The Rwandan cabinet has approved an intergovernmental cooperation agreement with Russia to advance the peaceful use of nuclear energy as a tool for soci0-economic transformation in the East African nation.
With the application of atomic energy, the nuclear power deal is set to modernize vital sectors such as agriculture, electricity generation, health, geology and mining amongst others in Rwanda.
The agreement was first signed in Moscow last December but was revisited in May 2019 when Rosatom Global, the Russian government nuclear parastatal, said it will help Rwanda set up the nuclear plant by 2024.
The roadmap signing in May took place between Rosatom Deputy Director General Nikolay Spasskiy and Ambassador of Rwanda to Russia, Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya.
In line with the agreement, a Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology and a Nuclear power plant in Rwanda will be built in Kigali by Russian scientists. This will facilitate experiments and scientific research.
The approval of this nuclear deal comes ahead of the first Russia-African Forum in the city of Sochi, which President Paul Kagame has confirmed attendance, accompanied by a delegation of senior government officials.
Russia which is among the leading producers of nuclear energy in the world has signed similar cooperation agreements with other African countries despite questions over the appropriateness of the technology in the continent.
In Ghana, The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), through the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Rosatom for the construction of a Nuclear Power Plant in the West African country.
Rosatom trains local specialists in nuclear physics and energy in several African nations and runs a scholarship programme in Kenya.
Considering its relatively low cost, low pollution, and high energy density, nuclear energy has recently gained more popularity amongst nations who are willing to diversify their country’s source of energy and explore the socio-economic benefits that nuclear energy presents asides energy independence.
By Treasure Nnabugwu