Nearly 60 countries sent representatives to Paris, France for the inaugural Summit on Clean Cooking in Africa. / Photo: Reuters

A push to provide clean cooking options for the more than 1 billion people in Africa who currently rely on fuels such as charcoal and wood has raised $2.2 billion in pledges from governments and the private sector.

An inaugural Summit on Clean Cooking in Africa, held in Paris, drew more than 1,000 delegates from nearly 60 countries to address the health and climate impacts of cooking using open fires and basic stoves.

Using fuels such as agricultural waste and animal dung in this way is the second-biggest cause of premature death in Africa, mostly of Sub-Saharan women and children, summit co-chair, the International Energy Agency, said in a statement.

"This Summit has delivered an emphatic commitment to an issue that has been ignored by too many people, for too long," IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said.

'A long way to go'

"We still have a long way to go, but the outcome of this Summit, $2.2 billion committed, can help support fundamental rights such as health, gender equality and education while also reducing emissions and restoring forests."

The governments of Tanzania and Norway, and the African Development Bank, also helped chair the event, while French President Emmanuel Macron hosted a meeting for heads of state and other leaders.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said Norway would contribute $50 million to the efforts, while African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said it would raise its funding to $200 million a year over the next decade.

The IEA said it would ensure that the pledges are fulfilled and monitor the process to make sure the money is "spent in a timely manner and reaches those in need", and lead efforts to help raise the $4 billion a year needed by 2030.

"We will rigorously track the commitments announced today to make sure they're met on time and in full – and continue to do our utmost to bring greater resources and attention to this critical issue," Birol said.

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