PANGEA (Partners for Euro African Green Energy), COTRAME, SAPHIR HM (two companies from Cote d’Ivoire) and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Cote d’Ivoire (DG Sustainable Development) signed on 23 November 2012 a MoU to launch a public private partnership which will promote the production of ethanol from cassava and sugarcane in Cote d’Ivoire, for specific use in the local market enabling electricity generation and the utilisation of ethanol-fuelled clean cooking stoves.
The partnership has the specific objectives of supporting the development of local ethanol production and a domestic market by implementing several activities, such as: conducting a feasibility study on ethanol production in Cote d’Ivoire; teaching farmers the best practices for optimal production of sugarcane and cassava; outlining the importance of the government’s adoption of a comprehensive bioenergy policy in the near future and enabling the importation and distribution of clean cooking stoves; installing a mini ethanol distillery in Cote d’Ivoire using sugarcane and cassava as feedstock as a first pilot project; creating jobs in the rural area via feedstock farming and in the distillery; and distributing clean cooking stoves to local families still using charcoal or traditional biomass for cooking.
The overall objective of the partnership is to help solve the problems caused by the use of charcoal and traditional biomass for cooking activities. Having an open fire at home poses a serious health threat, especially to women who normally keep the fires. Providing ethanol as an affordable renewable and sustainable cooking fuel to rural populations will eliminate the need for women to gather wood, will allow them more time to contribute to the community, and will positively impact the local environment, making home a healthier place. The mini distillery will provide new employment opportunities and farmers will gain extra income from selling part of their crops and waste to a value added market.