IAEA helps AFRA to Finalize Strategic Framework for 2019-2023
The meeting was opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius, Mr. Ivan Collendavelloo.
The African Member States have identified and prioritized opportunities for regional cooperation in the peaceful application of nuclear science and technology at a meeting hosted by the Government of Mauritius. The meeting, which took place in the capital of Port Louis from 19 to 23 March, was held to finalize the third Regional Strategic Cooperative Framework (RCF) under the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development, and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA). Priority areas highlighted in the new RCF include human health, food and agriculture, and radiation safety.
A task force composed of representatives from AFRA’s management committees, together with 27 African and four Asian specialists with expertise in the application of nuclear science and technologies and IAEA staff, met to develop the new RCF, which will extend from 2019 to 2023. The framework will support the sustainable promotion of the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology in the African Member States, based on the most pressing developmental challenges, needs, and priorities in the African socioeconomic context. The RCF will also facilitate partnership building with relevant bilateral and multilateral bodies, agencies and organizations.
The task force also established mechanisms for South-South collaboration and triangular cooperation to enhance African Member States’ capacity to benefit from nuclear science and technology in other areas, including energy development, industrial applications, and water resources.
The meeting was opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius, Mr. Ivan Collendavelloo, who highlighted Mauritius’ continued pursuit of nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes. Mr. Collendavelloo also announced the government’s intent to introduce a new comprehensive law on the use of nuclear science and technology in the Mauritian National Assembly by August 2018.
Mr. Sabbiti Baguma, Acting Chair of AFRA, highlighted the importance of the new RCF to the region. “AFRA’s Member States are committed to working together to face our common challenges”, he said. “The new Regional Cooperative Framework will give us a clear roadmap for cooperation on regional priorities like strengthening food security, addressing the cancer burden, and improving nuclear safety infrastructure. We are grateful to the IAEA for the support it has provided throughout the drafting process and look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Agency in future.”
Mr. Shaukat Abdulrazak, Director – Division for Africa, IAEA Department of Technical Cooperation, encouraged the task force to focus beyond 2023. “By promoting peaceful nuclear applications today, AFRA is laying the groundwork for the future. Supporting leaders in this field by incorporating nuclear science and technology into the development agenda will improve the lives of people in Africa and provide a model for the next generation.”