Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Africa’s new nuclear strategy to achieve energy sufficiency

Article from AFRIC Editorial
Since Africa is a continent suffering from a shortage of electricity, it will not be able to realize its full growth potential without meeting the energy needs of a growing economy. The Russian state-owned company Rosatom currently offers African countries the most favorable conditions for the development of nuclear energy. At the same time, cooperation in this area will certainly become Russia's successful political project in Africa, as it will make African countries in serious technological dependence on Rosatom.

Energy balance of Africa

At present, there is only one nuclear power plant on the African continent – it is a 1 GW Koeberg nuclear power plant located near the city of Cape Town in South Africa. The station was built in the 1960s via a project led by a large French group, it is now the main power generation facility in the Western Cape.
It is estimated that currently only a quarter of the population in West and Central Africa has access to electricity. This means that about 600 million people live with limited access or do not have access to reliable electricity sources.

For Africa to maintain, or even increase, its current economic growth potential, it needs a more reliable and affordable source of basic support to stimulate industrial activity and economic growth. Nuclear can be the best choice. The Russian side assured that it was a means of producing energy that is environmentally friendly, safe, reliable and economical.
Nuclear energy is today the only source of energy that meets all the challenges of a rapidly developing world. Its uniqueness is due to the low cost of electricity production. This is why nuclear power plants can meet the needs of energy-intensive regions and offer significant potential for electricity exports.

Rosatom is the state nuclear corporation of the Russian Federation, uniting about 400 companies and research institutes that work in the civilian and defense sectors. With 70 years of experience in the nuclear field, Rosatom claims to be a world leader offering its partners the most advanced technological solutions.
It is for this reason that more and more African countries are currently exploring the possibilities of developing nuclear energy. The successes of the Russian nuclear corporation can be noted in several countries at once.
Among them:

The ed-Dabaa nuclear power plan : Egypt

In December 2014, an agreement was signed between the Russian Federation and Egypt on the construction of the ed-Dabaa nuclear power plant. Since 2017, the construction project in which Russia is participating, the first ed-Dabaa nuclear power plant in Egypt, is entering the implementation phase.

Rosatom’s managing director described the contracts signed for the ed-Dabaa nuclear power plant as the history record of the global nuclear industry. The total value of the four contracts is tens of billions of dollars. It is also the largest resource export agreement in Russian history. In terms of the extent of influence on Russian-Egyptian relations, the project can probably only be compared with the construction of the Aswan Dam at the time.

The contract for the construction of the first Russian nuclear power plant in Egypt is expected to guarantee economic cooperation with Russia for a century. The four units of the ed-Dabaa nuclear power plant under construction will be built for ten years, after which their operation will be guaranteed for eighty years. This nuclear power plant is the only nuclear power plant under construction on the African continent. The construction is carried out thanks to public financing from Egypt and an export loan granted by Russia for export.

This first nuclear power plant in Egypt will be built by Russian Rosatom technologies. The agreement sets out issues concerning the supply of nuclear fuel for the future nuclear power plant, as well as obligations for the operation, maintenance and repair of nuclear groups. In particular, it regulates the issues of spent nuclear fuel management, training of nuclear power plant staff and assistance to Egypt to improve the system of standards and rules governing nuclear energy and nuclear infrastructure.

The nuclear power plant in al-Dabaa will become the largest joint project of Russia and Egypt since the creation of the Aswan Dam, this is truly a new page in the history of Russian-Egyptian interstate relations. The first nuclear power plant will make Egypt a regional technology leader and the only country in the region with a 3+ generation nuclear power plant.

In 2009, with the signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Use of Atomic Technologies, nuclear cooperation between Russia and Nigeria began. As part of the development of an agreement, interim agreements were signed on the design, construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear power plants and the nuclear power plant with a multi-purpose research reactor (RER). In October 2017, Russia and Nigeria signed a roadmap for the implementation of these agreements.
Nigeria regards itself as the main economy of sub-Saharan Africa and its nuclear projects are of particular importance. Nigeria’s biggest competitor for Africa’s leading economy is South Africa.


In Zambia, the Cariba Hydroelectric Station, built by Soviet experts, was once one of the largest in Africa. However, after many years, Cariba and other Zambian hydropower plants can no longer provide economic growth. In February 2017, Russia and Zambia signed a cooperation agreement on the construction of a nuclear science and technology center in Zambia. Later, in the development of this agreement, more detailed agreements were signed, including those on engineering survey work. The main object of construction is now a research reactor.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the Kenyan government came to the conclusion that more electricity was needed for the development of the country. The country has small reserves of oil, but the government does not rely on hydrocarbons: the main reason is its high cost for drilling plants. In May 2016, the project to build a 700 MW gas-fired power plant was finally buried.
Preparations for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Kenya started in 2010. To date, relevant legislation has been adopted in the country, a national regulator has been established, a program for the development of nuclear energy on 15 years ago, an IAIR mission was carried out by IAIR, funding models for the construction of nuclear power plants were identified and 10 potential sites for a nuclear power plant were identified.

In addition, a new industry has been formed in the country: 60 nuclear science and technology specialists have been trained at the University of Nairobi, 60 others in the United States, 19 in South Korea, 11 in Slovakia. And in 2017, Rosatom, with the help of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, will offer scholarship programs to 60 young specialists from African countries.


Article from AFRIC Editorial

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