In the ECOWAS region, around 80% of the population still uses traditional biomass for cooking, often in an unsustainable manner and on inefficient stoves. Smoke from cooking on these stoves contributes to health problems, especially for women and children. Inefficient stoves are often unsafe and uncomfortable to use. Cooking fuel expenses keep on rising and the unsustainable wood fuel supply chains cause environmental degradation and deforestation

Against this background, there is a general agreement that these challenges related to cooking energy should not continue to prevail in the 21st century and successful initiatives in the region should be replicated and promoted. Achieving wide distribution of efficient, affordable, sustainable and safe cooking fuels and equipment require that a myriad of technical, economic, social and institutional barriers have to be overcome.

In line with its objectives to promote energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency, the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) initiated a regional Cooking Energy initiative called West African Clean Cooking Alliance (WACCA). It was officially launched during the ECOWAS High Level Energy Meeting in Accra, Ghana, on 30 October 2012.

The ECOWAS Initiative on Safe, Sustainable and Affordable Cooking aims to insure that by 2030, the entire ECOWAS population has access to efficient, sustainable and modern cooking fuels and devices.


The overall objective of the initiative is to provide access to efficient, sustainable and affordable cooking energy in the entire ECOWAS region.

The specific objective is to:

  • Promote the implementation of policies and regulatory framework on clean cooking initiatives in the ECOWAS region.
  • Enhance capacity building in clean cooking initiatives in the region.
  • Support and harmonise standards and labeling practices in the region.
  • Promote networking and knowledge sharing in terms of technologies and innovations

At regional level, WACCA is set to build upon existing interventions on the various fuels and technologies, accumulate and share knowledge on the available existing technologies and technical approaches. WACCA will facilitate the adoption of standards for cooking technologies in accordance with international agreements as developed under the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC) and through that, enhance and complement activities implemented in the framework of the ECOWAS Regional Programme on Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) through the use of Renewable Energy (promotion of alternatives of Fuel wood) and Energy Efficiency (ECOWAS Initiative on Standards and Labeling). The capacities for research and policy development on guidelines for the value chain of cooking fuels (wood, charcoal, LPG, bio-ethanol, etc.) will be strengthened and a consistent system for monitoring and evaluation in accordance with other monitoring and evaluation systems will be developed at regional level.

At national level, WACCA will assist in mapping the existing initiatives on fuel and cooking equipment and updating national strategies for cooking energy. Through the evaluation of solutions and bottlenecks, the initiative will enable the development of approaches for the local production of equipment and fuels and market development for technologies and fuels. Key elements of the initiative will be the establishment of financing mechanisms and the implementation of awareness campaigns.

Institutional structure

WACCA is an ECREEE-led programme that is jointly implemented with several technical partners, including, ETC-ENERGIA, GACC, Austrian Energy Agency, GERES, GIZ, and ICEED. Institutions and organizations who are interested in becoming a partner of WACCA are invited to get in contact with ECREEE.


Bah F.M. Saho
Renewable Energy Expert
ECREEE Secretariat
Tel: (238) 2604634
Email: bsaho@ecreee.org
Skype: bahfmsaho