Russian nuclear giant in MoU with Africa’s young nuclear professionals
Russian energy group Rosatom has signed a Memorandum of Understanding on support and cooperation with the African Young Generation in Nuclear organisation, at the POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa summit and exhibition in Sandton, South Africa.
Rosatom, participating in a one-day Nuclear Forum at POWER-GEN Africa, undertook to offer support and knowledge sharing to African Young Generation in Nuclear, a new pan-African forum for young professionals working in the nuclear sector.
Viktor Polikarpov, Regional Vice President, Sub-Saharan Africa at Rosatom, noted that Africa’s population was a predominantly young one, and that Africa’s future was nuclear. “This is why we attach great importance to working with the young people who will implement and take further the nuclear programmes we lay the groundwork for now,” he said. “Rosatom is committed to knowledge and skills transfer, and collaboration with these young nuclear professionals who will harness nuclear to the benefit of Africa.”
Gaopalelwe Santswere, President of African Young Generation in Nuclear, says the non-profit organisation began forming in 2014 and was formally launched in Nairobi, Kenya, earlier this year. With a membership of over 350 professionals working in the nuclear sector across Africa, the new organisation works with industry partners to raise awareness and skills among young people around science and technology, and nuclear power in particular. “Africa is the new nuclear frontier, and we are working to equip the continent’s young professionals with the skills they will need in this new environment,” he said.
Santswere said Rosatom had been present at the launch of the organisation, and had long supported its objectives. “The formalisation of cooperation through the MoU today is in line with our aim of formalising similar agreements with key industry organisations, giving us access to a global nuclear network,” he said.
Attracting keen interest from delegates, the Nuclear Forum POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa focused on nuclear challenges, strategies and the role of nuclear power in Africa, with expert speakers pointing out its efficiencies and the fact that Africa’s coal-fired power stations had a limited lifespan, while renewables could not be expected to meet all the continent’s power needs in future.
Nigel Blackaby, Director of Conferences at event organisers PennWell International Power Group, said: “Countries across Africa, including Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia are reported to be considering nuclear power, while South Africa is on the brink of embarking on a new phase of nuclear development. In the quest for baseload power that is clean, efficient and affordable, there is clearly a key place for nuclear in Africa’s future energy mix.”
The Nuclear Forum was among multiple tracks focusing on the gamut of power generation and distribution solutions at POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa 2017. This three-day exhibition and summit, which has drawn over 3,000 power sector stakeholders from across Africa, runs until Thursday 20 July at the Sandton Convention Centre.