Representatives from nine African countries learn more about sustainable bioenergy options


From February to May 2017, in the context of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4all), FAO in collaboration with the African Development Bank (acting as the SE4ALL hub for Africa) carried out a training programme on FAO’s Bioenergy and Food Security Approach (BEFS). The training supported the bioenergy policy formulation process in the region under the sustainable energy for all initiative.

Participants gathered at the Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute, the training partner, in ZagrebCroatia for the first training component. The other three training components were completed online. During the training participants applied the BEFS methodology and tools to a selected bioenergy chain relevant to the context of their country, and also visited a bioenergy processing site. 

Responding to an expression of interest, participants included experts who play a role in the national or regional bioenergy policy dialogue for seven African countries (Togo, Senegal, Zambia, Swaziland, Niger, Ghana and Benin) and experts from two research institutes working on bioenergy related topics (KNUST from Ghana and 2iE from Burkina Faso). Depending on the areas of interest, the level of bioenergy development, and the status of bioenergy policy formulation and implementation, countries' decided which components of the BEFS Approach were best suited to their country. 

The training program covered the main concepts related to bioenergy and food security, the BEFS Approach and the use of the BEFS Rapid Appraisal (RA) tools in the context of the bioenergy policy process. BEFS RA guides a country through the first level of assessing various bioenergy options. The appraisal is an initial level of assessment of country level bioenergy potential, given the food security and agricultural context.