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Household energy transition in Sahelian cities: An analysis of the failure of 30 years of energy policies in Bamako, Mali

Gazull L., Gautier D., Montagne P.. 2019. Energy Policy, 129 : p. 1080-1089.

DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2019.03.017

In West Africa, household energy transition has so far mainly been synonymous with the conversion from woodfuel to LPG. This paper analyses the failure of 30 years of household energy transition policies in Mali by combining two major frameworks: Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) and Social Practice Theory (SPT). Based on empirical field studies undertaken in Bamako since 1985 and on literature review, two historical narratives are presented, one focusing on the dynamics of the dominant woodfuel regime and the other on changes in cooking practices. The MLP analysis showed that all elements seemed aligned for destabilization of the dominant regime, yet the woodfuel regime has resisted and is maintained. The SPT analysis showed that the stability of cooking, eating and fuel purchasing practices did not converge towards and even opposed the transition to LPG. This paper shows that the MLP and SPT frameworks offer complementary perspectives for understanding transitions in developing countries. It concludes that the definition and implementation of energy policies need to integrate an analysis of daily practices and should consider that energy transition is not synonymous with the replacement of one fuel by another, but with new opportunities to diversify ways of cooking.

Mots-clés : bois de chauffage; gestion des ressources naturelles; politique énergétique; cuisson; pays en développement; mali; sahel

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