Most of sub-Saharan Africa remains off-the-grid. As such, wood fuel is the main source of energy for cooking for over 60 percent of families, who rely on charcoal or firewood to prepare their meals and meet their nutritional needs. Africa’s population is rapidly growing and becoming more urban, and city dwellers are expected to nearly triple by 2050, reaching 1.34 billion – a phenomenon likely to further drive a soaring demand for wood fuel, particularly charcoal. Unsustainable wood fuel use leads to negative environmental effects through physical disturbance of the continent’s vast forests. And the lack of affordable, adoptable and reliable alternatives (linked to economic and socio-cultural factors) means that the demand for wood fuel will continue to increase for years to come.
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