Solar’s past and e-cooking’s future

By Dr Rob Byrne (MECS UK University partner project lead for the University of Sussex, and Senior Lecturer, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex)

In our MECS project, which aims to understand and compare the innovation systems around electric cooking (e-cooking) in three East African countries, we have now run workshops in Kenya and Tanzania with a range of stakeholders who helped us create e-cooking innovation system maps for each of the two countries. Although we are yet to run a similar workshop in Rwanda, some interesting findings are already emerging. What strikes me, in particular, are the similarities between the state of the Kenyan and Tanzanian e-cooking innovation systems as they are now, and the state of the solar PV innovation systems in those countries as they were twenty or so years ago. There is both good and bad news in this observation, assuming it is an accurate one.