Almost all African countries still rely on wood to meet basic energy needs. At aggregated level, woodfuels share an estimated 60% to 86% of African primary energy consumption, except in north African countries and South Africa, where the woodfuel contribution is less significant. Moreover, woodfuel use accounts for 90 to 98 % of residential energy consumption in most of sub-Saharan Africa.
In the future, woodfuels are likely to remain the major energy source in Africa; with the exception of a few countries, they are slowly being replaced by LPG or other energies such as kerosene.
Despite their importance, woodfuel data in Africa are very scarce and are characterized by a high degree of uncertainty, which makes it difficult to undertake relevant :
· planning tasks (substitution side, supply side);
· impact studies of woodfuel use on the environment in general and on forestry resources in particular;
· forecasting studies.
Therefore, data collection and compilation efforts should be improved by following a unified methodology.
This could be achieved in three steps:
· compilation and analysis of all existing woodfuel data in Africa;
· definition of a new approach for collecting data at international level;
· and definition of a relevant programme for collecting data at national and/or regional levels.
1.2. Objective of the study
The global objective of the current study is to compile, compare and analyze existing woodfuel statistics in Africa. This analysis has a dual objective:
1) Quantitative analysis of existing statistics will enable the role of woodfuels in meeting energy needs in African countries, to be assessed. It will also improve understanding of the global trends of woodfuel use, their contribution to wood removals, and associated future environmental and energy challenges.
2) Qualitative analysis of woodfuel statistics will permit assessment of the level of uncertainty related to existing data, consistency issues as well as issues related to applying the UWET and defined uniformed tables. These qualitative analyses will also supply relevant indications and suggestions for improving the data collection process and developing a specific programme to this end.
1.3. Scope of the study
This study covered almost all 55 African countries, grouped into eight main sub-regional entities :
· West Sahelian Africa
· East Sahelian Africa
· West Moist Africa
· Central Africa
· Tropical Southern Africa
· Insular East Africa
· North Africa
· Non tropical Southern Africa
Data compilation concerned all available statistics for these countries during the period 1970-1997. Data collected from all the available materials (international, regional, national, and even specific studies) were presented using the Unified Wood Energy Terminology (UWET) in order to facilitate data interpretation and the comparability of results derived from different sources within each country, as well as among African countries.
Analysis of the data led to the composition of time series data derived from best estimates that were in turn a mixture of the best data available. These time series cover the period 1980-1996, for which a reasonable degree of confidence was assumed.
The first step was to identify and classify the main international or national sources of woodfuel data available for Africa.
Secondly all the collected data were presented according to a uniformed presentation framework. This framework had already been defined in previously published documents on the role of woodfuels in Asia and Europe, and consisted of the following eight tables :
· Table 1 : Total wood energy consumption (1000 m3)
· Table 2 : Total wood energy consumption as a percentage of total wood removals (%)
· Table 3 : Total wood energy consumption (PJ)
· Table 4 : Total wood energy consumption as a percentage of total primary energy consumption
· Table 5 : Consumption of energy from different types of wood : Direct and Indirect (1000 m3)
· Table 6 : Consumption of energy from different types of wood (PJ)
· Table 7 : Consumption of wood energy in various sectors : households, industries, transformation and others (1000 m3)
· Table 8 : Consumption of wood energy in various sectors (PJ)
Where relevant, and in certain instances, additional tables were also created in order to present the data differently :
· Table 1 : Per capita woodfuel consumption (m3 /year)
· Table 7a : Total fuelwood consumption for the various sectors (1000 tons)
· Table 7a : Per capita fuelwood consumption for the various sectors (tons/year)
· Table 7b : Total charcoal consumption for the various sectors (1000 tons)
· Table 7a : Per capita charcoal consumption for the various sectors (tons/year)
· Table 9 : Total fuelwood consumption (1000 tons)
· Table 10 : Total charcoal consumption (1000 tons)
· A.4.11. Aggregate woodfuels consumption (1000 tons)
· Table 12 : Total LPG consumption (1000 tons)
· Table 13 : Total final conventional energy consumption (1000 TOE)
· Table 14PJ : Total final wood energy consumption (PJ)
· Table 14(%) : Aggregate woodfuels final consumption as a function of final energy consumption
· Table 17 : Total final wood energy consumption (1000 tons)
· Table related to population data
The third step was to use this presentation framework to set up a new database based on best estimates available for Africa; this was the main output of the current study.