Herrmann , Raoul
Bioenergy is a hotly debated issue worldwide, with its impacts on rural development and food security arguably among the most crucial issues for poor African countries. Too often, however, debates and policies regarding bioenergy in and on Africa simply echo concerns and debates elsewhere. At the local and global levels, African countries are not adequately assessing and defending their options and interests in the matter of bioenergy.Based on research conducted in Namibia by a DIE Country Working Group in 2009, this study looks at the real and potential impacts of local bioenergy production on rural development and food security in particular. It follows a value-chain approach to understand the challenges – from producing primary feedstock through marketing bioenergy. It analyses the policies and institutions that affect the development and impacts of bioenergy, and identifies needed improvements. Bush-to-energy processes and products (charcoal, electricity and bushblocks) and Jatropha value chains are examined, and recommendations to improve regulation offered.