Pretoria, 8 October 2019. ISTC, together with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE), the World Nuclear University (WNU), the International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC) and other international and regional organizations delivered a strong message of encouragement to the African Young Generation in Nuclear (AYGN) as this continent-wide network of young professionals convened its Second African Youth Nuclear Summit in Pretoria, from 8 through 11 October. AYGN gathered over 100 participants from the fields of nuclear science, research, education and industry and invited managers and CEOs from public and private nuclear bodies and institutions to discuss a wide range of issues related to the peaceful and innovative use of nuclear power, technologies and products.
Speaking on behalf of ISTC, Kamen Velichkov, Senior Programme Manager and Diplomatic Advisor, reminded the participants that ISTC has assisted AYGN since its establishment in Kenya in 2017; it has helped with the organization of the integrated workshop on nuclear communication and advocacy in Nairobi in 2017, supported the launch of Zambia’s national chapter of the AYGN during the international conference in Lusaka in September 2018; ISTC has also supported various commitments and participation of AYGN members in expert meetings and at international for a in Africa and Europe. Prof. Shaukat Abdulrazak (IAEA), Baaliouamer Massaoud (Executive Secretary, AFCONE), Dr. Patricia Wiealand (WNU), Luca Capriotti, President, IYNC offered congratulatory remarks at the beginning of the Summit. The leaders of the South Africa’s National Nuclear Regulator, the Kenyan Nuclear Power and Energy Agency, the South Africa’s Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant, representatives of ministries and governmental agencies, offered congratulatory remarks at the opening and first plenary sessions of the Summit.
The Summit’s agenda is focusing on exploring the development of various nuclear applications, including of nuclear medicine, innovative technologies based on radioactive and nuclear products in agriculture, water management, and environmental protection. Deliberations are taking account of the huge potential for inter-regional cooperation in the field of nuclear energy and technology in Africa, where 10 of the world’s research nuclear reactors are currently at work. Three big questions are dominating the discussions: Is Africa ready for nuclear energy?; Is there public acceptance for nuclear technology?; What is the role of young professionals in nuclear industries?
The support, provided by ISTC to the Second African Youth Nuclear Summit has been discussed during the recent visit to Africa of ISTC’s senior management at a meeting with representatives of AYGN. It falls within the expansion of the ISTC’s work with partners in Central and Eastern Africa and with countries from the South African Development Community (SADC) on nuclear safety, security and safeguards.