Brushing up charcoal’s image

Ms Wanjira Mathai.

Ms Wanjira Mathai.

You cannot handle charcoal without getting your hands dirty. Similarly, the charcoal value chain in sub-Saharan Africa, a multi-million dollar enterprise, has all the makings of a dirty business. In many countries, powerful cartels control the trade in charcoal, and the business is shrouded in mystery, largely out of the reach of governments’ regulation.

Yet according to panelists at a side event of the ongoing XIV World Forestry Congress in Durban, in spite of or because of rapid urbanization in Africa, the demand for charcoal and woodfuel is growing strongly. According to the World Future Council a 1% rise in urbanization can increase charcoal consumption by 14%.

Read more brushing up charcoal
Photo courtesy of Daisy Ouya (ICRA)F

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