Enhancing Regional Cooperation in Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards amongst Southern African Countries
A three-day regional conference on enhancing Africa’s capacity on nuclear safety, security and safeguards is taking place in Lusaka from 29 through 31 August, gathering over 110 participants from the public, private and civil society sectors from ten African countries. The conference is part of the public awareness activities under the EU-funded project Support to Southern African countries in nuclear safety and safeguards, implemented by the International Science and Technology Center. Robert DE RAEVE, Acting Head of EU Delegation to Zambia, greeted the participants. Bernard Kapasa, Permanent Secretary at the Cabinet office, speaking on behalf of Dr. Roland Msiska, Secretary to the Cabinet, delivered a key note speech at the opening of the conference, convened by the local organizing committee comprised of Zambia’s Radiation Protection Board, NEPIO, the Nuclear Science and Technology Center, the Ministry of Information and the National Nuclear Center of South Africa. Kamen Velichkov, ISTC Senior Programme Manager and Diplomatic Advisor, presented the progress achieved so far by project MC5.01/15B. Heads and senior managers of radiation protection authorities from Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa talked about their national nuclear security and safety regimes and infrastructures. Representatives from national regulators and business operators discussed prudent management practices in relation to transportation of nuclear materials. A main point in the conference agenda was the presentation of the web-based communication system, that is currently being established under project MC5.01/15B to monitor and control the safe transportation of yellow cake and other radioactive materials in the four project participating countries – Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Namibia. National perspectives about the components, functionalities and sustainability of the web-based system were shared, including the potential expansion of the system to other SADC member states. The regional conference in Lusaka is a stepping stone in the implementation of project MC5.01/15B. The event garnered the interest of Zambian national media with a leading article in Lusaka Times covering the opening and main topics of the conference. One of the outcomes of the event is the establishment of the Zambian chapter of the continental network African Young Generation in Nuclear.