Contribution of Nuclear Technologies in the Development of Africa

KEY CONCLUSIONS

Russia and Africa are connected by a long-term partnership in nuclear energy

“Our specialists have been working on the African continent for several decades. In recent years, this work has been given a new boost both in terms of its form and content”, said Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation.

“Historically, Russia has been working very closely with the African continent in nuclear technologies. This relationship has existed for more than 55 years”, said Khethiwe Nkuna, Head of Corporate Citizenship and Inclusion and Diversity Lead at Accenture.

“We have fully established the regulatory framework with a third of African countries, all the way up to the contractual framework. Half of them already have and are actively discussing specific joint projects with us, which are stipulated in a contract”, Likhachev said.

Nuclear technologies are an integral component for effective development

“Today, we not only possess nuclear technologies, but are also doing everything we can to increase the role of nuclear technologies in the technological landscape of the future”, Likhachev said.

“Nuclear technologies are a very important tool in the development and drafting of sustainable development goals”, said Najat Mokhtar, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“We have a dream: we want to become a highly developed country by 2035 and a country with a high standard of living by 2050. Nuclear energy should be the main driver for achieving the goals facing our country”, said Claver Gatete, Minister of Infrastructure of the Republic of Rwanda.

“There are other aspects of nuclear technologies that have made us pay great attention to them. These include modern technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of things. All this is our future and where we should be heading. These technologies are very important to us, especially in the mining sector”, said Roland Msiska, Head of the Zambia Atomic Energy Agency.

Demand for nuclear energy is steadily increasing

“We are seeing a steady increase in demand for nuclear energy because we have industrialization and urbanization, the population is growing, and the government is striving to improve the quality of life of the Egyptian people. These have all become important factors in the development of our nuclear programme”, said Amged El-Wakeel, Chairman of the Board of the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plants Authority.

“Egypt recognizes the importance of nuclear energy as an important component in the energy balance”, El-Wakeel said.

 

PROBLEMS

Food shortage

“If you look just at our losses in agriculture, it’s around 30% every year. Nuclear technology will fix this”, Msiska said.

“One fifth of Africans have food shortages today, and technology can help in this. We need to use new technologies that can lead to the greater productivity of certain food crops”, Mokhtar said.

“We must ensure our food security. Accordingly, we need food products that we can eat on our own and export them in accordance with international standards. I don’t know how we could avoid the use of nuclear energy in this process”, Gatete said.

Energy shortage in Africa

“We believe that demand for nuclear technologies is most acute on the African continent in particular […]. The challenges that we usually work with and respond to are the most acute in African countries and require immediate solutions. The continent, which is among the richest in terms of mineral reserves, has an energy shortage today, and in some countries this deficit is catastrophic”, Likhachev said.

Lack of necessary funding

“Nuclear energy is reliable, clean, and safe. The only obstacle to the expansion of nuclear energy in Africa is the lack of adequate funding”, El-Wakeel said.

 

SOLUTIONS

Development of a strategic partnership

“We have a lack of nuclear energy. We are very happy that today our government signed an agreement with Rosatom. We have concluded an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in nuclear technologies. The main reason that we have signed this agreement is that we will install an experimental reactor, and this will require certain personnel and support”, said Getahun Mekuria Kuma, Minister of Innovation and Technology of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

“We realized that it is essential to find a strategic partner who can help us get through the necessary processes. That is why we reached out to Rosatom”, Msiska said.

Establishing an environment of mutual trust and responsibility

“There will never be any development in international relations or in the economy if there is no meaningful desire to offer one’s own direction for development or if the receiving party has no desire to implement this in concert and in the format of political trust in one another. In this case, these two signals coincide”, Likhachev said.

For more information, visit the Roscongress Information and Analytical System at roscongress.org

To participants in the Russia–Africa Economic Forum

Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you at the opening of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum.

The rich history of relations between Africa and Russia has never seen an event of a similar scale. Members of government agencies and business community, and experts are meeting at this Forum to substantively discuss the current status and prospects of cooperation and a wide range of topical issues of the world economy.

Today, the countries of Africa are well on their way towards social, economic, scientific and technological development, and are playing a significant role in international affairs. They are strengthening mutually beneficial integration processes within the African Union and other regional and sub regional organizations across the continent.

In recent years, the traditionally friendly ties of partnership between Russia and Africa have gained new momentum, both at a bilateral level and in various multilateral formats. In addition to preserving our past experience of successful cooperation, we have also managed to make significant new steps forward. Trade and investment are growing dynamically, and new joint projects are under way in extractive industries, agriculture, healthcare, and education. Russian companies are ready to offer their scientific and technological developments to their African partners, and share their experience of upgrading energy, transport and communications infrastructures.

I hope that the Forum will help identify new areas and forms of cooperation, put forward promising joint initiatives that will bring the collaboration between Russia and Africa to a qualitatively new level and contribute to the development of our economies and the prosperity of our peoples.

I wish the Forum’s participants fruitful work and all the best.

Vladimir Putin

The Russia–Africa Summit, which is taking place in Sochi on 23–24 October 2019, encapsulates the historically friendly relations between the African continent and the Russian Federation. This Summit carries great significance as it is the first of its kind to emerge during a period of major global and international transformations. In response to the aspirations of the people it is representing, the Summit intends to build a comprehensive framework for expanding Russian–African relations into broader horizons of joint cooperation across different fields.

The African nations and Russia share a common understanding of international relations, based on the principles of respect for the rule of international law, equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of states, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. Both sides affirm their commitment to support multilateral actions to oppose new international threats, be they terrorism and extremism in all their forms, or declining growth rates. The two sides share a firm conviction regarding the importance of developing trade flows and supporting mutual investment in such a way as to ensure security, peace and development for the African and Russian people.

African countries have huge potential and opportunities that will allow them, once efforts to streamline their economies have been achieved, to emerge as real global players. In recent years, the nations of this continent have achieved major successes spanning the political, economic, social and administrative spheres. Africa has flourished in terms of growth over the past decade, reaching a continent-wide growth rate of 3.55% in 2018.

The African Union Summit, which was held in Niger in July 2019, continued the efforts of the African countries and saw the African Continental Free Trade Agreement come into force, along with its operational instruments. The agreement is one of the key objectives of Agenda 2063, an African development strategy that has been created to address the African people’s desire for prosperity and decent living standards.

These successes are opening up wide-ranging prospects for cooperation between African countries and the Russian Federation, and confirm the determination of African governments and their people to cooperate with multiple partners in order to establish mutually beneficial relations.

With this in mind, we express our hopes that the Russia–Africa Summit will help in the establishment of constructive strategic relations, based on partnership between two sides across various fields, and in the service of fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the African people and their friends in Russia.

President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Abdelfattah ALSISI