Russia adds another African country to its list of nuclear partners

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the Russia-Africa summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, July 28, 2023. Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS Host Photo Agency via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
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Yacouba Zabré Gouba, the Minister of Energy, Mines, and Quarries, in Burkina Faso, recently relayed that the country intends to partner with Russia on a nuclear deal.

He made the information known during an interview with Sputnik Africa on the sidelines of the International Forum on Nuclear Energy, which took place in Sirius Federal Territory, Russia.

“The establishment of this power plant will initially help reduce the energy deficit and eventually support all sectors of Burkina Faso’s socio-economic life,” the energy minister stated.

See also: The US scraps with Russia to retain influence over another African country

This deal dates back to late last year, in October when the Russian corporation signed a memorandum of understanding with Burkina Faso to build a nuclear-powered facility in the West African country.

Russia’s recent nuclear initiatives in Africa

Rosatom has been on a mission to penetrate the African market, given the continent’s economic potential, and has already established relations with some countries on the continent, including Mali, Zimbabwe, and Burundi.

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Nigeria too is in this mix, having stated its ambition to join the BRICS group of nations and collaborate on nuclear energy projects with Russia.

A recent report revealed that Russia and Nigeria are implementing direct steps to ensure this nuclear partnership and are also training individuals. The Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission and Russia’s Rosatom are striving to speed up the process.

Tanzania has also indicated interest in bringing Russia’s nuclear technology to bolster its economy. Doto Biteko, Tanzania’s Minister for Minerals, made the announcement during the ‘Cooperation in the Science and Technology’ panel discussion on ‘Nuclear Technologies for the Development of the African Region.’ The revelation surprised many given the fact that the East African country had been discreetly establishing the framework for its nuclear ambitions.

Also, in January 2024, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi formally began work on the fourth unit of Egypt’s Dabaa nuclear power plant.

Rwanda in 2019, signed a deal to establish nuclear plants in conjunction with Russia’s nuclear agency, Rosatom, which sparked widespread resistance owing to safety concerns.

Representatives of the Russian-owned Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation signed a deal with Ugandan state officials in 2016 to build the nuclear facility, however, the project was never implemented.

Source: Business Insider (Africa)