Africa Biogas Partnership Program: A review of clean cooking implementation through market development in East Africa

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This paper analyses the Africa Biogas Partnership Program (ABPP) in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. ABPP was established in 2009 to promote adoption of biodigesters by rural households in sub-Saharan Africa. We use the RE-AIM framework (Reach, Effectiveness, Implementation, Adoption, Maintenance) with information from literature, internal documents, primary data from user surveys and interviews with sector stakeholders. ABPP was implemented with the primary objective of establishing viable biodigester markets. By 2017, Kenya made most progress toward commercial viability, evidenced by market entry of companies offering prefabricated digesters and establishment of 22 marketing hubs, which link rural organizations with local construction enterprises and finance institutions. In Uganda 5 marketing hubs were established and in Tanzania 7. Between 2009 and 2017 over 27,000 households installed a biodigester, half of them in Kenya. Additional objectives include improving agricultural productivity by using bio-slurry, improving health, reducing deforestation, and improving livelihoods. Households perceive higher crop yields (84%–91% of users), reduced fuel consumption (84%–94% of users), reduced eye problems and respiratory symptoms (45%–91% of users). Benefits most appreciated are “easy cooking” and “saving time and money”. Fuel consumption tests show households with biodigesters use 2.1 to 3.3 fewer tons of wood per year than similar households without biodigesters. The ABPP case study suggests that the program has created a nascent biodigester market in East Africa. The country programs have been dynamic and adaptive, moving along the cycle of market development; however, many challenges remain. For example, while half of the adopters in Kenya exclusively use biogas for cooking, in Uganda and Tanzania fuel stacking is more prevalent, making it more difficult to achieve health and environmental objectives. In addition, high upfront cost, limited access to credit, and lack of maintenance present challenges. In 2016, 27% of biodigesters constructed between 2009 and 2013 were not working. In response, ABPP implemented call centers and launched campaigns to repair non-functioning plants. To ensure long-term viability and increase the likelihood of achieving environmental and health goals, we suggest deeper engagement with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders and a targeted campaign promoting exclusive use.




Clemens, H., Bailis, R., Nyambane, A., & Ndung’u, V. (2018). Africa Biogas Partnership Program: A review of clean cooking implementation through market development in East Africa. Energy for Sustainable Development, 46, 23–31.

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