Russia to co-operate with Afcone

29 September 2020

Russia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for cooperation with the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (Afcone). The MOU was signed by Messaoud Baaliouamer, executive secretary to Afcone and Rosatom deputy director general Nikolay Spasskiy.

Rosatom said it was “a practical step” towards implementation of agreements reached with African countries at the Russia-Africa Summit in October of 2019.

The MoU establishes a basis for Russia to help African countries with various projects related to nuclear energy. Russia is currently negotiating nuclear cooperation agreements with at least 16 countries in Africa. These include new projects (Angola and Ethiopia), more developed agreements (Nigeria and Sudan), and a contract with Egypt for the construction of four VVER-1200 at reactors El Dabaa which are scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2026.

The Treaty of Pelindaba established Afcone to play a key role in advancing the peaceful application of nuclear science and technology in Africa. Members are represented through Commissioners, who meet in annual Ordinary Sessions to discuss all aspects relating to the implementation of the Afcone programme of work. The Treaty was opened for signature in Cairo in 1996, and entered into force in 2009.

Under the Treaty, each State Party undertakes to conduct all activities for the peaceful use of nuclear energy under strict non-proliferation measures to provide assurance of exclusively peaceful uses, to conclude a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency and not to export source or special fissionable material, or especially designed or prepared equipment or material unless subject to a comprehensive safeguards agreement.

Photo: A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (Afcone) and Russian-state corporation Rosatom in September  (Credit: Rosatom)

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