The new Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE) to complement and strengthen the ongoing EAC Partner States’ initiatives in the areas of policy and capacity development, knowledge management and raising awareness as well as investment and business promotion is now operational at the Makerere University College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) in Kampala, Uganda.
The East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE) was inaugurated by Uganda’s Minister designate for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development Irene Muloni, who reaffirmed the continued support of the Uganda government to the EACREEE. She also urged the five Partner States and Development Partners as well as the private sector to give full support to the Centre.
The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Jesca Eriyo pointed out that the focus of the energy sector is to ensure availability of sufficient, reliable, cost effective and environmentally friendly energy sources in the region across borders; promoting electricity interconnectivity to facilitate the broader EAC objectives of attracting investments and promoting competitiveness and trade.
She said the centre will among other services, develop and implement a coherent regional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RE&EE) policy framework for the EAC and facilitate its implementation at national levels; develop and execute regional programs and projects with other Partners and mobilize funding and, create synergies with ongoing programs. Other services will include operating as key entry point for the implementation of international funding to mitigate climate change in the Energy sector; providing co-funding for demand-driven programs and projects executed by the private and public sector or civil society in the region; providing a framework for capacity building activities and strengthen networks between research and training institutions as well as organize training of trainers workshops.
During the function Mr Philippe Scholtès, the Managing Director of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), emphasized the importance of inclusive and sustainable industrial development, as well as the role of sustainable energy and private-public partnerships (PPP) in this respect. He said that the global network of regional sustainable Energy Centres assists Development Partners in effective and efficient way.
Mr. Günter Engelits, Head of Office, Austrian Development Cooperation (ADA) in Uganda, said the Centre is expected to reduce political, regulatory, institutional, technical, and social barriers in the region, and support the achievement of sustainable energy for all, as well as the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The EACREEE is supported by UNIDO and the Austrian Development Agency, and is part of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres. The Network currently includes the EACREEE, the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) based in Cape Verde, and the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) in Barbados. The Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) and the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) are expected to be launched by the end of 2016.