Freetown, Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Biomass (firewood and charcoal) plays a very significant role in energy supply in Sierra Leone. It constitutes over 90% total energy consumption in the country and provides almost all energy needs for cooking in the rural and most urban households and is also the main source of energy for rural, small-scale industries (CEMMATS GROUP, 2004) and also comprises at least 85% of all commercial energy used  in the country. 

The biomass energy situation has transformed dramatically over the past decade. Since “the end of the civil-war there has been a significant increase in charcoal production nationally and in charcoal consumption in urban areas – most notably in Freetown. The vast majority of production now seems to be occurring in the provinces and a number of villages have even given up farming to become specialist charcoal producers, illustrating the new vitality of the trade and its importance for rural livelihoods.” 


The most common cooking device is the “traditional open-fire” (or 3-stone stove), with a poor thermal efficiency that is ranging from 8 ~ 15%. It is widely used in rural areas and by about 60% of low-income households in the capital city of Freetown.

From the fluctuating prices of raw materials to the low visibility and standardization of the sector, this is within this scope and to fight against health and environmental impacts associated with traditional biomass cooking that our objectives are founded. By reinforcing the clean cookstove sector to be visible and strong enough to supply clean devices to Sierra Leonean users, our aim will allow households to choose their way toward a less precarious and more sustainable energetic future.

To idenfity clear roles in the partnership

with the Renewable Energy Center, Njala University and StovePlus  by training partners in MOU, an outcome would be having local capacity in cookstove testing in line with the methodologies supported by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC) supported WBT 4.2.2 testing methodology and charcoal testing protocol

Establishing the baseline cookstoves and identifying the local efficiencies

of existing “improved cookstoves” by testing 4 potentially improved cookstoves and 1 baseline traditional stove

Understand local cooking habits

to offer devices that fit with the end-users' needs to favour the adoption of clean cookstoves

Identify potential local partners

that will help us raising awareness and develop strong bases for an improved cookstove market.

Sierra Leone cookstove

”According to our initial testing and observations, it appears that Sierra Leoneans have great cooking techniques that allow them to consume small quantities of charcoal while still cooking quickly. Some of this may be one outcome of a civil war that restricted access to fuel and thus improved their fuel management.”

Our intervention, services provided

Baseline Assessment

Assessing the local sector to identify challenges and needs faced by both entrepreneurs and users in order to design strategies to improve the supply and awareness around the clean cooking world in Sierra Leone.

Find out more about Baseline Assessment

Testing and R&D

Training local technicians to test and evaluate the Sierra Leoneans cookstoves in order to establish and standardize quality in the clean cookstoves sector

Find out more about Testing and R&D

Business Development

Identify small and medium local stove market actors to enhance their business activities and improve the clean cookstove market in Sierra Leone.

Find out more about Business Development


Renewable Energy Center (REC)  |  Njala University

The famous Kenyan Ceramic Jiko entered the western African market through Sierra Leone in first place as it is now recognized by the population as the most frequently used charcoal stove! It was brought to Sierra Leone in 1990’s with Mr. N’Jai, a businessman, discovered the stove in Kenya and decided to produce the same stove type in his native country founding of the famous brand “Wonder Stove”


The MoU targets the establishment of a collaborative partnership between the Renewable Energy Center (REC) - an independent operating entity located at Government Technical Institute - Njala University - a Sierra Leonean Public University - and StovePlus. This collaboration should result in trained technicians who act as staff for a domestic knowledge and testing where improved and advanced cookstoves and their associated fuels can be tested and evaluated in order to establish and standardize quality and measurable fuel reductions in the clean cookstoves sector.