The Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana and a Global Ambassador for the Clean Cooking Alliance, Hajia Samira Bawumia, has been named the first of seven global honourees by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll), in partnership with Ashden.
This is in recognition of her significant contribution towards mobilising action for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7; the call for universal access to modern reliable, renewable and affordable energy for all by 2030.
The Seven For 7 is an annual event hosted by SEforAll, an international organization launched by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to drive action toward the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), and the Paris Agreement; together with Ashden, a London-based charity focused on improving lives, through sustainable energy and development.
The event was hosted after the 2019 Climate Action Summit and a high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage at the United Nations General Assembly.
Seven For 7, this year, looked at the interlinkage between health and energy, while bringing into focus, individuals and initiatives that are making headway in the areas of clean fuels for all, cooling for all, powering health care and outdoor air quality.
It is estimated that, In Ghana, eight out of ten people cook with solid fuels such as wood and charcoal, leading to significant impacts on health, gender equality and the environment. The toxic emissions from cooking this way lead to about 18,000 premature deaths per year.
As a Global Ambassador for the Clean Cooking Alliance, the Second Lady is championing the adoption of clean cooking solutions, particularly among women and girls, in Ghana, Africa and across the world. The Clean Cooking Alliance is a non-profit organisation hosted by the United Nations Foundation to spearhead the adoption of clean and efficient cooking solutions, in households and institutions, across the world.
Mrs Bawumia, through her not-for-profit organisation, Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEHP) has also provided critical interventions in the areas of health, education and women’s empowerment. Her organization aims to reduce the high rates of maternal and child mortality in the Ghana by distributing birth kits to underprivileged expectant mothers and by providing medical equipment and pharmaceuticals to selected health facilities across Ghana.
Receiving her award, the Second Lady commended the organisers for acknowledging her contribution to global climate action. She indicated that the issue of access to clean cooking solutions is a environmental, health and development issue. As such, it should be given all the attention it deserves.
The other honourees were Sistema.bio, Chhattisgarh State Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA), Philips Community Life Centers, NYC CoolRoofs Initiative, Medellín Green Corridors Projects, and Ahmedabad Heat Action Plan, all from across the world.