Monday, 9 June 2008

Forum on biofuels for development in Africa at the World Bioenergy 2008

1200 delegates from some 60 countries took part in the World Bioenergy 27-29 May 2008 at Elmia in Jönköping, Sweden. Exhibiting companies numbered 200, of which half came from outside Sweden. The trade fair was visited by 5564 people.

Sub-Saharan African has the greatest bioenergy potential of any world region but at present this potential is vastly under-utilised. At World Bioenergy in Jönköping, Sweden the Stockholm Environment Institute organised a forum on biofuels for development in Africa.

An expert panel with several African and international analysts and partnership/project developers addressed the key issues through short presentations followed by a panel discussion and an open discussion with the audience.
  • Addressing the African Biofuel Debate: Bothwell Batidzirai, Chinhoyi University, Zambia
  • Bringing a Swedish Product to an African Market: The Role of Partnership and International Cooperation for Developing a Locally Owned Ethanol Stove Business in Ethiopia ; Milkyas Debebe, Gaia Association, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • A biofuels prenuptial: Questions for Southern policy makers before marriage ; Margaret Matinga, University of Twente, Netherlands
  • Development and Implementation of Biomass Energy Pilot Activities in Uganda ; Sunil Dhingra, Fellow at The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), Delhi, India
  • Bioenergy investment in Africa: Michael Nilsson, Chairman, Biomassive, Sweden
  • Common challenges to sustainable rural biogas programmes in China and Africa ; Lailai Li, SEI
Biomass energy currently forms 70 to 90 per cent of the total final energy supply in sub-Saharan Africa. But there is one major problem, as Sunil Dhingra of the Energy Resources Institute (TERI) in Delhi, India explained:

Sunil Dhingra,
Fellow at the Energy Resources Institute
(TERI) Delhi, India
“This biomass is now being used in a very inefficient and traditional way. There is great development potential in Africa for biomass but the real challenge in working in these countries is the lack of access to modern biomass technology.”

India and Uganda collaborate on biomass technology
North-south-south forum on biofuels for development in Africa: The role of regional policies and public-private partnerships