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Home » UNEP-U-3ARC team up to advance RAC technical awareness in Africa

UNEP-U-3ARC team up to advance RAC technical awareness in Africa

  • marimac 

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), OzonAction, and the U-3ARC (Union of Associations of African Actors in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning) agreed to collaborate toward expanding and advancing technological awareness and best servicing practices in Africa’s refrigeration servicing sector.

Representatives from the meeting held in Paris in June. Image credit: UNEP
Representatives from the meeting held in Paris in June. Image credit: UNEP

During a 2-day meeting held at the UNEP premises in Paris, France from 8-10 June 2022, the UNEP OzonAction Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) Africa team and the global CAP team led by OzonAction’s head of branch, James Curlin, welcomed and met with the U-3ARC board members.

The meeting was set to establish a strategic relationship between both parties to address the key challenges that are facing the refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) sector in Africa including, but not limited to; knowledge about new refrigerants, safety considerations in handling flammable refrigerants, training and certification of servicing technicians, support to local technicians’ associations, and advancing women’s engagement in the sector across the continent.

U-3ARC was created in 2020 by 30 associations of RAC actors from 29 Anglophone and Francophone African countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Cape Verde, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Niger, Chad, Nigeria, Djibouti, Congo, DR Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Madagascar, Cameroon, Gabon, Gambia, Comoros, and Tanzania) to build a regional programme to support the local associations in conducting state-of-art events and programmes to upgrade the capacities of refrigeration individuals and companies in the continent and build a connection and network with the international HVACR associations and societies.

To date, U-3ARC includes representation from all 54 African countries and offers technical support to countries that are not yet officially registered as associations to formally do so. U-3ARC also currently represents more than 20 000 formal and informal businesses with nearly 150 000 employees at the date of its creation.

Building on the Montreal Protocol’s 30 years of successful elimination of ozone-depleting substances, the Kigali Amendment aims for a worldwide phase-down of the potent greenhouse gases, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), to prevent the consequences of climate change. African countries are among those already hit hardest by the growing consumption of high Global Warming Potential (GWP) substances mainly emitted by the cooling sector.

As a result, the African refrigeration sector is certainly an effective player in reaching the compliance targets set by the Montreal Protocol and the Kigali Amendment. To that end, the wise management and competent support to this sector in Africa are crucial for meeting ozone and climate objectives while contributing notably to many sustainable development goals.

UNEP OzonAction and U-3ARC, through their collaboration, aim to assist the National Ozone Units (NOUs) and National Associations in advancing the servicing sector in Africa by offering tools and opportunities to expand the engagement of the sector in Montreal Protocol businesses and foster the relationship between governments and the local associations. Both parties agreed to develop a joint workplan including designing programmes, tools, and co-organise technical events.

The collaboration arrangement will be pursued and concluded shortly in order to launch and present to NOUs and U-3ARC members.