Arusha Climate And Environmental Research Centre  

​In March 2022 the Aga Khan University launched Arusha Climate and Environmental Research Centre (AKU-ACER) on its nearly four thousand acres of ecologically important land in Arusha, Tanzania. As a flagship project of the University, and with the support of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), AKU-ACER leverages the extraordinary importance of the site in terms of research opportunities in environmental science – including atmospheric sciences, sustainable agriculture and ecology, environmental chemistry, geosciences, and social sciences. The overarching objectives of AKU-ACER include advancing academic research leading to results for stakeholders and achieving increased visibility on the importance of environmental field sites that explicitly set out to develop capacity. The benefits of the research activities undertaken at AKU-ACER cut across many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relating to the environment and climate action, including capacity for carbon sequestration. Based on the characteristics of the site, restorative land management activities will continue and inform much of the research work as well. Going forward, the focus is to systematically study the climate impacts on human health, ecosystem services, and geophysical hazards. The rapid growth of Arusha station is expected to catalyze the establishment of the research station in Link Road and bring about the much-needed collaboration between individual researchers and AKDN entities to utilize the station to conduct interdisciplinary studies in health, environment, and social sciences. ​

Strengthening Partnerships for the Environment

Facilitating joint research, faculty and student exchange and other forms of collaboration aimed at tackling global issues, among them climate change and environmental sustainability.​​​

Accomplishments to date

Numerous accomplishments have been successfully attained at present. Two baseline studies have been successfully conducted on community needs and the diversity of pollinators. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been executed with significant local and international universities and institutions. This MOU allows the station to access and utilize the laboratories of local universities, as well as collaborate with scholars to jointly develop and execute research projects. There are currently four (4) ongoing research projects that encompass a thorough examination of pollinators in the surrounding farmland and other locations in three regions of Tanzania. Additionally, these projects involve a comprehensive evaluation of soil and land health, as well as biodiversity assessment within AKU-ACER' lands. Furthermore, research is being conducted on the concept of a Green Economy. At present, there are several large-multi-year research projects being developed in collaboration between AKU, Simon Fraser University, and other academic institutions. These projects are currently in various stages of the writing process.​​


AKU signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) for the exchange of expertise and collaboration on research, capacity building and institutional development.

Under the terms of the MoU, AKU will avail its land in Arusha to NM-AIST for research that will benefit communities in and around Tanzania. Research will focus on advancing climate change adaptation and vulnerability assessments with a focus on high-quality, relevant, accessible and impactful applications.

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AKU signs​ a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, TAWIRI, to benefit research development and informed policy decision making in Tanzania. ​

The partnership will see the two institutions leverage on the University's land in Arusha for studies on wildlife, including pollinators, beekeeping and bee research for livelihood improvement and environmental conservation.

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The Aga Khan University continues to widen and deepen its impact on Tanzanian society by venturing into areas as diverse as agriculture, afforestation, business development, community cohesion, language skills and sport through its Community Outreach Centre (COC) in Arusha.

Launched in 2018, the COC is a hub for the local community that houses state-of-the-art educational, teaching, healthcare and recreational facilities. To date, the centre has empowered 28,000 people to launch their own businesses, adopt farming techniques that have enhanced their food security and learn key skills that have raised their quality of life.