The 12th Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) meeting kicked off on 28th November 2022 at Kenyatta University.
This is the second time Kenya is hosting the regional RCE meeting. Kenya hosted the 8th Global RCE conference in November 2013 and 6th African RCE Conference in August, 2016.
Both conferences brought together a wide variety of stakeholders from around the Globe – from cities, communities, governments, industry, international organizations, and academia to discuss, debate and launch activities that reinforce the fundamental role that education plays in achieving a sustainable future for all.
This year, the theme is "Role of African RCEs in Climate Action".
Kenya has the highest number of RCEs in Africa so far we have 9 registered, all fully recognized by the United Nations University (UNU) this are; Greater Nairobi- our Host, Kakamega Western, Mau complex ecosystem, Greater Pwani, North Rift, Nyanza, Upper Eastern, Central Kenya and South Rift.
All the RCEs are hosted by our universities and they focus on specific areas of concern in the sustainable development space. However, all have a common focus on climate change.
Today's opening ceremony, was graced by Dr. Pacifica Ogolla, who repsented Environment and Forestry CS Hon. Soipan Tuya who was the chief guest, Vice Chancellor Kenyatta University, NEMA Chairman, Eric Mungai and Director General, Mamo B. Mamo also graced the event among other dignitaries from Kenya and global RCE networks.
The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry stated that the 3-day African RCE conference will provide RCEs with a platform to discuss how to further strengthen and engage with National and County governments to focus on RCE activities on climate change and set the agenda for future action to mitigate and adapt to climate change and protect our environment.
She added that the concern for the environmental crisis and more climate change is no longer confined to multilateral institutions or the non-governmental sector. It has become a responsibility of all.
In the context of these interlinked global risks, the role of RCEs in Africa in sharing best practices and promoting innovations to address climate change impacts has become more important than ever before. Equally important is the role of scientific research by our universities in finding innovative solutions to the existential challenges facing mankind.
"Climate change is a daily and dreadful event that faces us. We need to collectively act on climate change to turn the tides. The University has educational programs to educate the learners on climate chage issues," Prof. Paul Wainaina, Vice Chancellor Kenyatta University said.
An RCE is a network of existing formal, non-formal and informal education organisations, mobilised to deliver education for sustainable development (ESD) to local and regional communities.
A network of RCEs worldwide will constitute the Global Learning Space for Sustainable Development. RCEs aspire to achieve the goals of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development(link is external) (DESD, 2005-2014), by translating its global objectives into the context of the local communities in which they operate.
There are currently 127 recognized RCEs worldwide.