Five years ago two West African entrepreneurs started a stove business, and have since produced 154,000 efficient charcoal stoves that are cooking meals for around 940,000 people.
One third of households in Ghana cook on charcoal stoves and spend a big slice of their income on charcoal. The stoves produced by 170 trained artisans for Toyola Energy are cleaner, more efficient and durable. They cook faster and cut charcoal use by about one third, yet sell for as little as US$7 each. To make them more affordable, Toyola offers customers the option to buy on credit and pay back their loan over two months using the money saved on charcoal, with many stashing their savings in a ‘Toyola Money Box’.
Toyola’s stoves are sold across Ghana, and some to Togo and Burkina Faso. With five production centres in Ghana and one in Togo, Toyola plans to increase sales. By 2013 it hopes to produce 140,000 more stoves from new bases in Ghana, Benin, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
The stoves reduce charcoal use by about 26,000 tonnes per year, saving trees and cutting CO2 by around 150,000 tonnes per year.