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From the fuel versus food controversy to the institutional vacuum in biofuel policies: Evidence from West African countries

Gatete Djerma C., Dabat M.H.. 2017. Energy, Sustainability and Society, 7 (12) : 16 p..

Background Since the early 2000s, biofuel production has been developed in West Africa with the encouragement and support of notably Europe, Brazil, and China. Yet the development of biofuels can also be viewed from the angle of West African interests. The principle arguments advanced in favor of biofuels pointed to their potential to reduce oil trade deficits and improve the populations' access to ready, cheap energy. Biofuels consequently began to be put on the political agendas of West African countries. Ten years after the first Jatropha plantations for energy use were established in West Africa, and in the light of the uneven development of the biofuel sector across the region, we analyze the factors that surprisingly led to policy inaction in many of these countries. Methods We used the concept of policy cycle stages to analyze the involvement of stakeholders in building biofuel policy and the factors behind incomplete public policies. The methods and tools that have been defined for the analysis of the relationships and interplay between actors are based on an analysis of the positions and interests of different stakeholders and on the comparison of their influence and importance in the design and implementation of projects, programs and policies. Our approach is inspired by the literature on Stakeholder Analysis, but also draws from the field of New Institutional Economics. We developed our own analytic framework (the ¿4C¿) which breaks down the interplay between different types of stakeholders and into four types of relationships: coordination, concertation, cooperation and contractualization. Our research process was based on a ranging study conducted between 2011 and 2014. Multilevel approaches were used to understand multi-scale and multi-sector biofuel issues. The analysis employed a large range of methods, including the reading of reports and political texts and conducting interviews. The documentary analysis helped to identify stakeholder groups for t

Mots-clés : bioénergie; sécurité alimentaire; développement rural; politique de développement; jatropha; plantation; produit alimentaire; prix; crise économique; utilisation des terres; approches participatives; cooperation public-privé; communauté rurale; afrique occidentale; afrique centrale; burkina faso

Thématique : Sources d'énergie renouvelable; Economie et politique du développement; Sociologie rurale et sécurité sociale

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