Frames in the Ethiopian Debate on Biofuels

Portner, Brigitte (2013). Frames in the Ethiopian Debate on Biofuels. Africa Spectrum, 48(3), pp. 33-53. GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies

673.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-No Derivative Works (CC-BY-ND).

Download (175kB) | Preview

Biofuel production, while highly contested, is supported by a number of policies worldwide. Ethiopia was among the first sub-Saharan countries to devise a biofuel policy strategy to guide the associated demand toward sustainable development. In this paper, I discuss Ethiopia’s biofuel policy from an interpretative research position using a frames approach and argue that useful insights can be obtained by paying more attention to national contexts and values represented in the debates on whether biofuel production can or will contribute to sustainable development. To this end, I was able to distinguish three major frames used in the Ethiopian debate on biofuels: an environmental rehabilitation frame, a green revolution frame and a legitimacy frame. The article concludes that actors advocating for frames related to social and human issues have difficulties entering the debate and forming alliances, and that those voices need to be included in order for Ethiopia to develop a sustainable biofuel sector.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > NCCR North-South Management Centre [discontinued]
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Portner, Brigitte


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics




GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies




Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

03 Apr 2014 22:42

Last Modified:

27 Mar 2017 08:37

Uncontrolled Keywords:

biofuel, agriculture, energy policy, sustainable development, international economic relations




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback