Green Cooling Africa Initiative (GCAI)

Green cooling

This Technology Transfer Advance's Namibia, Mauritius, Kenya and Ghana's 


Refrigeration and air conditioning appliances (RAC) are rapidly spreading across Africa. As the electricity in most African countries is still generated through burning of fossil fuels, increased demand for energy results in increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With the use of highly energy efficient refrigeration and air conditioning devices and the substitution of high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants with low GWP refrigerants and foam blowing substances, both GHG emissions and energy use can be substantially reduced. Alternative technologies are internationally available but not common in Africa. The Green Cooling Africa Initiative aims at establishing a prototype best practice approach for Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, and Namibia. 

CTCN Response

  • Establish of robust GHG Inventory for selected, priority cooling sub-sectors
  • Analyse technological gap between existing technologies and internationally available green cooling technologies
  • Propose recommendations
  • Develop regional and country specific technology roadmap recommendations
  • Capacity building and NAMA institutional setup 
  • Seek funding and/or co-funding for implementation

Key technologies addressed

Expected Results

  • Transition to a sustainable cooling equipment base in the respective countries
  • Countries develop clear understanding on how the cooling sector contributes to their national energy consumption and GHG emissions + on appropriate policy measures
  • Appropriate actions on how to reduce the consumption of ODS, reduce energy demand and related GHG emissions are defined
  • Anticipated quantity of GHG emissions reduced (cumulative until 2050):
    • Namibia: 24 Mt CO2eq
    • Mauritius: 46 Mt. CO2eq

Lessons Learnt

Lessons learnt for this technical assistance

The Green Cooling Africa Initiative has been implemented successfully, as was recognized by the partner countries as well as other stakeholders of the project. GCAI with its innovative nature provided a unique opportunity for the participating countries to prepare for an early transfer to climate and ozone layer friendly technology in the cooling sector. The partner countries are now considering or are already implementing an inclusion of the RAC sector’s mitigation potential in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). As a consequence, the countries would be able to mobilise further financial resources for the relevant follow up actions. The outputs of the GCAI provide the basis for financial proposals. Furthermore, the potential regional replication of GCAI’s activities and results in other countries of the region was discussed during the regional workshops and a regional network between NOUs, NDEs and UNFCCC Focal Points has been established. As a result, other countries of the region are considering project implementation on the grounds of GCAI in their respective countries. Through GCAI, awareness has been raised about the importance of the RAC sector for the fight against global warming and higher energy efficiency, due to the sector’s high mitigation potential at comparatively low costs. Although the project was implemented successfully, some challenges and delays occurred during the project implementation. The contracting of the international and national consultants took longer than expected and in both countries GIZ faced some challenges regarding the inventory, whereas the data collection in Namibia proved to be more difficult than in Mauritius. In both countries, local consultants struggled with non-responsive industry members and some companies’ inability to provide historical data, due to non-existent or poorly managed databases. In Namibia, an additional fatigue could be noted in the industry, due to other surveys being carried out at the same time in regards to energy efficiency, which are also covering the RAC sector. Furthermore, companies of both countries were sometimes reluctant to give out information in fear of tax inspections.  


The early inclusion of all relevant stakeholders, especially the industry members, has proven to be essential to the success of the project. Ideally, before the start of the data collection, a kick-off workshop is organised informing the industry, but also all important national ministries, such as Environment, Energy and Finance, about the inventory and objectives of the project. The early inclusion of the industry has the advantage that they prove to be more willing to support the project and its objectives. This is the case in particular, if they are given the space and time to voice their concerns and engage in a dialogue with their representatives in the Ministries. Additionally, the choice of consultant proved to be of high importance, as well as his/her connection to the industry. The local consultant needs to know the industry as well as national circumstances to a great extent and has to be capable to explain the inventory and questionnaires in detail to the stakeholders. Mistrust toward the purpose of the data collection can be partly avoided by the provision of a letter explaining the process of data analysis and emphasizing data confidentiality to the industry members. Experience shows further that custom data has to be treated with caution and should be verified via double-check with the primary data collected during the inventory and through consultation with stakeholders of the national RAC industries, due to potential double counting and different forms of measurement (e.g. units or kg).  

Lessons learnt related to climate technology transfer

Describe opportunities, challenges and barriers for the use and deployment of the technology or technologies supported by the TA. The objective is to identify specific success factors for technology transfer The successful implementation of technology transfer towards green cooling in the RAC sector with its specific needs depends to a great extent on market availability of “green” equipment, as well as on national policies and regulations favouring the introduction of green cooling technology. Even if the national RAC industry shows interest in transferring towards more climate-friendly and energy efficient technology, they often need additional incentives on a financial, as well as regulatory level. The opportunity that this moment in time bears for the technology transfer towards green cooling is based in the increase in regulatory requirements on an international level. The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer has been or will be ratified by the majority of countries, pushing them to phase down climate damaging refrigerants (Hydrofluorocarbons). This will result in various changes within the cooling sector and can be used to push climate friendly and energy efficient cooling technology.  


When trying to initiate a climate technology transfer, one has to consider national polices as well as the country’s specific market situation. Technology transfer can only be sustainable if conditions are created under which the transfer will stimulate the market regarding the supply with green technology and if national policies support the change and thus, the demand. Measures to support on an institutional level include amongst other tax reductions, subsidies or penalisation of obsolete technologies.  

Lessons learnt related to the CTCN technical assistance process

Lessons learnt regarding the CTCN process are related in particular to the adequate time planning for project preparation. Although the project was implemented successfully, some challenges and delays occurred before the actual start of project implementation. Due to the long contract negotiations between UNEP and GIZ, the start of the project has been significantly delayed. For this reason, when the technical proposal and time schedule were submitted to UNIDO, the project duration was reduced from 18 to 12 months. The project implementation period has further been reduced by another 2 months, due to a time lag between the submission of the technical proposal and the contract signing.  


The consequential recommendation for potential further projects would be to start processes early and plan accordingly.  


Date of submission
Geographical scope
Regional multi-country
Budget range
Energy efficiency

Project details

Final type of assistance
Research and development of technologies
Request NDE
Department of Environmental Affairs
Environmental Protection Agency
Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute
Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
This technical assistance advances the following Sustainable Development Goals

Project documents