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Biofuels policy progress in Africa

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Advancing Africa’s biofuels potential has been a long, slow process with the continent’s various country-by-country development plans tending to sit in their respective government in-trays for far too long.

At the point, however, where there is finally evidence of real biofuels’ development intention being seen across the continent, especially in South Africa, the impact of COVID-19 has ‘set off the first recession in the Sub-Saharan Africa region in 25 years’. This is the recession description used by the World Bank in its latest state of Africa assessment, alongside a forecast that economic growth will contract by between 2.1% and 5.1% this year, down from the region’s positive 2.4% economic progress in 2019.

“Sub-Saharan Africa’s opportunities are vast,” said the World Bank, “but its challenges are persistent.”

Current World Bank estimates of the pandemic’s negative impact on the region put output losses this year at between $37 billion (€32 billion) and $79 billion (€69 billion), a financial hit which is set to reduce agricultural productivity, weaken supply chains, increase trade tensions, limit job...

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