African Press International (API)

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Experts say Africa should use bio-fuels to fight poverty

Posted by African Press International on July 18, 2008

xperts meeting in Addis Ababa said on Tuesday that Africa should take advantage of the emerging bio-fuel industry to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and fight poverty.

The experts, who are holding the first high-level bio-fuels forum in Africa, said Africa has vast varieties of bio-fuels, feedstocks and favourable climate for growing energy crops and low labour cost.

“Promotion of bio-fuels industry in developing countries has the capacity to propel such countries to achieve the MDGs through poverty reduction (especially job creation and economic enhancement), health impact and climate change,” the experts said.

The experts are drawn from various African countries.

Experts from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology of Ghana presented a report which indicated that Africa presents significantly higher bio-fuels potential than Europe and even North America.

Bio-fuels can aid farmers in Africa to earn better incomes for their produce due to the expanded market of bio-fuels, the experts said.

The experts noted that the majority of African countries that are oil importers can avoid their expenses on oil by utilizing their bio-fuel resources.

“Bio-fuels can reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels and increase energy security. There is a growing realization in Africa that high dependency on imported fossil fuels is having a negative impact on the continent’s economic development,” they said.

The experts said the African Union should be the coordinating body in implementing a common policy for bio-fuels in Africa.



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