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Even though Africa has rich bamboo resources, the development is insignificant when compared to other continents. This was noted at aworkshop held on Friday 15 March and organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) that discussed bamboo development on the continent.
On Friday’s workshop carried out at the Hilton Hotel government officials from 12 African countries gathered to discuss the sustainable development of bamboo, exchange experiences, establish a strong collaboration and design common strategies on expanding the bamboo sector in Africa.
Sileshi Getahun, State minister of Agriculture and chair of the INBAR council, explained that Ethiopia is working on bamboo resource-base management, capacity building and the introduction of new bamboo technologies, all of which are showing significant advancement of the sector in Ethiopia, and can be replicated in other African countries. Ethiopia has the biggest share of the resource on the continent.
Sub Sahara Africa’s total bamboo forest is approximately 3 million hectares, and from this, one million hectares of bamboo are found in Ethiopia. 12 million tons of bamboo biomass can be produced from these forests for diverse purposes.
According to studies, it is possible to produce bamboo products that can generate revenues amounting to some 700 million birr per annum.