 43 proposals for their innovative solutions to overcome distribution and financing bottlenecks in the Kenyan cookstove sector.

Meanwhile, the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Co-operatives (KUSCCO) Ltd. will develop a cookstove-specific credit facility to be accessed by 1 350 Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) societies to on-lend to individual members seeking to purchase cook stoves. 

Demonstrating their strong commitment to the long-term sustainability and success of the fund, KUSCCO and its member SACCOs will provide $2 dollars of their own funds to the credit facility for every dollar provided by the grant – effectively tripling the impact of USAID’s investment.

Boma Safi, a woman-owned business, will expand and strengthen its distribution network, which includes KUSCCO member SACCOs, as well as other sales agents.  With the resources provided by the USAID grant, Boma Safi seeks to demonstrate success in woman-owned, woman-led entrepreneurship in the energy sector, and to increase productive opportunities for women along the fuel-efficient cookstove value chain.

BURN Manufacturing and MESPT will create a revolving fund that will provide financing to cookstove distributors in Kenya.  MESPT and BURN have also committed to matching the USAID financial resources allocated to the Revolving Fund, expanding its ability to alleviate the capital constraints experienced by many cookstove enterprises.

- CAJ News


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