Policy brief: Integrated development of biogas in West Africa

This policy brief (2017) was developed by the RUAF Foundation (Netherlands) in partnership with CIRAD (France), UCAD and IAGU (Sénégal), AEDR Teriya-Bugu (Mali), and Songhaï (Bénin) under the Western Africa Bio-wastes for Energy and Fertilizer (WABEF) project.

The policy brief makes the following 5 recommendations:

  1. Biogas can contribute to the energy needs of West African countries, as part of a locally appropriate (renewable) energy mix, while addressing a number of other sectoral challenges. It is therefore important to stimulate integrated planning and coordination processes to overcome sectoral approaches.

  2. The re-use of organic wastes as agricultural fertilisers and energy using biogas technologies, requires proper management of these resources. Governments should introduce a systematic approach to the collection and dissemination of statistics on organic wastes at various levels and  sectors.

  3. The development of biogas technologies cannot be achieved without institutional support at national and local level. In addition to subsidies for installation of biogas units, investment and availability of mixes of finances for equipment and recovery of by-products (fertilisers and biogas) are needed to support further development and its sustainability.

  4. Development of a critical mass of specialists in biogas and related topics is key in the development in West Africa. This requires the development and dissemination of curricula including decision-making tools for the training of technicians at all levels (vocational schools, technological institutes, universities, etc.).

  5. At local level access to information on the availability of organic resources and the use of by-products as well as access to various sources of financing and appropriate technologies should be facilitated through  local incubator centres. The establishment of these decentralised support structures will bring together local authorities, technical services and communities.

The brief is available in English and French.

You can download a special WABEF issue of the UA Magazine here or read the complete UA Magazine on the topic of Urban Food-Waste-Energy Nexus and the Private Sector.