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Biofuels development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Are the policies conducive?

Listed author(s):
  • Jumbe, Charles B.L.
  • Msiska, Frederick B.M.
  • Madjera, Michael

This paper analyses national, regional and international biofuels policies and strategies to assess whether these policies promote or undermine the development of biofuels sector in Africa. Despite having a huge comparative advantage in land, labour and good climatic conditions favourable for the growing of energy crops, few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have included biofuels strategies in their energy or national development policies. Further results show that while developed countries commit huge financial resources for research, technology development and the provision of tax-incentives to both producers and consumers, there is little government support for promoting biofuels in Africa. Although the consequences of biofuels on food supply remain uncertain, the mandatory blending of biofuels with fossil fuels by industrialized countries will create demand for land in Africa for the growing of energy crops for biofuels. This paper urgently calls upon national governments in Sub-Saharan Africa to develop appropriate strategies and regulatory frameworks to harness the potential economic opportunities from biofuels sector development, while protecting the environment and rural communities from the adverse effects of land alienation from the mainstream agriculture towards the growing of energy crops for biofuels at the expense of traditional food crops.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
Pages: 4980-4986

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:11:p:4980-4986
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  1. von Braun, Joachim & Pachauri, R. K., 2006. "The promises and challenges of biofuels for the poor in developing countries: IFPRI 2005-2006 Annual Report Essay," Annual report essays 2006Essay, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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