Founder and Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mr Mo Ibrahim, and Mary Robinson, former President of the Republic of Ireland have jointly written an article for Prime Business Africa, Nigeria’s independent online newspaper focusing on socio-economic issues on the continent.
Mo Ibrahim and Robinson are co-founders of the Africa-Europe Foundation.
Their Op-ed in Prime Business Africa is coming ahead of forthcoming global meetings — the United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Energy, COP26 and Africa-Europe Summits.
The duo write on “Clean cooking: lifting the lid on dirty cooking fuels” making a case for global action to curb negative health implications of poor cooking habits, especially among developing countries.
Ms Robinson, former President of the Republic of Ireland, is also the Honorary President of the Africa-Europe Foundation.
Ahead of major global meetings over the coming year such as the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy, COP26 and the Africa-Europe Summit, Mr Ibrahim and Ms Robinson, in the op-ed, urge world leaders to rethink how they perceive and prioritise cooking, with a focus on the lack of access to clean cooking in Africa and its health, development and climate toll.
They notably highlight that, across the continent, there are an estimated 500,000 premature deaths each year from indoor air pollution, particularly amongst women and girls, and levels of respiratory infections amongst infants remain high, collectively accounting for a far larger toll than official COVID-19 deaths to date.
In line with this reasoning and the Clean Cooking Manifesto recently published by the Africa-Europe Foundation, Mr Ibrahim and Ms Robinson call in their op-ed for governments, development partners and the private sector to accelerate action on clean cooking, so that its universal access becomes a shared priority for Europe and Africa. Mo Ibrahim and former President Robinson also put forward concrete examples on how this should be undertaken, such as supporting a robust clean cooking industry through tax and import duty exemptions.