Agro-industries and clean energy in africa (AGRICEN)

AGRICEN looks at how agro-industries in sub-Saharan Africa can position themselves to become important players in the delivery of clean energy services. The project combines new approaches to political economy analysis with business development, innovation systems, financial engineering and participatory approaches, to understand the potential role that agro industries can play in widening energy access to rural communities.

By the end of 2018, AGRICEN aims to:

• Form a thorough understanding of the potential role of industries in energy services

• Develop a strong methodology for project implementation

• Help promote meaningful projects that meet the demands of potential investors

Over the next five years, the AGRICEN partners will:

• Explore the potential for agro-industries to reliably develop cleaner energy systems for their own use and provide energy within their estate

• Assess the level of expertise in agro-industries, their know-how and their facilities to operate, maintain and develop cleaner energy systems

• Examine whether agro-industries’ willingness or interest in being involved in energy access outside their estates is affected by being outgrower-owned or privately-owned

• Examine the viability of agro-industry based energy mini-grids as suppliers of energy to the surrounding rural communities

• Assess the proportion of the rural population in sub-Saharan Africa that can benefit directly or indirectly from agro-industry based clean energy investment

• Evaluate and develop the capacity of local specialised institutions to establish a critical mass of local expertise in cleaner energy development

Detailed scoping studies have been carried out on the potential role of agro-industries for widening energy services in various countries. Furthermore, the team has completed country case studies mapping out agroindustries and energy issues in the four countries, consisting of policies and institutions as well as a situation analysis of the relevant agroindustries in each country. Currently under development is also country-specific deep dive of the sugar sector (and other agro-industries), state & health of the industry, expected future developments, energy and resource flow situation at the plant, community energy needs, and technology benchmarking.

Selected Outputs

Conference papers

To LS, Karekezi S, Barnett A, Batchelor S, Mulugetta Y, Leach M, Kwapata K (2014), Agro-Industries and Clean Energy in Africa, 4th Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa, 8-10 October, Marrakesh

Working papers

Karekezi S (2014), Status of Cleaner Energy Development in Agro-industries of Eastern & Southern Africa, AFREPREN/FWD working paper 409

Other AGRICEN Outputs



University of Surrey


The Policy Practice (UK)


LUANAR (Malawi)

ERG (Ethiopia)

Ministry of Energy & Mines (Malawi)

Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development (Uganda)


Project website

AGRICEN Homepage

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