Inaugural network meeting and launch of the interactive online platform BiomassNet

BiomassNet – The first pan-African expert network on food and non-food biomass

Event summary

BiomassNet aims at supporting African countries in achieving food security and developing sustainable bioeconomies through the exchange of knowledge and expertise between experts from science, policy and practice. Many African countries still struggle to attain food security, while facing new demands for biomass as a source of income, energy and industrial raw materials. The inaugural BiomassNet meeting is open to experts from all disciplines and from all sectors who address food and non-food biomass issues in Africa. In particular, we invite scientists and experts from governmental and non-governmental organizations, development agencies, and the private sector.
The inaugural network meeting provides the opportunity to present your projects, activities or organization, and link up with experts from a diverse range of fields and backgrounds (for registration, see below). This exchange can be continued and broadened through the interactive BiomassNet online platform that will be launched during the meeting.


3:00-3:45 Welcome address
Dr. Manfred Denich, Project Director BiomassWeb, Center for Development Research (ZEF)
Dr. Eva Leiritz, Project Management Jülich (PTJ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research
Barbara Schweiger, German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Keynote: “Toward a Sustainable Bioeconomy in Africa”
Prof. Dr. Joachim von Braun, Chair of the German Bioeconomy Council, Center for Development Research
Prof. Dr. Zeyaur Khan, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe)
3:45-4:00 Launch of the interactive BiomassNet online platform
Dr. Raymond Jatta, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
PD Dr. Christine B. Schmitt, Project Leader BiomassNet, Center for Development Research (ZEF)
4:00-4:15 Coffee Break
4:15-4:50 Parallel networking sessions (see details below)
4:50-5:00 Closing remark and outlook
Dr. Adebayo Abass, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
until 6:30 Opportunity to continue networking with drinks
and finger food

Parallel networking sessions

(5 min stand-up presentation plus 2 min discussion for each speaker)

Session 1: Production and processing of biomass (Moderator: Dr. Daniel Callo-Concha, ZEF)

04:15 Michael Kwaku, International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR), Ghana: Bamboo biomass energy potential development in Africa
04:22 Goran Schmidt, University of Hamburg, Germany:BIOHOME – Building materials made from bio-based and recycling resources
04:29 Heinz J. Sturm, ICEPS CTC BONN / Bonn Climate Project, Germany: Renewable energy and sector coupling projects for developing countries
04:36 Nana Afranaa Kwapong, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Ghana: Promoting investment in agro-processing, value addition and postharvest facilities in Ghana
04:43 Bertrand Nero, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Ghana: Climate change impacts on the tropical forest and food security in Ghana

Session 2: Household welfare and biomass markets (Moderator: Dr. Girma Kelboro, ZEF)

04:15 John-Baptist S. N. Naah, University of Bonn, Germany:
Community-level analyses of biomass-based value webs: The case of smallholder farmers in Ghana
04:22 Temitayo Adeyemo, University of Ibadan, Nigeria:
Impact of the cassava value web on food security of smallholder households in Nigeria
04:29 Muhammed Usman, University of Bonn, Germany:
Market access, food security and nutrition: A case study in the Yayu agroforestry sys-tem, SW Ethiopia
04:36 Ermias Engida Legesse, University of Bonn, Germany:
Household welfare implications of agricultural intensification amid of land scarcity: Mid-term scenarios for Ethiopia
04:43 Victor Okoruwa, University of Ibadan, Nigeria:
Innovative financing and investment in Agriculture: What option for Africa?

Session 3: Biomass and sustainability (Moderator: Dr. Till Stellmacher, ZEF)

04:15 Zeyaur Khan, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Kenya:
The ‘push–Pull’ farming system: delivering climate-smart, sustainable agriculture for cereal-livestock production in Africa
04:22 Jan Börner, University of Bonn, Germany:
STRIVE –Sustainable TRade and InnoVation transfer in the bioEconomy: from national strategies to global sustainable development goals
04:29 Daniel Neuhoff, University of Bonn, Germany:
The GlobE Project: ‘Wetlands in East Africa – Reconciling future food production with environmental protection’
04:36 Jan Henning Sommer, University of Bonn, Germany:
Supporting IPBES capacity building in West Africa (WABES)
04:43 Benjamin Abugri, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Ghana:
Integrating the BiomassNet into FARADataInformS for Sustainability


For participation without presentation: The registration for participation at the inaugural BiomassNet meeting is now open until July 10, 2017: please register here.
If you still want to register a presentation for the networking session and in case of questions, please contact Ms. Jelana Vajen, Center for Development Research (ZEF), (phone: 0228 734972, e-mail
You can bring along posters, leaflets and other information about your projects and organisations as there will be pinboards and an information desk at the meeting.
Presentations of projects, activities or organizations should be brief (5-7 minutes), address issues of food security and bioeconomy in Africa and highlight the potential for cooperation with other disciplines and sectors. We support creative presentation formats that do not rely on a computer. For instance, you can put up a poster and use moderation material (billboard, pins, etc. will be available). Depending on the amount of registrations, we reserve the right to select a number of presentations that represent a variety of topics and stakeholder groups. All submissions should be in English.
Please be aware that you might be photographed, filmed and/or audio-taped during the event. If you object, please inform us accordingly when arriving at the event site.


For any further information, please contact Jelana Vajen, phone: +49 – (0)228 73 4972.
BiomassNet is an initiative of the BiomassWeb project coordinated by ZEF and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). It is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) with additional funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).