The event, being held for the first time in West Africa, which brought together more than 500 leaders and experts from 50 countries, is part of a global effort to create a thriving global market for clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels.
The last day of the forum saw Members of the Ghana Girls Guide Association hold a roundtable with some ranking female members of parliament and female assembly members in Accra, as part of efforts to scale up access to clean cookstoves and fuels.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Mrs Radha Muthiah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves said every day, millions of women and girls around the world breathe in harmful smoke while cooking and spend hours walking far distances to secure fuel for cooking.
Citing the World Health Organisation, she said exposure to household air pollution from dangerous, inefficient, and polluting cooking practices kills more than 4.3 million people annually, whereas millions more suffer from cancer, pneumonia, heart and lung disease, blindness and burns.
“In Ghana alone we lose over 13,000 lives every year. There are significant social and economic benefits from the adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels.
“Less time spent collecting fuel and cooking enables girls to attend school and study, and allows women to spend more time with their children and pursue income-generating or educational opportunities– all of which contribute to poverty alleviation,” she said.
The CEO said the Alliance is partnering Ghana Girl Guides Association to empower girls as community leaders to raise awareness about clean cooking.
Mrs Muthiah announced that 200 Girl Guides have been trained on all aspects of clean cooking solutions, including the social, economic, health and environmental impacts of cooking over open fires.
Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, noted that girls and young women’s voices should be heard to find solutions for increasing the use of clean cookstoves and as well improve energy access in Ghana.
Nana Oye Lithur who pledged the support her Ministry, to be a change agent, said if people especially women should adopt clean methods of cooking it would create more time for young girls to study, and also improve the health conditions of their parents.
The Minister said across the world women are much involved in cooking, as such, it is important to spearhead the advocacy; and therefore urged Global Alliance to widen their stakeholders in order to create more awareness.
Touching on the importance of Girls Voices; Ghanaian-born International Reggae Star, Rocky Dawuni, said girls and young women are disproportionately affected by a lack of accessible, clean cooking fuels because they are often responsible for preparing meals for their families and for collecting firewood to cook.
The Reggae Star who doubles as the Ambassador for Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves therefore tasked all, to encourage girls to develop and advocate their own solutions, to have the voice in guiding community practices and national policies towards more sustainable and safe cooking.
The Ghana Girl Guides Advocacy Day, part of the Clean Cooking Forum 2015, brought together girl leaders from across Ghana to encourage government leaders to support efforts to scale access to clean Cookstoves and fuels.
The Ghana Girl Guides is a national organisation dedicated to enabling girls and young women to develop their fullest potential as responsible world citizens.
They have been working with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to increase awareness of and demand for clean cooking solutions among adolescent girls, their families, and communities by working directly with girls to become clean energy leaders in their communities.