NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – The Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board Executive Chairman Ochilo Ayacko has been elected chair of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE).
This development during the ongoing fifth ordinary session of AFCONE at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is a boost to Kenya as it pursues the development of its nuclear power programme.
“I am honoured by your decision to vote me to this position. I assure you of my unswerving dedication to the cause of nuclear energy development in Africa,” Ayacko said.
The conference comprises delegates drawn from various African countries including Cameroon, Algeria, Mali, Mauritius, Senegal, Togo, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Among the issues to be deliberated upon include the operationalization of the Secretariat for the panafrican institution, its budget and drawing up priority items for the next three years.
The conference will further discuss issues relating to monitoring State Parties compliance with their nonproliferation obligations, nuclear and radiation safety and security, nuclear sciences and applications, as well as partnerships and technical cooperation.
The election of the chair during the morning session of Monday marked the start of the two-day summit which is expected to give impetus to efforts by several African countries which are gearing up to introduce nuclear electricity in their energy mix.
The Addis meeting comes hot on the heels of last month’s third Africa Conference on Energy and Nuclear Power in Africa, which was hosted by the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board in Diani, Kwale County attracting 200 delegates.
There are currently 443 nuclear power reactors operating in 30 countries worldwide, providing about 11percent of the world’s total electricity.
They have a combined capacity of about 381 Giga Watts. In addition, there are 65 units under construction in 15 countries.
An increasing number of developing countries, including some in Africa, are considering introducing nuclear power as part of their energy mix or expanding their use of nuclear power.