Nuclear Technologies for the Development of African Region discussion panel at Russia-Africa summit
The business program, titled 'Cooperation in Science and Technology,' kickstarted with a panel discussion titled 'Nuclear Technologies for the Development of the African Region.'
The experts unanimously acknowledged the strategic importance of introducing technologies to ensure energy security, foster sustainable development across various sectors of the economy, and enhance scientific and human resource potential.
“The African continent is home to more than one billion people, and it is predicted that by 2050, Africa’s population will triple, making up about one-third of the world’s total population. Africa is growing faster than ever, and in the near future, a very large part of its population will have an improved quality of life. But without stable access to energy and a developed energy system, no development is possible,” said Ruslan Edelgeriyev, Advisor to Russia's President, Special Presidential Representative on Climate Issues, and moderator of the panel.
Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohamed Shaker, highlighted the positive impact of nuclear energy collaboration with Rosatom in Egypt, envisioning a ninefold increase in job opportunities.
“In addition, the country’s development strategy until 2035 states that by that time renewable energy sources should account for about 42% - nuclear power can help us with this.”
“Africa is on its way from being one-fifth of the world’s population to one-third. At the same time, if you look at electricity generation globally, last year, approximately 30 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity were generated on the planet, while Africa generated less than one. And in that sense, this disparity cannot be sustained for long,” said Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom.
“It is clear that states on the African continent will be actively engaged in building power generation capacity in the coming decades,” he added.
He expressed confidence in African states actively engaging in building power generation capacity in the coming decades.
“Right now, only more than 70% of our population has access to electricity," said Fidele Ndahayo, Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Atomic Energy Board. According to the speaker, nuclear energy can remedy this situation. “Nuclear power is about reliability. Nuclear power is not just about money. All studies show: it leads to economic growth in all spheres of life.”
Doto Mashaka Biteko, Minister of Minerals of Tanzania, expressed a keen interest in exploring new nuclear technologies from other countries to contribute to their GDP growth, particularly uranium exploration to uplift the quality of life for those below the poverty line.
Ibrahim Uwizeye, Minister of Hydraulics, Energy, and Mining of Burundi, said: “I visited the Leningrad NPP. I am impressed. We need energy self-sufficiency, and we will soon sign an agreement with Rosatom to achieve it.”
“Africa is the next stage in the development of global nuclear energy. All eyes will now be on what Russia is offering to its friends at this Forum. What is done today will be inherited by the next generations. If we do not address the energy challenge, Africa’s youth will be vulnerable. For the sake of Africa’s sustainable development, African countries should accept the proposals that come from Russia” said Princess Mthombeni, Founder of Africa4Nuclear, Nuclear Communication and Technology Specialist in South Africa.