One of the key recommendations from the EANECE/UNEP piloting workshop of the PCFV Regulatory Toolkit held in Kigali, Rwanda on 24th September, 2014 was the urgent need to build the capacity of Rwanda’s Motor Vehicles Inspection Centre by providing training on emission inspection and maintenance program. The urgency was informed by the fact that Rwanda has developed vehicle emission standards and regulations that will be enforced effective 1st January, 2015. Thus, the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) in partnership with UNEP and the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) conducted training in Kigali on 10th – 11th November, 2014. Participants at the training workshop were drawn from REMA, the Motor Vehicle Inspection Centre/Rwanda National Police, Rwanda Standards Bureau, Gishari Integrated Polytechnic and regional as well as international experts from Egypt, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.
The workshop agenda incorporated presentations, plenary discussions and a visit to the Motor Vehicle Testing Centre in Kigali. The Presentations covered a wide range of subjects including: emission reduction initiatives; vehicle emissions measurement; experiences on vehicle emissions testing from Egypt, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania; progress towards implementing cleaner fuels; motor vehicle age limit in East Africa; and recommendations on harmonization of vehicle emission standards. The full text of the workshop presentations is available separately.
The field visit to the Motor vehicle Testing Centre provided the participants with a practical appreciation of the status of vehicle emission testing in Rwanda. All participants noted with admiration that Rwanda was already a leader in East Africa with respect to vehicle emissions testing. Whereas the other East African nations like Kenya and Tanzania had some limited capacity for emissions testing, it was reported that they do not carry out mandatory tests as there is no legal backing (regulatory framework) to support the same.
Some of the recommendations emanating from the workshop include the following:
- Rwanda has made some great strides in setting up an inspection and maintenance program to tackle vehicular emissions. It has set up a modern testing centre with modern equipment and is in the process of expanding the same. Thus, continued technical support and capacity building for the centre and the supporting enforcement agencies such as REMA and RSB will be essential in assuring effective implementation of the I&M Program.
- Rwanda provides a good example to the rest of East Africa on how to build and implement an effective I&M Program. A twinning arrangement/peer placement between the respective East African motor vehicle inspectorates, environmental regulators and their counterparts in Rwanda would provide greater learning opportunities that would build more capacity in the wider sub-region.
- The adoption of the 50ppm sulphur fuels standards for the East Africa sub-region effective 1st January 2015 provides great momentum for ongoing emissions reduction initiatives. The cleaner fuels need to be matched with cleaner vehicles in a systems approach for the entire sub-region. Many countries in the sub-region are in the process of developing their own vehicle emission standards. As these processes continue, efforts towards harmonization of the standards should be considered to ensure successful emissions reduction across the entire sub-region.