Cooking energy sector Ivory Coast

First, let’s have a look to some figures:

In Ivory Coast, 40% of the households who were interviewed reported that they use pieces of plastic or rubber for starting a fire to cook or boil water. Although this practice ensures a quick start, it is far from safe or sustainable.

Another alarming figure: the forest cover has suffered a loss of more than 75% between 1960 and 2013 (MINEF, 2013).

Finally, the most recent example of a need for action: indoor air pollution ranks third in terms of premature deaths in the country.

A study as a baseline
The goal is not to make a review of the worst figures related to Ivory Coast, but to draw up a report on the cooking energy sector, including other sectors connected to it in the country, and to identify areas of improvement.

In collaboration with ECREEE and CARE, StovePlus  conducted the study, "Clean Cooking Energies in Côte d'Ivoire - Situation & Outlook", to identify the major trends and provide a baseline for future action in the sector.

Brief summary of households cooking habits
It is a country of 22.8 million inhabitants, half of which lives in cities and the other half in rural areas.

Biomass is widely available: wood, charcoal, and agricultural residues. In fact, it is the most popular (73% of final energy consumption) compared to other resources like oil products (21%), electricity (5.3%), or gas (1.7%).[1]

However, the study reports that the Government encourages the use of oil and LPG: "VAT on petroleum products decreased from 18% to 9% and the price of LPG for households is subsidized up to 50%."
Access to LPG is hampered in particular because of road conditions which make difficult to reach many areas.

Concerning the users, 67.5% of final energy consumption is related to domestic use. Needs vary between cooking, hot water and in some cases, heating, when the Harmattan is blowing.

Households are used to cooking about 3.25 hours per day regardless of their socioeconomic class but it impacts their house configuration: the upper class tends to cook indoors in a kitchen, unlike the lower class which tends to cook outside.

Aside from the socioeconomic category, geographical areas have an impact on the resources used. Gas and coal are widely used in Abidjan, 91.7% and 85% respectively, while in rural areas, wood use reached 98.4%, followed distantly by charcoal (50.8%). Urban areas, except Abidjan, represent an in-between where the use of charcoal dominates at 93.3%, followed by gas (56.3%) and wood (54.8%).

These percentages added together exceed 100% and this is because users often use multiple fuels.

What are the prices?
Let’s compare prices per kilo and prices per MegaJoule, that is to say, the useful energy.
A person living in Abidjan pays 53 CFA francs per kilo of wood, that is to say 15.4 CFA francs per Megajoules. If one buys 1 kg of charcoal, they will pay 110 CFA francs, the equivalent of 15 FCFA per MegaJoule.
If one buys a 6 kilos gas cylinder, they will pay 2300 CFA francs, or 383 FCFA per kilo, or 13 FCFA MegaJoule.
Regarding electricity, the price is 36 FCFA per kWh for less than 80 kWh bimonthly, if we translate this into useful energy, then the cost per Megajoule is 16.7 FCFA.

Comparing the cost of useful energy, we see that gas is the cheapest in Abidjan and gas distribution covers mainly urban area. Nevertheless, supply issues seem to be decreasing in the country.

Going further…
The study doesn’t stop here and goes through. It analyzes institutional and professional sectors as well as other fuel sectors: wood, charcoal, gas, bioresidues and cookstoves.


The study (French):

Executive summary (English):

[1] INS/DSSE/Comptabilité Nationale