How Our SteamBioAfrica Project is Supporting Clean and Secure Energy in Africa

Energy is essential in our everyday lives. However, peaking energy prices have increased levels of energy poverty and insecurity for many communities around the globe. The situation is particularity dire in sub-Saharan Africa. In countries like South Africa, 47% of the households face energy poverty, spending as much as 27% of their income on energy*. In Botswana, up to 75% of the rural population has no access to clean energy for cooking and in Namibia up to 64% of the rural population has no access to electricity**.

Through an EU-Africa industry-research partnership, the SteamBioAfrica project is tackling energy poverty and insecurity in Southern Africa. Focusing on Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, the project uses an innovative technology of superheated steam (SHS) systems on woody biomass from invasive and encroaching bush species to generate a clean and affordable solid biofuel.

In early 2023, the superheated steam (SHS) biomass processing technology, which is the heart of the SteamBioAfrica project, was installed at the Cheetah Conservation Fund site in north-central Namibia and the system is planned to become operational within the second half of 2023.

In collaboration with the project partners, the CSCP identified technical and business-related gaps and needs in local skills and workforce and designed a technical and business-related training and capacity-building programme to be delivered to farmers (landowners) and harvesters, and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) respectively. The programme included Train of the Trainer (ToT) sessions that were carried out in Namibia in March 2023, for our project partners to implement the training and capacity-building in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Stakeholder engagement activities with local financial institutions, policymakers and MSMEs have been initiated to facilitate dialogue and foster collaboration for the development of a solid biofuel value chain. The goal is to promote the development of inclusive and sustainable business models, particularly targeting youth and women-led MSMEs and develop an innovative financial toolbox to enable the participation of local stakeholders throughout the value chains of the solid biofuel.

Check out the SteamBioAfrica overview video to learn more about the project!


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The SteamBioAfrica project is an EU-Africa industry-research partnership supported by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme.

The CSCP is particularly focused on the development of downstream value chains for the long-term commercialisation of the solid biofuel. The key goal is to enable the integration of environmental and social innovation along the value chain, facilitate the participation of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises and increase the access of vulnerable groups to clean and affordable energy.

For further questions, please contact Kartika Anggraeni or Adriana Ballón Ossio.