A new era for bio-digester technology in Africa
The International Conference on Biodigester Technology concluded on 12 October 2017 in Ouagadougou with the President of Burkina Faso, His Excellency Roch Marc Christian Kaboré presiding over the public reading of the “Declaration of Ouagadougou” concerning the promotion and dissemination of biodigester technologies in West and Central Africa.
The conference, an initiative of the Government of Burkina Faso with the theme “Africa in the Era of Climate Change”, was attended by 150 participants from 11 African countries and consisted of three meetings of experts, two field visits, a ministerial session and a closing ceremony under the chairmanship of the President of Burkina Faso, His Excellency Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. The event was co-sponsored by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU)represented by Prof. Filiga Michel Sawadogo and attended by several representatives from diplomatic missions and technical and financial partners including the World Bank (WB), the West African Development Bank (WADB) and the African Union (AU).
The National Biodigester Programme of Burkina Faso (PNB-BF), one of the five national programmes under the Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP), has obtained remarkable results in improving food security through the use of bio-compost, savings in non-renewable biomass and the quality of life particularly for women and children by reducing indoor air pollution and the daily burden of fuel collection. With the conference the Government of Burkina Faso sought to share these experiences with the aim to promote the uptake of biodigester technology in West and Central Africa.
During the opening session of the three day conference His Excellency Mr. Jolke Oppewal, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Burkina Faso, with residence in Bamako, highlighted the climate change priority actions of the Netherlands and the long standing involvement of the Government of the Netherlands with biodigester technology dissemination in Asia and Africa. Biodigester market development programmes supported by the Government of the Netherlands and implemented by Hivos and SNV, have resulted in the installation of more than 780,000 biodigesters to date with 60,000 under ABPP. Ambassador Oppewal applauded the initiative taken by the Government of Burkina Faso in collaboration with ABPP to bring together experts and ministerial representatives in one conference with the aim to boost the dissemination of biodigester technology in West and Central Africa.
The conference participants called upon their states (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Chad, Guinee Bissau, Guinee Conakry, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) to strengthen and scale up ongoing national biodigester projects/initiatives and to develop and implement new national biodigester programmes based on sustainable market development approaches and the creation of environments conducive to the widespread use of biodigester technology.
“We invite states to commit themselves to respecting the roadmap for the implementation of national biodigester programmes and to institutionalise pledges from the conference on biodigester technology,” states the Ouagadougou Declaration which was read by the Minister for Animal Resources and Fisheries of Burkina Faso, His Excellency Mr. Sommanogo Koutou.
The Government of the Netherlands, and its Dutch partners Hivos and SNV will be invited to take the lead in financial and technical partnership development in support of the Declaration.
His Excellency Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President of Burkina Faso, reassured the delegations of the various countries of his determination and commitment to work with his peers to promote biodigester technology. “I urge sub-regional organisations, notably ECOWAS, WAEMU, CILSS and technical and financial partners to systematise the integration of biodigester technology into the design of any rural development project,” he said.
The conference ended with trophies being presented to the Cooperative Sahel/Dori for being the most successful biodigester construction enterprise of Burkina Faso (with the highest number of digesters installed, 1590 plants) and to Mrs. Assétou Koutou-Kafando for being the first client in Dédougou and the most successful farmer using and selling bioslurry as organic fertilizer.
The President of Burkina Faso, His Excellency Roch Marc Christian Kaboré received from Mr. Xavier Bambara, Coordinator of the National Biogas Programme of Burkina Faso, a miniature biodigester as a token of appreciation for his determination and commitment to the promotion of biodigester technology in Burkina Faso and beyond.