Biofuel production in Subsaharan Africa

This research project was part of a larger inter-disciplinary inter-institutional research project that addresses the question to which extent biofuels can be produced and used in a socio-ecologically compatible manner. For this purpose the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Enwicklungspolitik (DIE) analysed the sugar and palm oil production in Subsahara Africa (SSA) in cooperation with various universities.

Project Lead:
Michael Brüntrup

Project description

The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Enwicklungspolitik (DIE) component on biofuel production in Subsahara Africa (SSA) studies the implications of large-scale agro-industrial biofuel production in developing countries for rural economies, especially poverty and food security. The widespread rural poverty and food insecurity as well as the high potential for biofuel production in SSA makes an assessment of the potential impacts on rural areas in SSA a key component for an overall assessment of biofuel production.

The research focused therefore on the local processes of biofuel production in rural SSA. For this, surveys and in-depth investigations in the surroundings of existing clusters of sugar and palm oil production, two very promising inputs for biofuel production, in two African countries (most probably Ghana and Mozambique or Kenya) were undertaken. Analysis on village, household and individual (gender) level were made using quantitative and qualitative tools and approaches.
It was further envisaged to assess national policies and the regulatory framework important for biofuel value chains. Contributions to other components of the overall projects (e.g. analysing the political economy of local biofuel production, role of international norms/standards) also formed part of the research project.


Project Coordination

Sonja Packschies

Current Publications

Germany’s EU Council Presidency faces a monumental task

Hackenesch, Christine / Niels Keijzer / Julian Bergmann
The Current Column of 01 July 2020