African Center for aquatic research and education
A world where millions of Africans can depend on healthy African Great Lakes for food, clean water, and reliable employment, supporting a climate of justice, equity, democracy, and peace.
ACARE creates highly collaborative systems that strengthen science to positively affect policy and management for healthy African Great Lakes.
The calls for organizations such as ACARE have been occurring for decades. In 2005, the African Ministers of Water, the International Lake Environment Committee, and the Commission for Africa, all urged for the creation of centers of excellence to address African issues, especially focusing on freshwater resources.
In 2006, ACARE was first conceived from these calls by Dr. Eric Odada, University of Nairobi, Dr. Robert Hecky (then of United Nations University, Chair, African Great Lakes), and Dr. Ralph Daley (then Director of United Nations University-Institute for Water Environment and Health). Due to the economic, political, and physical climate of 2006, when ACARE was emerging as a new institution, the project had to be put on hold.
Calls to action never ceased and, in fact, were newly reinvigorated with highly collaborative movements during 2016 and 2017, elevating the significance of freshwater resources throughout the world, and thus the current push for ACARE.
In July of 2017, ACARE was formally reborn by a group of motivated experts from Africa, Europe, and North America.
Recognizing that no one organization or institution can address the challenges that our global freshwater resources face, ACARE is partnering with others to leverage the combined skills, assets, technologies and resources of public, private and nonprofit entities to deliver sustainable instruction and research.
ACARE will specifically provide an innovative learning experience for young freshwater experts in the African Great Lakes riparian countries: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. In so doing, it will ensure that talented African scientists and aquatic resource managers develop hands-on skills and professional networks that will better allow them to remain in their fields within the region, and that indigenous institutional memory is retained and increasingly used to better manage the region’s aquatic resources.
The major goal of ACARE is to positively influence policy and management of freshwater resources in East Africa through sound science. The process which ACARE is developing is a long term collaborative process by which the scientific, academic, policy and management, and other interested community interact through a structured process to prioritize research and thus, harness the resources and knowledge to conduct research that results in useful, harmonized data and ideas to influence positive change. The entire focus of ACARE is to ensure that the ecological structure of the African Great Lakes, and those who depend on them are preserved and enhanced.
With that, ACARE will serve as a regional focal point and clearinghouse for critical information on the state of the African Great Lakes—identifying research gaps to inform future research. ACARE will provide forums and resources for a global collaboration of freshwater academics, researchers, managers, and policy makers to both strengthen ACARE as an institution, and strengthen the global freshwater community as a whole.