Pivoting to Clean Cooking in Uganda

 

In Uganda, only 2% of the population has access to clean cooking technologies while the majority of households rely on biomass to cook, thus making the expansion of the clean cooking sector a major challenge in the country. As one of the main development actors in Uganda, UNCDF provides technical assistance to clean cooking enterprises through the Renewable Energy Challenge Fund (RECF). It is within this context that UNCDF tasked the Capstone team to review the RECF data, with a particular focus on a subset of 23 companies, which are representative of the sector as a whole.

To fulfill the client’s requests of providing diagnostics to help the companies attract further technical and investment support, the Capstone team undertook background research on the sector, conducted interviews with international organizations and local associations, and took a weeklong field visit to Uganda to meet with local entrepreneurs and produced a set of deliverables, including company prescriptions, company profiles and a website with database feature, to advise them properly on the ways in which they could scale up their efforts. The team also made a number of recommendations to UNCDF to further support the sector.

The Capstone final report provided an overview and analysis of the clean cooking sector in Uganda and identified transformative ideas and low-cost measures to strengthen local enterprises operating throughout the clean cooking value chain. This report also provided practical recommendations to companies and UNCDF covering following aspects:

1. Company-level communications amongst enterprises and with the relevant industry associations;

2. Improvement of distribution partnerships;

3. The need for business training tailored to clean cooking enterprises;

4. Access to finance support, namely commercial loans to help their businesses grow;

5. Support from relevant associations for standardization efforts and market awareness activities.