In Kenya, data from the Ministry of Health shows that indoor air pollution, caused by dirty cooking fuels such as charcoal, firewood, and kerosene, accounts for an estimated 21,560 premature deaths in Kenya (approx. 50% of which are children under the age of five) per year. This worrying situation is estimated to cost the public health system over US$ 2 billion each year in the management of these health challenges.
A leading cooking technology start-up focused on mainstreaming ‘clean smart ethanol cooking technology’ to promote clean cooking in Kenyan households sought our strategic advice and support around their advocacy efforts to reduce import tariffs and VAT on imported bioethanol to ensure that their product is competitive with traditional fuels while the local industry expands its ethanol production capacity.
We built a detailed understanding of the dynamic stakeholder universe, the legislative process and the regional regulatory making process, from which we developed an extensive engagement and communications strategy.
The strategy was aimed at building broad public and private sector understanding and support for the key objectives of utilising clean cooking technology to improve the health and safety of lower-income communities, reduce carbon emissions and increase employment opportunities in the agricultural value chain.
We proactively engaged the Ministries of Energy, Health, Agriculture, Environment, Trade & Industry as well as government agencies and private sector associations such as the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Kenya Private Sector Alliance and Clean Cooking Association. Having obtained their support, we engaged in the legally defined budget process to advocate for the removal of Ethanol taxes
Our advocacy efforts resulted in the National Treasury submitting to the Kenyan Parliament a proposal waiving the 16% VAT on denatured ethanol within Kenya. Additionally, awareness was created within the government on the significant job creation and income-generating potential of a bio-ethanol industry. Which has prompted the government to develop an ethanol industry masterplan aimed at fostering the creation of the clean energy sector in Kenya