Cognizant of the need to strengthen regional cooperation in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency within the framework of the regional integration process, the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat in 2013 requested that the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) support the establishment and first operational phase of the East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE).

In the following years, 2014 and 2015, different workshops took place and the strategy of the centre was further refined.  For instance, at the Expert group meeting (EGM) 2015 in Kampala, the outcome was the formulation of an action plan for the EACREEE, which includes precise strategies and measures for the successful implementation and first operational phase of the Centre.

However, it was later decided that, for the time being, an already existing competent institution with the EAC region be identified to be designated as a centre of excellence to serve the same purpose. Consequently, at their 33rd Meeting held on 29 February 2016, the EAC Council of Ministers designated Makerere University College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) as a Centre of Excellence for EACREEE

In June 2016, the Centre of Excellence for EACREEE was officially launched at Makerere University Kampala, in Uganda. There the Project Implementation Agreement between EAC, UNIDO and CEDAT.