Biomass Energy Initiative for Africa (World Bank)

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World Bank/ESMAP – Biomass Energy Initiative for Africa: Call for proposals


The World Bank is requesting proposals for innovative pilot projects that demonstrate new approaches to modernizing biomass energy in Sub‐Saharan Africa. This request for proposals is part of a new initiative called the Biomass Energy Initiative for Africa (BEIA) which is administered by the World Bank Africa Energy Unit (AFTEG) and financed by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) Africa Renewable Energy Access (AFREA) Trust Fund, provided by the Government of the Netherlands.

The rationale for these pilot projects is that biomass is and will continue to be for many decades a predominant local source of energy in Sub‐Saharan Africa, since it is used for home cooking, heating and also commercial and industrial applications such as for bakeries, charcoaling, lime production, bricks and tile production, tobacco drying and other uses. Modernization of this sector with a view to obtaining a sustainable supply, efficient usage and new modern and cleaner applications of biomass energy is necessary and can be justified based on health, energy security, socio‐economic, and global and local environmental reasons.


The Biomass Energy Initiative for Africa will co‐finance about 10‐15 promising pilots of innovative biomass energy projects throughout the Sub‐Saharan Africa region that could advance the biomass agenda, in terms of learning how to apply new knowledge/experience, and/or increased institutional capacity and understanding of biomass energy. These pilots are intended to present knowledge of building blocks for World Bank operations.

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Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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