Woodfuels in Kenya and Rwanda: powering and driving the economy of the rural areas

The woodfuel sector in developing countries is an important source of energy both for firewood and charcoal and livelihoods for the rural poor in terms of job creation and income generation from sales of firewood of the same products. In Rwanda, woodfuel had a turnover of 122 million US dollars in 2007, which is about 5 percent of the country's GDP. In Kenya, 1.6 million tonnes of charcoal are consumed each year with a turnover of about 419 million US dollars.

About 20 percent of the revenue generated by firewood and over 40 percent from charcoal is retained in the rural areas by the farmers and labourers in both countries, boosting the rural economies.

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Timber-starved Kenya seeks new suppliers

A chronic timber shortage has hit Kenya forcing the country to turn to expensive imports from neighbouring countries.

Latest statistics indicate that the country spends more than Ksh3 billion ($37.5 million) annually on timber imports compared with Ksh4.9 million ($61,250) in 1999, to meet rising demand that now stands at 38 million cubic metres annually.

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Prices rise as healthy timber business booms

The young man dressed in a dark blue overcoat wipes sweat from his brow as he struggles to carry a 20-meter piece of timber to a lorry.
With the timber balancing delicately on his right shoulder, he walks for about ten meters and places it in the lorry, before turning back to pick more.

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Africa will top mining wishlists for Asian investors

Werner Jacobs, senior manager, corporate finance and metals & mining at KPMG

2013 was a tough year for the mining sector in Africa. This was principally due to lower commodity prices, a drop in investor confidence due to lower returns over the last commodity super-cycle, and continued increases in operating costs.

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