A new economic opportunity for sub-Saharan Africa is looming large:
biofuel production. Rapidly rising energy prices are expected to remain
high for an extended period of time because of the increasing demand in
prospering and populous countries such as China and India, the
depletion of easily accessible supplies of crude oil, and concern over
global climate change. As a result, there is renewed interest in
biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels.
Africa is uniquely positioned to produce these new cash crops for
both domestic use and export. The region has abundant land resources
and preferential access to protected markets with
higher-than-world-market prices. The rapid growth in the demand for
transport fuels in Africa and high fuel prices create domestic markets
for biofuels. The European Union and the United States have approved
legislation that requires large increases in the consumption of
biofuels over at least the next decade. Imports are expected to be
needed to meet these mandates, thus opening the door to African and
other developing countries that can produce biofuels or feedstocks for
Expanding the production of crops for biofuels will affect the
entire rural sector in Africa as resources are shifted away from
traditional crops and the prices of all agricultural commodities rise.
Even smallholders can participate in producing biofuel crops. To
promote the sustainability and significant contribution of this
enterprise, Biofuels in Africa provides guidance in formulating
suitable policy regimes, which are based on protecting the rights of
current land users, developing revenue-sharing schemes with local
communities, safeguarding the environment and biodiversity, expanding
institutional capacity, formulating new regulations and procedures, and
emulating best practices from experienced countries.
This volume will be of value to anyone interested in biofuels,
including policy makers, development practitioners, private investors,
researchers, and the general public.
Now that African countries are trying to significantly increase
their energy supply systems, biofuels are an attractive option using
both dedicated crops and agricultural waste. This book provides
guidance for them to develop a suitable policy regime for a significant
contribution by biofuels.
— Professor Ogunlade R. Davidson,
Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Sierra Leone
Biofuels in Africa is a sorely needed resource for our
understanding of the problems of expanding biofuels production in
Africa. A high point of the book is a description of the projects that
were started in several countries. A very useful book!
— Professor José Goldemberg, University
of São Paulo, Brazil
As Africa most likely will play the same role for global biofuels as
the Middle East does for oil, this comprehensive book on African
biofuels should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in either
African development or biofuels. The book captures the essence of
long-term drivers and opportunities as well the complex challenges for
investors and society of this huge emerging industry.
— Per Carstedt, Executive Chairman,
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