Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)-Africa is an initiative that was instigated in 2007 by researchers from the Energy research Centre for the Netherlands (ECN), with funding from Shell, Statoil, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UK Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. The first project of CCS-Africa ‘Advancing CCS and CDM in Africa’, through two regional workshops in Dakar (Senegal) and Gaborone (Botswana), responded to two issues in the climate policy arena: the level of knowledge and access to information on CO2 capture and storage in African Countries; and the low representation of African countries in the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project portfolio.

Although the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is not urgent for Africa, decisions on CCS are made to some degree in global institutions, where the African voice is a factor. In specific cases, CCS might provide economic opportunities for Africa given its developing fossil fuel sector. In order to allow for informed decision-making in international institutions, identifying early possibilities for CCS in the region and for building an innovation system for the long run, building up a basis of capacity is crucial. Such reasoning has provided impetus for the second project of the CCS-Africa initiative, ‘CCS in Southern Africa’, whereby capacity building workshops in Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia will take place in April 2010.