Wood Energy Catalogue

Making charcoal production in sub-Sahara Africa sustainable


The objective of this study is to assess the bottlenecks and the possible solutions with regard to making charcoal production in Africa sustainable (with a special focus on South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania).

The key topics of the report includes:

  1. Characteristics of the charcoal sector, describing the general characteristics of the various steps in the charcoal value chain, from fuelwood harvest, via charcoal production and transport & trade to end-use. Attention is paid to the main technical, socio-economic and environmental aspects. The chapter also includes a discussion of the economic relevance of the charcoal sector across Africa.
  2. Main sustainability issues related to the charcoal sector, in particular criteria for sustainable biomass production.
  3. Lessons learnt from past interventions of governments, development agencies and civil society organizations. The emphasis is on presenting a selection of the more successful interventions, and the lessons that have been drawn from these interventions.
  4. Based on the lessons learnt recommendations for future interventions.
Charcoal, value chain, sustainability, sustainability criteria, biomass production, charcoal supply chain, socio-economic assessment, case study, community forest management, sub-Sahara Africa
Type of initiatives
Sector review and study
Level of intervention
Responsible agencies
NL Agency; Netherlands Programmes Sustainable Biomass; BTG Biomass Technology Group