Leary, J., et al (2019)
Main authors: N. Scott, J. Leary, N. Serenje, F. Mwila, S. Batchelor
Associate authors: M. Leach, E. Brown, F. Yamba
About the publication
The study has highlighted several opportunities and challenges for future eCook product/service
designers. Urban Zambians tend to fuel stack electricity and charcoal, both of which are available at very
low cost compared to other countries. Wood smoke is seen as highly undesirable by most, however
most are indifferent to charcoal smoke, which is less visible but also has severe health implications.
Most participants cooked 3 meals a day, but electricity users reported spending longest in the kitchen,
likely due to the inefficient appliances currently in use. If monthly repayments were on a par, respondents prefer lease-to-own business models, as they would eventually own the equipment. However most saw an energy service model, where the cookers are rented for a service fee (in the same way that power generation, transmission & distribution infrastructure currently is) by the national utility, ZESCO, as a favourable option.
Roughly three quarters of the sample were drawn from urban areas around Lusaka, and one quarter
were drawn mostly from three rural towns located around 50 km from the capital. The sample was
female biased, but this is not surprising, as there was no cash incentive offered & the focus on cooking
likely attracted more female respondents. The mean household size was found to be 5.2 (including
children). 46% of the sample were deprived in at least one of the indicators relating to education, home
construction materials & source of drinking water.
Almost all respondents owned mobile phones, indicating high levels of technical proficiency & possibly a
greater willingness to adopt new innovations. Half of respondents regularly use the internet & social
media platforms, indicating that social media marketing strategies could be employed for ecook products/services, but would likely need to be complimented by other means.