Atom for Africa is an opportunity to shorten the distance and make a leap so that in two-decade time the quality of life, technological sovereignty and development potential in Africa would be no worse than the same on other continents of our planet. This is according to Alexey Likhachev, Director General of State Atomic Energy Corporation, Rosatom.
He was speaking in Saint Petersburg at the Second Summit of the Economic and Humanitarian Forum Russia–Africa. He described the event as a continuation of the dialogue started at the 2019 Russia-Africa Economic Forum to strengthen Russia’s comprehensive cooperation with African countries and which Rosatom was the general partner.
“Nuclear industry is an island of relative stability due to the long-term nature technologies and high level of trust among nuclear players in the world.” As Alexey Likhachev emphasized,
Addressing Rosatom’s “Nuclear Technologies for Africa’s Development” session, Likhachev emphasized the importance of technological sovereignty and reminded that Rosatom offered its partners a wide range of projects to ensure technological sovereignty, from powerful power units to small modular reactors, both in on-shore or off-shore designs.
“We offer cooperation to every country we are working with, and this also applies to countries’ technological sovereignty projects,” said Rosatom’s Director General.
Mr. Likhachev noted that Africa has diversity, but was quick to point out that the company can offer a large set of technological and entrepreneurial solutions. He said they can be standard contracts and different schemes of facility co-ownership, including the possibility of simple generation and sales of electricity.
“This also applies to technologies close to nuclear power, such as nuclear medicine, irradiation centres, research reactors, and wind power,” he said
Mr. Likhachev reminded the forum that the structure of Rosatom’s products is harmonious, since the company’s annual revenue of about 2 trillion roubles is divided into three parts in roughly equal shares: first of all, there is a nuclear generation; the second part is everything related to nuclear projects, namely construction, service and nuclear fuel; and the third part is so-called new products, such as nuclear medicine and new materials, as well as a whole range of competencies related to new technologies.
Speakers representing African countries emphasized the importance of nuclear power and Rosatom technologies for socioeconomic development of African countries. In particular, Amged El-Wakeel, Board Chairman of El-Dabaa, an Egyptian nuclear power plant under construction, said that nuclear power meant a lot for development and economic growth of Egypt, and had a positive impact on all spheres of life.
Doto Mashaka Biteko, Minister of Minerals of Tanzania, spoke about how his country, which had a long history of uranium mining, also intended to use nuclear industry to address social issues.
Fidèle Ndahayo, Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Atomic Energy Board spoke of Rwanda’s intention to use nuclear energy that boosts economic growth. Rwanda also intends to develop nuclear medicine.
Speaking at the session, Ibrahim Uwizeye, Minister of Hydraulics, Energy and Mines of Burundi, revealed that, in addition to hydropower, his country also intended to develop nuclear industry with the help of Rosatom to achieve energy self-sufficiency.
Princess Mthombeni, founder of the “Africa4Nuclear” organization, spoke about advantages and achievements of nuclear industry, and also noted the importance of engaging the youth of Africa in addressing the continent’s the pressing issues.
A number of agreements were signed during the summit. The Russian Federation and Burundi concluded an agreement on cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including establishment and improvement of the nuclear infrastructure; production of radioisotopes and their uses in industry, medicine and agriculture; and education and training of specialists for the nuclear industry. The document was signed by Mr. Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom State Corporation, for the Russian side, and by Albert Shingiro, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, on the part of the Republic of Burundi.
Mohamed Amin Cherkaoui, Board Chairman of Water and Energy Solutions, a Moroccan company, and Ksenia Sukhotina, Chief Executive Officer of Rusatom Infrastructure Solutions JSC, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on implementation of desalination, water-treatment and water-purification projects. “The signed Memorandum expands cooperation with Morocco in the field of desalination and water treatment, and provides for the possibility of implementing joint projects with the use of Rosatom technologies aimed at providing the region’s industry and population with clean water,” said Kirill Komarov, First Deputy Director General for the Development and International Business Unit of Rosatom State Corporation.
On the sidelines of the summit, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Zimbabwe also signed an Agreement on cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The document was signed by Mr. Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom State Corporation, for the Russian side, and by Soda Zhemu, Minister of Energy and Power Development, on the part of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
A booth of Rosatom State Corporation presents advanced solutions based on nuclear technologies and proposed for implementation in African countries. Furthermore, technical site visits for delegations from a number of African countries to the Leningrad NPP and Baltic Shipyard JSC are arranged within the framework of the Summit.
A meeting of the Impact Team 2050, an International Youth Council which is attended by representatives of the Global Partners Network from African countries, is held within the framework of the Forum.