Have you ever wondered why Gyapa cookstoves are so efficient?
Gyapa ceramic liners are the key to Gyapa's fuel-efficinecy. When families cook on Gyapa, they place the charcoal in the ceramic liner, light it, and cook on the heat. Thanks to the ceramic liner, the heat is retained in close proximity to the cooking vessel, instead of being lost in the metal like other traditional stoves. This is how Gyapa cookstoves save families up to 50% charcoal.
Kwame, one of our Gyapa cookstove ceramic liner partners, makes 2,000 ceramic liners a month. He introduces us to his team of 8 and shows us his production line in Ghana in the video below.
Marketing & Sales Officer, Micah Prempeh, sells Gyapa cookstoves throughout Accra. He typically visits 15 retailers during the day, delivering Gyapa, picking up stoves under warranty which need repairs, collecting payments, and asking for feedback and comments. Micah also finds new Gyapa retailers, expanding our reach to additional markets and customers.
Micah's typical day, documented in photos, shows the relationship that he and all our Marketing & Sales Officers have built will clientele and the sustainable impact Gyapa cookstoves are having on the local economy.
Click on the photos below to learn more about Micah's activities.
Peter showing his freshly painted Gyapa fuel-efficient cookstoves
Peter Amako Atta began producing Gyapa cookstoves nine years ago and has grown into one of the largest stove manufacturers in Ghana. Based in the Achimota neighborhood of Accra, Peter used to sell shoes on the side of the road. Selling shoes offered no steady employment as Peter relied upon unpredictable consignment availability and product. Often, when shipments were delayed, Peter had no work. Peter was a part of the informal business sector in Ghana and without a set sales outlet.
In 2003, Peter received training from EnterpriseWorks to become a metal artisan manufacturing partner. Peter was attracted to the opportunity to become a manufacturer because of the importance he thought Gyapa cookstoves could be to Ghanaians. "Gyapa is very economical and saves a lot of charcoal for families," Peter said. He sensed that the Gyapa cookstove would be a very popular product in Ghana and wanted to be involved with the product as a sustainable and long lasting way to earn a living.
Peter began his business manufacturing the stoves himself, producing fewer than 100 stoves per month. Focused on growing his business each year, Peter has transitioned from a single manufacturer to managing his own business. Peter’s manufacturing site, peacefully hidden in the middle of a small banana plantation behind a city landfill, has grown to be one of the largest Gyapa producers in Accra. He now manages ten employees and produces over 1,200 stoves per month. Peter has grown his business each year and reinvested his profits to expand his operations. Stoves produced out of this site continue to be of the best quality and are sought after by retailers and consumers. Peter and his team manufactured nearly 10% of all Gyapa cookstoves in Ghana in 2012. “It is a very good product that people will buy and we can sell this nationwide. It saves charcoal and saves people money. I am planning to expand my business to access even more customers." Through his business success, Peter has also been able to purchase a plot of land where he plans to build his future home.
Peter has benefited from working capital loans from Gyapa Enterprises which he has used to expand his production capacity. We have provided almost $60,000 in loans and grants to cookstove production partners in our value chain just like Peter. Through the sale of carbon credits, we're able to provide strategic sustainable investments throughout the value chain, working to support individual business and to expand market linkages and networks to increase access of Gyapa stoves to new communities and households.
Meet Isaac Nyanya, Gyapa Enterprises' Driver & Sales Agent. Isaac has worked with Gyapa Enterprises for over a year. He works with Marketing Officers, Gyapa cookstove producers, retailers and customers, distributing and selling ceramic liners, metal cookstove bodies and finished cookstoves throughout the Accra area. In addition to moving and selling cookstoves, he also assists with community demonstrations, helping Marketing Officers highlight the differences between Gyapa fuel-efficient cookstoves and traditional methods of cooking in Ghana.
When asked about his favorite part of the job, Isaac said, "I love working with people at the grassroots level. I get to interact with cookstove manufacturers, retailers and customers. I'm always interacting with people, which I'm delighting in."
We are introducing a new innovative label for our Gyapa fuel-efficient cookstoves. Every stove will have an individual warranty code, which not only allows customers to claim their warranty, but also certifies that they have purchased an Original Gyapa.
