Charcoal Production and Use in Africa: What Future?

Charcoal Production and Use in Africa: What Future?
Philippe Girard, Energy Environment Unit, Forestry Department, International Cooperation Centre of Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD-Forêt), Montpellier, France. Unasylva, FAO, 2002

With mounting urbanization, African populations are increasingly shifting from fuelwood to charcoal for domestic cooking and heating.

Urbanization and economic devel-opment are bringing about changes in consumption patterns and increases in household income in developing countries, which in turn are leading to major changes in the household energy sector. A pronounced shift from fuelwood to charcoal, especially in Africa, has raised concerns among environmentalists and those responsible for forest development and management.

This article describes the trend towards increased use of charcoal in Africa, identifies the resource issues and highlights some of the requirements for the sustainable development of this sector.

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