Global and African nuclear bodies formalise their cooperation

13th October 2023

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The World Nuclear Association (WNA) and the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), covering civil nuclear energy applications, to support the economic and sustainable energy development of Africa. The MoU will underpin information exchange and sharing, capacity building, networking, and training.

“Nuclear energy offers a golden opportunity to build a cleaner, more equitable world, in which everyone has access to clean, abundant, affordable 24/7 energy and a high quality of life,” affirmed WNA director-general Dr Sama Bilbao y León. “The Association has recently engaged with key members and organisations in many African countries, recognising nuclear energy’s enormous potential to support sustainable growth and development in the continent’s energy landscape. I am delighted to partner with AFCONE to help Africa deploy nuclear energy and provide 24/7 clean energy for all.”

Currently, there is only one operational nuclear power plant (NPP) in Africa. This is the two-reactor Koeberg NPP in South Africa. However, a second NPP, a four-reactor facility, is currently being built at El Dabaa in Egypt. This will be used to both generate electricity and desalinate water. Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria have all decided to build NPPs and are moving forward with their preparations. Algeria, Ethiopia, Morocco, Niger, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia are all considering adopting nuclear energy.

“Nuclear energy has been identified among the viable clean energy sources for addressing Africa’s energy poverty,” highlighted AFCONE executive secretary Enobot Agboraw. “The relative advantage of nuclear energy lies in its ability to provide baseload, its long-term cost-effectiveness, its environmental resilience, and the long operational lifespan of NPPs. Considering Africa’s steep population growth, AFCONE is striving, inter alia, through partnerships with key industry players, such as [the WNA], to urgently expedite the process of deploying nuclear energy capacity in Africa.”

The WNA is the representative body for the global nuclear industry, with the mission of promoting a greater understanding of nuclear energy through the production of authoritative information, the development of common industry positions, and by contributing to debates about energy. AFCONE is an autonomous pan-African organisation, mandated by the Africa Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (or Pelindaba) Treaty, to promote and coordinate safe, secure and peaceful nuclear science and technology applications across the continent, including requisite regional and inter-regional cooperation, to support African socioeconomic and industrial development.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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