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Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia (2018)

The Bioeconomy in Developing Nations. The Challenging Low-Carbon Growth Strategy of Sub-Saharan Africa

Zanin, Chiara

Titre : The Bioeconomy in Developing Nations. The Challenging Low-Carbon Growth Strategy of Sub-Saharan Africa

Auteur : Zanin, Chiara

Université de soutenance : Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia

Grade : Laurea magistrale 2018

The main contribution of this work is the analysis of whether a bio-based development of sub-Saharan Africa is feasible. After a description of what a bioeconomy is and how it can be structured at national level, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa were picked as representative countries of different RECs. It emerges that sub-Saharan Africa can count on rich natural resources and biodiversity, ongoing continental integration at economic and political level, successful collaborations both with local and international partners, and positive examples of national and regional strategies aiming at the development of bioeconomy-related fields. For this reason the future of bio-energy, bio-fuels and bio-refineries in sub-Saharan Africa looks promising. Despite describing only three of the 54 officially recognised nations in the continent, this work grasps how each individual state in the continent faces different underlying conditions. As a consequence, while integration is necessary to align policies and avoid repetitions, a bioeconomy strategy for the entire world region would be extremely complex. Arguably, Morris (2016) states that Africa has positive chances to develop a dynamic bioeconomy. Notably however, the continent deals with complex challenges that constitute major hurdles for a qualitative growth. In particular, it is characterised by a generally poor infrastructure, limited availability of skilled labour, rather unfavourable financial conditions, highly differentiated agro-climatic settings, and unstable politics and terrorism. As a consequence, tangible improvements in institutions, infrastructure, finance and in society must take place for the low-carbon growth path to become true in the years to come. Larger investments should be made to keep the pace with state-of-the-art technologies, such to build location-specific The Bioeconomy in Developing Nations competitive advantages on new knowledge. This recalls the notion of leap-frogging. Indeed, engaging resources in building traditional structures and later on transforming them to support sustainable long-term growth would be a waste of time and efforts. Sub-Saharan Africa has the potential to grow and become a major global player in the future through a bioeconomy, but there are evident barriers that must be overcome. Further research in this direction could concentrate on the analysis of single countries and specific industries in a way that ad hoc policies and actions can be advanced. This would provide governments helpful guidelines of objective-oriented paths to follow in order to successfully implement a bioeconomy.


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