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Russia-Africa Summit Spawned Widespread Plans for Nuclear Power for Africa

Aug. 15, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—As part of the July 27-28 Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg, with 49 African nations represented, a session titled “Nuclear Technologies for the Development of the African Continent” unanimously agreed that the continent has a tremendous option in nuclear energy to light up Africa.

EIR has found out the panelists to the exciting session who reached the conclusion, which includes Alexey Likhachev, Director General, State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom; Ibrahim Uwizeye, Minister of Hydraulics, Energy and Mining of the Republic of Burundi; Doto Mashaka Biteko, Minister of Minerals of Tanzania; Zhemu Soda, Minister of Energy and Power Development of Zimbabwe; Amged El-Wakeel, Chairman of the Board, Nuclear Power Plants Authority of Egypt; Fidèle Ndahayo, Chief Executive Officer, Rwanda Atomic Energy Board; and Princess (“Princy”) Mthombeni, Founder, Africa4Nuclear; Nuclear Communication and Technology Specialist of South Africa.

Panelist Princy Mthombeni spoke at the April 9, 2022 Schiller Institute conference, and gave an interview on July 21 this year to independent candidate for U.S. Senate from New York Diane Sare on the subject, “Let There Be Light! Africa (and New York) Need Nuclear Power.”

Nigeria’s daily Vanguard, reporting on the Russia-Africa Summit’s session on “Nuclear Technologies for Development of the African Continent,” featured, “The leaders took turns to present their levels of power efficiency and X-rayed how nuclear energy can engender wealth creation, energy efficiency, technology sovereignty and advanced medicine.” According to Chairman of Egypt’s Nuclear Power Plants Authority Amged El-Wakeel, “nuclear energy has helped Egypt in many ways including clean water, health, agriculture and electricity, even as the country still needs to further advance its economy, using the technology.”

On the sidelines of the summit, Rosatom signed several agreements with African nations. Rosatom’s Director General Alexey Likhachev and Zimbabwe’s Energy Minister Soda Zhemu signed an agreement on July 27, which Rosatom characterizes: “The document establishes a legal framework for cooperation between Russia and Zimbabwe in the peaceful use of atomic energy in a wide range of areas, such as assistance in the creation and improvement of Zimbabwe's nuclear infrastructure in accordance with international guidelines; regulation in the field of nuclear and radiation safety, production of radioisotopes and their use in industry, medicine and agriculture; cooperation in areas of application of radiation technologies and nuclear medicine, education, training and retraining of specialists for the nuclear industry.”

On the same day, Likachev and Ethiopia’s Minister of Innovation and Technology Belete Molla established a roadmap that “defines the specific steps the parties will take in 2023-2025 to explore the possibilities of building nuclear power plant of large or small power capacity, as well as a Center for Nuclear Science and Technology in Ethiopia. The two parties plan to join forces to develop Ethiopia's national nuclear infrastructure, organize technical tours and seminars, and hold meetings of specialized working groups.” Russia has built or plans such centers in Rwanda and Zambia, Vietnam, Bolivia and Serbia.

Further, Likachev and Burundi’s Foreign Minister Albert Shingiro signed a memorandum of cooperation for “building human resources capacity in Burundi’s nuclear industry and development cooperation of relevant educational institutions, including joint short-term educational programs, training instructors, educational and scientific literature development.” On July 26, a delegation headed by Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye, visited the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant for the first time and assessed the high level of development of the Russian nuclear industry. The President was joined by Foreign Minister Albert Shingiro, and Minister of Water Resources, Energy and Mining Ibrahim Uwizeye met with the leadership of Rosatom and the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant, and visited the site of PWR-1200 power units. Minister Uwizeye remarked: “In our country, the most important national project Burundi-2040 is now being implemented. Its goal is to lead our country to energy security and independence.... Therefore, acquaintance with the Leningrad NPP in the perspective of the implementation of this national program is extremely useful.”

The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom on July 27, providing for cooperation in the field of nuclear fuel production and related components. Necsa GCEO Loyiso Tyabashe stressed that the MOU “is particularly important for South Africa as it paves the way for Necsa to re-establish its capability on nuclear fuel production and supply. I believe that this collaboration will enhance the technological capabilities of both parties....”

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