Considerable effort has been put into developing sustainability assessment frameworks for biofuel production in developing countries. Nevertheless, their successful implementation remains problematic in sub–Saharan Africa. To address this challenge in this paper, through a thorough examination of academic and grey literature, repeatedly occurring sustainability aspects/issues were drawn from internationally recognised biofuel assessment frameworks. Theoretical framings that corresponded with the interlinking socio–environmental–economic qualities and issues for achieving sustainability through ethical implementation conformity (political ecology, development economics, social capital and institutional economics) were then used to inform development of a conceptual framework that could guide biofuel project implementation in sub–Saharan Africa to address complex sustainability issues. The supporting theories pursue sustainable development through, amongst others, an emphasis on the more equitable dispersal of costs and benefits through transparent networking in rural settings and the integration of contrasting viewpoints of diverse stakeholders in emerging economies.
Keywords: developing countries, sustainability, local communities, livelihoods, equality, sustainable biofuel development, sub–Saharan Africa, marginalisation, political ecology, development economics, social capital, institutional economics, environmental impact, biofuels, sustainable development, rural communities, rural areas, emerging economies