In this new commercial, airing late July on Ghana TV, Gyapa cookstove retailer, Rebecca, teaches a customer about the new certified Original Gyapa labels.
Watch our new commercial detailing the benefits of our new Gyapa cookstove labeling system (above)
Our own staff member, Agnes Ofosu, stars in the new commercial, accompanied by Rebecca, a retailer who has been selling Gyapa cookstoves for 9 years
“With the support of ClimateCare, carbon finance has enabled RI/EW to take a market based approach to the GyapaTM program in Ghana and turn it into a self-sustaining model for success across the sector. ClimateCare’s unparalleled expertise in the carbon market has resulted in the continued sale of GyapaTM carbon credits which has provided the necessary investment for continued growth and success,” states Chip Levengood, RI Board Chairperson.
Photo of Gyapa retailer, courtesy of Issy
Hey, it’s ‘Issy the Intern.’ I've been kept very busy, and I'm excited to share what I've been up to.
My big assignment has been 'mapping' retailers and producers in Ghana by taking photos and tagging them using the GPS function of my camera. I spent the first couple of days in the office getting to grips with the GPS function on my camera and how I could use it in order to create the network map of Gyapa cookstoves.
We went to Makola and Madina Market where we met various retailers of Gyapa cookstoves. This was my first experience of a Ghanaian market, having spent the last 4 and bit years living in Brighton, England with their famous South Lanes, I was fairly accustomed to narrow, weaving alleys and walkways, but Makola & Madina Market are on another level. With stock towering over you I’m not sure if someone with claustrophobia would be able to cope. For me, however, it was a great experience.
In Makola Market we met two wonderful retailers, Susie and Evelyn, and both gave fantastic interviews. While Carole Lundgren was interviewing them for a supply chain video project, I took photos, which allowed us to post updates on Facebook and Twitter about what we are doing before all the editing is complete. After finishing the interviews with both Susie and Evelyn we went across the city to Madina Market where we interviewed two further retailers and a commercial user. It was great to hear people say such positive things about Gyapa cookstoves, and we will definitely be able to make some cool videos out of the footage we got. We finished the day by going to visit two end users of Gyapa and got interviews with them. It was great to hear opinions of Gyapa from end users, which are not affiliated with the scheme. One of them gave such an amazing testimonial, we couldn’t quite believe it: "Gyapa is the best for every household."
On Friday we took the 2 hour journey to Winneba, which is to the west of Accra, to visit Ekem. Ekem produces the clay liners, and this is what makes Gyapa so fuel efficient, as it retains the heat so users do not have to use as much charcoal. It was really interesting to hear what Ekem had to say, as he has worked with Gyapa Enterprises for 10 years and so has been there right from the beginning. He described in great detail the processes behind making the clay liners, which is a critical part of the Gyapa cookstove.
I also used this opportunity to gather GPS points. The aim is to plot where all the producers and retailers are, and the aim to plot all the retailers and producers so we can see the distribution of the stoves. It is a great way for everyone to see the impact the programme has had, and is embedded into our website, so that everyone can see that faces of Gyapa!
It’s been a great time here in Ghana. I've had some great experiences meeting the various people that are a part of the Gyapa network. I am looking forward to more visits to retailers and producers, because it is these amazing people that make the Gyapa cookstove network so great. See Issy's GPS Google map project on our Impact page: http://www.gyapa.com/impact.html
Meet Mr. Adolph, Regional Marketing Manager in the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions of Ghana. Based in Kumasi, Adolph has worked with Gyapa Enterprises for a year. He not only leads marketing and sales efforts in the region, looking for ways to bring Gyapa cookstoves into new territories, but he also coordinates 3 ceramicists, 46 metal artisans and 90 retailers. In addition to monitoring this value chain, he also helps manage micro-impact investments Gyapa Enterprises makes into cookstove producing parterns' businesses.
When asked about his favorite part of the job, Adolph replied, "I meet a lot of people and we share a lot of experiences. That has given me a great insight into life."
In his interview (above), Adolph discusses his work with Gyapa Enterprises. He also highlights the loan assistance Gyapa Enterprises has provided a ceramicist in our value chain.