Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

A bioenergy vision for Africa

If unused dry regions in Africa could be exploited to grow bioenergy crops, surrounding local economies would flourish and African nations could come closer to meeting their energy needs.
A bioenergy vision for Africa
Africa's dry landscapes could be effectively exploited to produce crops for bioenergy, increasing sustainable development on the continent and stoking its economy. The EU-funded Compete project aimed to create a platform that encourages production of bioenergy on the continent. It focused on arid and semi-arid regions in Africa which could be exploited for bioenergy without harming the ecosystem and without negative socioeconomic consequences.

In essence, the project estimated energy demand and evaluated land use to develop a bioenergy strategy that improves peoples' livelihoods, maintains ecosystems and encourages knowledge exchange with the EU. It assessed the potential for sustainable use of bioenergy and created links with leading developing nations in the field, including Brazil, China, India, Mexico and Thailand. This helped enhance knowledge transfer among developed and developing countries, as well as promoting joint projects involving new energy crops and agroforestry.

Once the evaluations and links were established, the Compete project developed tools to facilitate financing with respect to bioenergy projects. It then worked on developing policies that favour the creation of bioenergy systems, keeping in mind how best to help local communities and employ both genders. By making good use of large, unused land areas, people in Africa can benefit economically and help the continent meet its energy needs in a more sustainable manner.

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