This month key stakeholders in the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold-Chain (ACES) convened in the UK to finalize immediate actions to operationalize the centre, exchange insights, and build strategic networks with government officials, industry, and academia.
ACES is based in Kigali, Rwanda, and its aim is to accelerate the deployment of sustainable cold-chain solutions in Africa to improve livelihoods, health, food and nutritional security. This will be achieved through the development of transformative solutions at the ACES headquarters and the demonstration of these solutions in rural communities at the associated SPOKEs (Specialized Outreach and Knowledge Establishments) as they develop across Africa. The first of these will be in Kenya.
ACES is co-led by the UNEP U4E initiative, United Kingdom and Rwandan academic partners, and the Governments of Rwanda and the United Kingdom through the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) for the Rwanda Ministry of Environment, and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) respectively.
The delegation from Rwanda included representatives from the University of Rwanda, which hosts the ACES headquarters campus, Rwanda Polytechnic and the Rwanda Biomedical Center, along with senior representatives from REMA and the Rwanda High Commission. They were joined by the Head of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security Programme at the African Centre for Technology Studies and a refrigeration expert representing the Kenya SPOKE, and accompanied by members of the ACES project management team. To view a short video of highlights from the visit, click here.
Over the five days of the visit, delegates visited the Manufacturing Technology Centre, an independent Research and Technology Organisation, Cranfield University’s health and agriculture cold chain facilities, the University of Birmingham’s Tyseley Energy Park engineering and healthcare facilities, Heriot-Watt University’s sustainable road freight and business schools and attended meetings with Scottish Government officials and industry and members of Defra.
The next step for ACES is the opening of the headquarters for formal operations in Autumn 2023.
To learn more about ACES and how to get involved, click here, or contact Alice Moreau, Partner Engagements and SPOKEs Lead, UNEP U4E, email@example.com.