Economic inequalities and rural-urban disparities in clean cooking fuel use in Ghana

Peer Reviewed
1 June 2022

Expanding access to clean cooking fuels is an important driver of sustainable development goal (SDG) 7, which is to ensure universal access to affordable and clean energy. Ghana is among 20 countries that account for more than 80% of the global deficit in access to clean cooking fuel, despite efforts to improve uptake of clean cooking fuel over the years. Using the last three rounds of the Ghana Living Standards Survey, this study examines the trend and extent of economic inequalities, as well as the factors that account for the rural-urban disparity in the use of clean cooking fuels. We first used concentration curves and concentration indices to analyse the magnitude and trend of economic inequality. We then decomposed the rural-urban gap in the use of clean cooking fuels by applying a non-linear decomposition technique. Our results reveal that, in general, economic inequality persists across the three survey rounds. The level of inequality was higher in urban areas but relative change over time was higher in the rural sample. Also, rural-urban differences in economic status, education of the household head and ownership of television were the biggest contributors to the rural-urban gap in clean cooking fuel use. Our findings reveal the need for a more targeted approach in the design and implementation of policies to encourage the use of clean cooking fuels. Tailored strategies to reach the poor and vulnerable in rural and urban areas while scaling up access will be a step in the right direction.

Kwasi Gyabaa Tabiri; Frank Adusah-Poku; Jacob Novignon

Sustainable Development Goals
Publication reference
Kwasi Gyabaa Tabiri, Frank Adusah-Poku, Jacob Novignon, Economic inequalities and rural-urban disparities in clean cooking fuel use in Ghana, Energy for Sustainable Development, Volume 68, 2022, Pages 480-489, ISSN 0973-0826,
Publication | 15 March 2023