An interdisciplinary workshop was held at Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 16-18 May, 2011 to discuss the potential of small-scale biogas digesters to reduce poverty and improve the environment in Sub-Saharan Africa. The specific aim of the workshop was to consolidate the work of the last few months into review article(s) for publication in the peer reviewed literature. The discussions in each session are summarized in this report. The agenda for the workshop is given in appendix A, and a full list of participants in appendix B.
The workshop was organized into 4 sessions. Session 1 provided a review of the latest scientific literature into the position of biogas digesters in Sub-Saharan Africa. The socio-economic, educational, engineering, environmental and health related issues associated with using biogas digesters in Sub-Saharan Africa were summarized. Session 2 provide a review of the current position of biogas digesters in Ethiopia. In session 3, the participants moved to the field, the objectives being to better understand the potential of biogas digesters in Ethiopia, to stimulate discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of different digester designs, the different options for using digester slurry, the risks and benefits of installing a biogas digester, and the research needs for improving uptake of biogas digesters. In session 4 the discussions focussed on the publications to be consolidated over the next few months, identifying lead authors and participants for the papers.