More than 150 decision makers and senior officials from around the world are due to meet in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa next week for a conference on energy and nuclear power in Africa, organizers said on Saturday.
The April 13-15Third Conference on Energy and Nuclear Power in Africa, organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in collaboration with Kenya brings experts in the energy field to discuss national and regional energy development strategies, taking into consideration the potential role of nuclear power.
“The objectives of the conference are to discuss the challenges of sustainable energy development faced by African countries; and to provide a forum for discussion between decision-makers and energy professionals on energy and nuclear power planning,” IAEA said in a statement.
Energy experts will also discuss critical steps of the IAEA’s recommended approach for considering and launching a nuclear power programme with an emphasis on regional and national energy planning for nuclear power development.
According to IAEA, the conference will provide opportunities to African member states to present and discuss the potential role of nuclear power in meeting their energy needs while taking into account critical initial steps for considering and launch of a nuclear power programme.
“The conference will offer an opportunity for countries to network and to gain knowledge about the IAEA’s guidance when considering the nuclear power option,” the statement said.
It noted that next week’s forum will also provide a forum for exchanges between decision makers and energy professionals on nuclear power planning.
Experts say energy is central to development, and energy availability, accessibility and affordability pose serious challenges to most African countries.
Despite considerable expansion in energy supplies in the recent past, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that nearly 620 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live without electricity – nearly two-thirds of the region’s population.
Concerns about the security of supply, environmental impact and climate change add layers of complexity to the situation.
Compelled by the combination of a growing population, the need for socioeconomic development and escalating environmental pressures, African states are looking into options to secure sustainable energy supplies. Enditem