The development and peaceful use of nuclear technology could further underscore its value by helping to meet Africa’s developmental needs, says African Commission on Nuclear Energy (Afcone) executive secretary Messaoud Baaliouamer.
He says the safe and peaceful use of nuclear technology has already proven to be beneficial in human health, such as in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of noncommunicable diseases.
In water, nuclear technology can assist with sound water resource management through isotopic hydrology.
He states that nuclear technology can help Africa overcome the challenges of poverty and food and water shortages, in support of the African Union 2063 agenda.
However, to achieve this, the priority should be on setting up appropriate infrastructure, and the development and implementation of the peaceful use of nuclear technology.
This in itself cannot be done successfully without proper human resource development programmes, which Baaliouamer laments are currently lacking, as well as education and training programmes to educate people on nuclear science and technology.
He says Afcone is in the process of coordinating “efficient and sustainable” regional programmes to cover a spectrum of development levels between the 55 African member States, which will help encourage the establishment of the required technical cooperation among developing countries.
In doing this, regional networks will be created and sustained to address the “multi-platform challenges”, which Baaliouamer suggests can also be done through “gradually creating the enabling continental environment required by this paradigm shift”.