MFC organises International Workshop ‘Bioenergy Policies for Sustainable Development in Africa’ for COMPETE

Bamako, Mali, 25-27 November 2008

MFC is a project partner of COMPETE (Competence Platform on Energy Crop and Agroforestry Systems for Arid and Semi-arid Ecosystems- Africa). The objective of COMPETE is to stimulate bioenergy implementation in arid and semi-arid regions in Africa. COMPETE provides a platform for policy dialogue and capacity building and identify pathways for the sustainable provision of bioenergy. COMPETE aims to improve the quality of life and create alternative means of income for the rural population in Africa. COMPETE supports the preservation of intact ecosystems in arid and semi-arid regions in Africa. COMPETE enhances the equitable exchange of knowledge between EU and developing countries. COMPETE is funded by the EU Sixth Framework Programme.

This exciting workshop on 'Bioenergy Policies for Sustainable Development in Africa' is implemented in close cooperation with WIP, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB), an initiative of the EPFL Energy Centre. The workshop programme will include a RSB Regional Consultation for West Africa on 26 November.

The main objective of this workshop is to contribute to the development of sound and successful bioenergy policies in Africa. For this, it is necessary to share the findings of on-going policy initiatives in Africa and to discuss future developments with high-level decision-makers from Africa with the aim to promote the development of bioenergy policies in Africa.

Today, it is widely accepted that coherent bioenergy policies in Africa are urgently needed on national, regional and international level to:

• Exploit the benefits of innovative bioenergy solutions with respect to sustainable rural development and improved livelihoods, increased energy access and income generation, alternative markets for agricultural products, security of energy supply, and diversification of energy sources

• Avoid the dangers of negative social and environmental implications, with regards to land competition, land ownership, insufficient value creation for local farmers, and the ‘fuel versus food' debate.

In order to contribute to the workshop objectives the workshop programme will include a RSB Regional Consultation for West Africa on 26 November.

There will also be a field trip to visit MFC's pioneering Garalo Bagani Yelen project which provides Jatropha fuelled rural electrification to 10 000 peple in southern Mali. It is a concrete example of MFC's visison of LOCAL SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION, LOCAL TRANSFORMATION and LOCAL USE of biofuel as an engine for local economic development.

This international workshop is organised by MFC and WIP Renewable Energies, Germany, in cooperation with the Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), South Africa, in the framework of the project COMPETE, funded by the European Commission, DG Research.

Furthermore, this workshop is implemented in close cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB), an initiative of the EPFL Energy Centre.

Click here for workshop agenda.

Click here for workshop flyer.

Click here for COMPETE project flyer.

If you would like to participate in this exciting event in Mali's dynamic capital, please contact Fabienne Clombe, Communications Officer at MFC. Her email address is fabienne.clombe*malifolkecenter.org (please replace the * with @).