When: 22-24 June 2021

Place and Time: Virtual

12:00 to 15:00 hours (GMT)

13:00 to 16:00 hours (CAT)

15:00 to 18:00 hours (EAT)


Organisers: African Energy Commission (AFREC), United Nations Statistics Division (UNSTATS), International Energy Agency (IEA), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Background Information

Biomass is an important and useful energy source in Africa, which is primarily used for cooking. With a share of almost 50% of its total energy supply, Africa is by far the world’s largest consumer continent of traditional biomass energy, based on the share of biomass in total energy consumption.

AFREC’s 2017 biomass statistics reveals that, final biomass energy consumption for Africa was around 330 Mtoe. The International Energy Agency estimated this consumption at 305 Mtoe and UNSD at 277 Mtoe. The estimate translates a huge gap of 53 Mtoe between the highest and the lowest estimations, equivalent to the overall electricity consumption for Africa, coal and natural gas consumption combined, and one third of the total oil consumption.

Hence, to improve the quality of biomass statistics and comprehend how this gap could be reduced, AFREC conducted a short survey with its Member States at the beginning of 2020 to understand how countries collect biomass data, as reflected in their annual energy balance questionnaires and report. The survey also attempted to uncover information on the availability of bio-mass resource, to measure its potential and adequacy vis-à-vis meeting the ever-growing biomass demand.

Response from the survey reveals that:

  • Nearly all countries estimate their data based often on more than 20-year-old surveys, prompting improvement in biomass energy data quality.
  • A few countries indicated that they have conducted a countrywide biomass study. Results reveals challenges related to its adequacy vis-à-vis demand including its acclaimed impact on the environment.
  • Findings from countries who conducted a demand-resource survey, reveals the urgency and need of high-quality data, which is necessary for the development and betterment of policies aimed at controlling, monitoring and reducing of biomass consumption for both health, social and environmental reasons.

Workshop Objectives

The virtual forum aims to, amongst others:

  • Provide an opportunity to discuss and explore possible ways to strengthen capacities of AFREC and AU Member State’s bioenergy data collection and / or use of existing sources of information, to provide robust estimates.
  • Enhance strategies aimed at creating viable bioenergy database for Africa.
  • Promote sustainable cooperation among member states and other key stakeholders in Africa and around the world to improve reporting, monitoring and sustainability of bioenergy resources in Africa.

Specific objectives include:

  • Sum up challenges associated with the data collection of bioenergy resources in Africa and other places;
  • Examine methodologies necessary for biomass data collection and/or estimations and assess the reliability of the modelling techniques, remote sensing satellites images for resource utilization and base assessment;
  • Identify environmental, health, economic and social impacts of the current and future demand for biomass energy;
  • Share experiences from Member States, regional and international organizations as well as specialized agencies involved in the bioenergy data collection;
  • Benchmark on available international databases for bioenergy statistics;
  • Recommend a strategy with an action plan aimed at creating bioenergy database for Africa;
  • Tap best practices from Member States, regional and international organizations in bioenergy data management.
  • Enable AFREC to provide policies and strategy recommendations to improve bioenergy resources data collection and validation toward building efficient and sustainable African Bioenergy database.

To participate in this workshop, register here .

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