CLEAN COOKING ENERGY: Samia sets bold agenda

DAR ES SALAAM: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has issued a series of directives aimed at bolstering Tanzania’s clean cooking energy campaign, emphasizing the involvement of the private sector in ensuring its success.

Speaking during the launch of the National Clean Energy Strategy for the years 2024-2034 in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, President Samia underscored the critical importance of promoting clean cooking energy solutions.

She said such efforts are pivotal in preventing the deaths of millions of women and children, fostering social stability, and unlocking significant labour market productivity.

The directives issued by President Samia encompass ministry of energy, various sectors and stakeholders, aiming to comprehensively address the challenges and opportunities presented by the transition to clean cooking energy.

Firstly, she directed the Ministry of Energy to ensure the dissemination of the strategy to all key stakeholders through official channels, including the ministry’s website and social media platforms.

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Additionally, she urged collaborative efforts between the government and private sector to identify avenues for increasing the availability of clean cooking energy at affordable costs.

President Samia further called for collaboration of stakeholders in establishing a fund to advance clean cooking energy by 2025.

She highlighted the importance of integrating clean cooking energy into Tanzania’s National Development Vision 2050, emphasizing its role in fostering sustainable development.

The directives also extend to improving performance contractual agreements with Regional and District Commissioners to incorporate clean cooking energy aspects, as well as enhancing the operational efficiency of the Rural Energy Agency (REA) in implementing the strategy.

Moreover, President Samia emphasized the urgency of transitioning institutions serving more than 100 people away from the use of firewood and charcoal for cooking. She emphasized the safety and necessity of gas consumption when used responsibly.

“The Vice President’s Office should prepare and submit a report by August of this year detailing the progress made by institutions that serve more than 100 people in their efforts to eliminate the use of charcoal and wood for cooking purposes,” she said.

In addition, President Samia directed Selemani Jafo, Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President (Union and Environment), to ban the use of firewood and charcoal for cooking in any establishment that accommodates more than 100 people.

Reflecting on Tanzania’s commitment to addressing the challenges posed by traditional cooking methods, President Samia highlighted the multifaceted benefits of clean cooking energy, underscored its potential to mitigate climate change effects, reduce respiratory diseases, and enhance national productivity.

The Head of State emphasized the collective responsibility of all stakeholders in realizing the goals outlined in the strategy.

She called upon the government to raise awareness and enact enabling policies, while urging the private sector to invest in clean energy solutions and innovative technologies.

In recognition of Tanzania’s leadership in promoting clean cooking energy, President Samia announced the country’s co-chairmanship of the upcoming conference on clean energy for cooking in Africa, scheduled to be held in Paris, France on May 14, this year. The conference aims to galvanize international support and cooperation towards advancing the clean cooking energy agenda.

“Important issues to be discussed include the financing of clean cooking energy projects and policy issues and cooperation in pushing the clean cooking energy agenda,” she noted.

President Samia expressed her optimism in achieving the ambitious goal of 80 per cent clean cooking energy usage by 2034, emphasizing the collective efforts required for a sustainable and prosperous future for Tanzania.

“It is my hope that every stakeholder will fulfil their responsibility in implementing this strategy, we require the cooperation of all significant stakeholders,” she said.

Dr Samia stated that she was aware of the campaign by the Ministry of Energy to distribute gas cylinders to food vendors through lawmakers but she said still, in rural areas there are nowhere top refill when the gas run out.

“The private sector should be encouraged to invest in filling stations for gas cylinders especially in rural areas,” she said.

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