Strategic Framework for the African Bioenergy Data Management (AFBIDM)
In designing their energy transition strategies, it is crucial for African policy makers to adopt a holistic and systemic approach encompassing all the energy sub-sectors, particularly bioenergy, which is an important component in most African countries. All the dimensions, quantitative and qualitative, of the bioenergy sector, must be taken into consideration and mainstreamed into energy policies and strategies. This implies access to a wide spectrum of information related to bioenergy, from bioenergy potential and sustainable resources, to production, transformation, consumption, and cross-cutting issues such as health, economic impact and the related socioeconomic indicators.
These vital statistics and information are lacking or not comprehensive enough. The Strategic Framework on the African Bioenergy Data Management (AFBIDM) is therefore aimed at providing guidelines to improving the coverage, the quality, the timeliness and comprehensiveness of data required by policy makers in their bioenergy and energy decision-making process.
The framework encompasses directives on all aspects of bioenergy data management including:
i) training national experts to allow regular collection and processing of bioenergy data;
ii) collecting and validating timely and comprehensively bioenergy data;
iii) processing and centralising these data at national and regional levels and
iv) disseminating the data as widely as possible to policy makers and key stakeholders, considering
all aspects linked to bioenergy consumption particularly, health, environment and other socioeconomic dimensions.
It is paramount to set a high priority to the roadmap for a good quality bioenergy framework and statistics in Africa. Ultimately this information will not only inform current, mid and long-term policies to address the sustainable use of bioenergy in Africa but also strategies to access modern and low carbon energy fuels for African populations which still rely on traditional and often non-sustainable bioenergy resources. This can only be achieved through coordinated partnerships, participation and commitment from AU member states and key institutions involved in bioenergy in Africa.