Namibia will today ship a consignment of 350 tons of charcoal worth N$2 million to the United States of America (USA).
Jacques du Toit, American embassy spokesperson, said in a statement Wednesday that US ambassador Lisa Johnson will participate in the send-off of a consignment of charcoal from Namibian supplier, Africa Burns Charcoal, to a US buyer. “The shipment of 350 tons represents a landmark deal for the charcoal exporter. The deal was facilitated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID),” he added. According to Du Toit, after signing an agreement with the Namibia Charcoal Association (NCA), of which Africa Burns Charcoal is a member, USAID facilitated relationships with charcoal exporters and buyers for sustainable and long-term business. Charcoal production is an important activity for managing bush encroachment in Namibia and the sale thereof makes a significant contribution to Namibia’s economy. In 2019, the sector employed close to 10 000 workers and about 200 000 tons of charcoal was produced in Namibia, up from 120 000 in 2018. Namibia’s charcoal is exported mainly to Europe and South Africa. Globally, wood charcoal exports by country totalled US$1.29 billion in 2019. Light grey in colour, charcoal results from the slow heating of wood or other combustible substances in an oxygen-less environment. This process contrasts with the millions of years involved for coal, a black natural mineral and fossil fuel formed under the earth’s crust under high temperature and intense pressure.
Other differences are that charcoal produces more heat and is a cleaner fuel than coal. In addition to generating energy and producing heat for cooking, black powder from charcoal is used in creating purification filters as well as producing fireworks.