The Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) hosted the 20th Steering Committee Meeting of the Forum of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies in Africa (FNRBA) at the Bon Hotel Elvis, Abuja from 24th – 28th April, 2023.
The purpose of the meeting were to review the implementation status of the FNRBA Work Plan, discuss the regional cooperation projects planned in the FNRBA five year strategy, discuss the regions' specific issues and development of FNRBA collaboration projects.
The meeting discussed the finalization and endorsement of the five year implementation plan of the FNRBA strategy from 2023 – 2027, provided strategies for its implementation and took into cognizance the key regional priorities which are common to all participating Member States with cutting implication for the development and strengthening of National Regulatory Infrastructures and Regional Cooperation.
The meeting, finally noted that one of the key priorities of the Forum is to focus on strengthening radiation safety and security infrastructure in Africa, as such the Forum is working with the IAEA-TC project tagged ”Rays of Hope”. The Rays of Hope initiative was launched by IAEA to support countries establish or scale up safe and secure effective radiation medicine capabilities in order to bridge a major shortfall in equipment and highly skilled personnel in many developing countries.
The Director General / CEO of the NNRA, Dr. Yau Usman Idris, who is also the Chairperson of the FNRBA, in his remarks stated that the meeting offers a great platform for the FNRBA to share ideas, experiences and also discuss their strategies for the implementation of the Forums Work Plan from 2030-2027. He thanked the Forum partners in assisting the Forum achieve its ideals.
Messers Insuk Jang, IAEA NSOC delivered her remarks and expressed gratitude to NNRA, officers of the Forum, Thematic Working Group (TWG) Coordinators and her fellow IAEA officers for making time to join the meeting in Abuja. She commended IAEA TC logistical support that enabled the effective coordination of the Meeting.
Mr. Abdou Ndiath, IAEA Programme Management Officer, ‘Division for Africa’ Technical Cooperation Department, in his remarks stated that safety is an enabler for use in nuclear science and technology and that the meeting provides a vital platform for all stakeholders to craft a plan to achieve safety in the coming years in Africa. He observed that the role of the Forum was critical in achieving the above and called for sound action plans to improve safety infrastructure in Africa.
African Commission of Nuclear Energy (AFCONE) was represented at the meeting by its Executive Secretary Mr. Enobot Agboraw, who informed the Meeting of the importance of the Forum to the implementation of the mandate of AFCONE and observed that synergies between AFCONE and the Forum could be leveraged on, for the good of Africa. He advocated for the establishment of formal collaboration with the Forum, spanning all uses of nuclear technology and added that, partnership between AFCONE and the FNRBA would enhance the capacity of African States to adhere to radiation and nuclear safety, and security norms which are among the regulatory requirements for the development of the civil applications of nuclear energy. The partnership could also enhance the effectiveness of FNRBA's regulatory activities through leveraging the legal authority vested in AFCONE by the Treaty of Pelindaba.
The Meeting was attended by members and representative from the countries of Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, Morocco, Ghana, Burkina Faso, DRC, Senegal, Kenya, and Zimbabwe with Affiliations from Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the United State of America, AFCONE, FNRBA, AFRA, IAEA, and NNRA.
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