Africa is faced with an increasingly serious biomass fuel resource crisis. Many countries derive more than 80% of their total energy requirements from biomass, yet more and more of the continent's forests are being cleared for settlement, agriculture or timber extraction. At present, Sub-Saharan Africa's per capita consumption of modern forms of energy is less than half the average of developing countries and is declining. For development to keep ahead of rapidly increasing populations, more energy - particularly more modern and less environmentally damaging energy sources - must be made widely available.

The bulk of Africa's population will continue to rely on biomass. The three-stone fire place or simple biomass-burning mud stove are still the most common ways of cooking and should remain the main target for stove programmes. However, the potential for coal to replace charcoal and relieve pressure on forests in some Sub-Saharan countries is reopening the debate on the relative merits of different fuels. Choosing appropriate fuels and stoves remains a complex juggling of social, economic and environmental tradeoffs. Significantly, cooperation with women, as users and providers of energy, is now recognised as essential for successful household energy development.

In this edition of "Boiling Point'' we have attempted to provide a broad overview of this dynamic area of activity, from stove manufacture and promotion in Uganda, through policies on environmentally-sound energy use in Zimbabwe, to improved stove designs in the Republic of South Africa Much good work is being done by NGOs, governments and international agencies to address the problems of dependence on biomass fuel. The work of AFREPREN illustrates the importance of a trans-national approach to the problems which face the continent and gives grounds for optimism that these problems are not insurmountable.

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Table of Contents


Household Energy Developments in Southern and East Africa

Authors: BP Editorial Team

Theme Articles

Cookstoves in East and Central Africa

Authors: Piyansena Wickramagamage

Burundi Institutional Peat Stove Programme

Authors: Chris Adam

Household Energy Activities in Uganda

Authors: Peter Watts, Tom Otiti

From Clay and Wood to Cast Iron and Coal in South Africa

Authors: grant@ecoharmony.com

Kang-Lianzao Bed Stove

Authors: Liu Hongpeng

Charcoal and Woodfuel Health Hazards

Authors: Anders Ellegard, Hans Egneus

A New Environmentally-Sound Energy Strategy for the Development of Sub-Saharan Africa

Authors: Summary of Report of the African Energy Experts Meeting, Nairobi, Kenya, 18th May 1992

Tanzanian Stoves

Authors: Tom Otiti

Energy and Environment in Zimbabwe

Authors: ETC (UK)

Wood, Charcoal or Coal for Cooking in Southern Africa

Authors: "Energy & Environment"

R & D News

Authors: Dr Kirk R Smith, A B Gaspe

Field Trials of Electrical Heat Storage Cookers in Nepal

Authors: Urmila Simkhada

Last edited by Mohamed Allapitchai .
Page last modified on Friday June 21, 2013 13:22:38 GMT.
  • A practitioner's journal on household energy, stoves and poverty reduction.

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