General manager appointed for African Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold chain (ACES)
Morris Kayitare Image: University of Birmingham
Morris Kayitare has been appointed general manager for the African Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold chain (ACES).
Morris will work with in-country delivery partners, Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA – Ministry of Environment) and the University of Rwanda to oversee building and fitting out of key facilities at ACES, which is scheduled to opens in summer 2023 on the University’s Kigali campus.
These facilities include the new Demonstration Hall, Refrigeration Training Centre and a first-of-a-kind demonstration Community Cooling Hub. Morris will also support with recruitment and helping industry to deploy new sustainable cold-chain technologies and solutions on campus for demonstration and trial.
Prior to his appointment with ACES, Morris served as the UNEP’s national lead for the Rwanda Cooling Initiative which was instrumental in the development of the Rwanda National Cooling Strategy, adopted by the government in 2019. Before joining UNEP, he was the director of National Primary Energies and off-grid electrification at Rwanda Energy Group. Over the past 13 years, he has held various positions in government and private sector, in the field of Telecommunication, Energy and Environment.
He acquired his first degree in Telecommunications Engineering, a second degree in Electrical Engineering, both from the University of Rwanda, a master’s degree in Telecommunications and he is finalizing his PhD is Energy Economics.
Morris commented: “I am thrilled to be appointed the general manager. ACES brings together multi-disciplinary stakeholders and experts to develop and demonstrate ways of delivering affordable low carbon emissions cooling for agriculture and vaccines cold-chain systems necessary for Africa’s social-economic development.”
The ACES programme has been developed with the University of Birmingham, leading a consortium of UK universities (London South Bank, Heriot-Watt and Cranfield), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with more than $20 million of seed investment to date committed by the UK and Rwanda Governments, alongside the campus and physical infrastructure. The Rwandan Government is currently approving the allocation of a further 200 hectares alongside the ACES campus to create an integrated single campus for the complete logistics chains from soil to fridge.
REMA director general, Juliet Kabera commented: “ACES is designed to offer industry and development partners an unparalleled means to explore and engage with African cooling and cold-chain market opportunities. This is critical for our food security and wider sustainable development. We are very excited to have Morris on board to help steer the project from vision to reality. “
Toby Peters, professor of Cold Economy at the University of Birmingham and Heriot-Watt University, commented: “ACES is a multi-partner, multi-country programme. Building out the delivery team and leadership in- country is central if we are to achieve our ambition of ACES for Africa to lead the world in the sustainable cooling and cold chain arenas. Morris has the experience and drive necessary for the next phase of the project.”
ACES is a first-of-kind and not-for-profit centre dedicated to sustainable cooling and cold-chain for food and health. It will be a one-stop provider of technical and business assistance, training, capacity-building and knowledge transfer for the ‘fork-to-farm-to-fork’ and ‘vaccine manufacturer-to-arm’ supply chains. Through the Refrigeration Training Centre, it will help develop the future pipeline of refrigeration engineers. A business incubator will help deliver industry the right environment, sales channels and support for deployment of climate-friendly solutions.