Developing a Sub-Saharan Africa cookstove program with C-Quest Capital

Macquarie’s Commodities and Global Markets group, C-Quest Capital LLC (CQC) and partners have developed a program to deploy clean cookstoves to rural communities that use open three-stone fires across Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Sector Energy, Commodities
Sub-sector Carbon
Location Africa


Many rural communities in developing countries lack access to clean cooking fuels and technologies, with billions of people worldwide cooking using inefficient three-stone fires.

These fires burn solid biomass fuels, like charcoal and firewood that is often harvested unsustainably from live forests, causing ongoing deforestation to occur in many areas. Collecting firewood can also be incredibly time and energy intensive for women, often taking multiple hours where they risk muscle and spinal damage from carrying heavy loads.

Open fire cooking also releases toxic pollutants and harmful smoke into the atmosphere, which is damaging for the environment and causes significant health issues for those most exposed: predominantly women and children. 


Macquarie’s initial investment and involvement supported the deployment of clean cookstoves to one million households in rural Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, with a second investment at the start of 2022 for an adjacent project in Angola, reaching a further 400,000 households. 

Distributing these free, thermally efficient cookstoves improves the health and well-being of low-income communities across the region and contributes to several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes providing affordable and clean energy, improving good health and well-being (particularly for women and children), and promoting gender equality.

The program also delivers amongst the highest-quality types of carbon offsets by achieving immediate net emissions reductions at scale. The direct carbon impact is verified and validated through the industry-leading verification standards of Verra, while the social impact including contribution to SDGs will be certified through Verra’s Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta).

CQC’s expertise in project design and implementation has enabled the program to deliver a real and transformative impact that goes above and beyond typical industry verification standards. For example, an innovative stove champion program provides employment to local community members who support the roll-out and adoption of the stoves by providing training and post installation follow-ups. 


The growth of the program in existing markets and expansion into new territories, supported by Macquarie, has helped bring the total reach of CQC’s Sub-Saharan Africa program to approximately 3.7 million households, delivering a lasting community impact. 

Macquarie is combining our structuring capability with CQC’s subject matter expertise to jointly market carbon offsets from the Sub-Saharan Africa program and other similar CQC projects that are expected to generate over 200 million tonnes of abated carbon over the next decade.

The collaboration provides corporates and sovereigns with unique access to high-quality carbon offsets from an expansive and impactful investment program.

Macquarie is excited to expand our relationship with CQC, a leader in the development of carbon projects that deliver emissions reductions as well as a positive social impact. This extension of our activities in Sub-Saharan Africa forms an integral part of Macquarie’s offering in carbon finance and carbon markets where we bring capital, project development, and risk management capabilities.”

Erik Petersson
Executive Director
Commodities and Global Markets