Africa commits to peaceful use of nuclear science.
Left: Executive secretary of the AFCONE, Messaoud Baaliouamer and right: Deputy Director of Nuclear at the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, Zizamele Mbambo.

Leading nuclear energy organisations in Africa have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support regional efforts in the area of using nuclear science and technology applications for peaceful purposes in the continent.

The African Young Generation in Nuclear (AYGN) witnessed the signing ceremony of MoU between African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE) and African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA). 

The event took place at the AFCONE offices in Pretoria, South Africa.

Executive secretary of the AFCONE, Messaoud Baaliouamer and AFRA Chairperson and Deputy Director of Nuclear at the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), Zizamele Mbambo, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective parties.

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A media statement explained that the major thrust of the MoU is to promote mutually beneficial cooperation between the AFCONE and AFRA in the areas of advancing, promoting and improving the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of peaceful nuclear applications and nuclear science and technology implementation in the African region, including nuclear safety and security.

“This agreement builds on the amazing work we have done with AFRA in mapping the implementation of commitments to peaceful uses of nuclear energy on the continent and fostering the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 which specifies “Africa: One Continent, One Voice”, said Baaliouamer.

Nuclear science to drive sustainable development

“As AYGN we are extremely delighted to witness African organisations working together for a common goal and as young professionals in the industry, we must support such collaborations that are intended to grow our continent. We all dream of a prosperous Africa that is founded on inclusive growth for sustainable development and that can be achieved through the use of nuclear science and technology applications”, said AYGN President, Gaopalelwe Santswere.

Director for the Division for Africa at International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Shaukat Abdulrazak, highlighted the challenges facing the African continent, which include 30% of the population that does not have access to clean water plus 64% that is without access to electricity.

He further elaborated on how nuclear technology, which is uniquely placed to support the socio-economic development of Africa, can help address these challenges.

Among the 35 participants, Women in Nuclear Africa (WiN-Africa) Interim President, Professor Oum Keltoum Hakam, Forum of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies in Africa (FNRBA) Chairperson, Dr Khammar Mrabit and Women in Nuclear South Africa (WiNSA) President, Tebogo Motlhabane also attended the ceremony and addressed the gathering through statements endorsing this positive move.