On 25 October 2021 the Accra International Conference Center, one of the most popular venues in Accra, next door to the Parliament of Ghana, opened its premises to receive more than a hundred participants in the Third African Youth Nuclear Summit (AYNS2021), convened simultaneously in-person and online.
The Ghanaian Young Generation in Nuclear and the African Young Generation Nuclear (AYGN), host the event dubbed: “The impact of nuclear science and technology applications on economic recovery in Africa post COVID-19 pandemic”.AYNS2021 brings together young researchers and professionals across the continent, from the academia; nuclear research institutions, nuclear service providers, prospective and current operators as well as regulators to share, exchange ideas and network on issues related to nuclear science and technology.
An array of Ghanaian high ranking officials congratulated the participants at the opening session, headed by Jake Obeng-Bediako, the Presidential Coordinator for Youth Engagement and Strategy, and coming from the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, the Nuclear Power Institute, etc. The statement on behalf of the Minister of Energy Hon. Matthew Opok re-iterated the resolve of the government to pursue nuclear component in the country’s energy mix.
Several high-level officials from international organizations delivered welcoming remarks: Ms. Lena Andriolo, President of the International Youth Nuclear Congress; AYGN President Gaopalelwe Santswere; the AFCONE Executive Secretary Messaoud Baaliouamer; the African Union Commission Representative Ononuju Silver Okwaraogoma; Prof. Abdulrazak Shaukat, the IAEA Director, heading the Africa Division of Technical Cooperation. The latter referred IAEA programs and projects targeting specifically capacity building and education at high school and university level as well as inclusion of youth and women in STEM.
In his Keynote address, ISTC Executive Director David Cleave commended ISTC’s reliable and long standing partnership with the African Young Generation in Nuclear and its national chapters. He noted that: Our relations have matured to a deeper level, and aspire after more substantial objectives than what collaboration with civil society is usually taken to imply”. David Cleave underlined especially the intensive and results-oriented joint actions in the implementation of EU-funded projects in Africa, managed by ISTC.
The AYGN Advisor Abdul-Karim Barrie, founder of the movement of young nuclear professionals in North America, and initiator of AYGN newest chapter in Sierra Leone, reacted in a social media to the ISTC ED address the in the following way: ISTC has been there for us since launching of African Young Generation in Nuclear in 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya. ISTC means so much to us and we can't thank them enough. Hopefully, what we achieved so far is a testament to ISTC resources and moral support for us and we hope ISTC recognized it has not gone to waste.”