Monday, July 17, 2017

The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has commended the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for sustaining a productive and mutually beneficial cooperation with Uganda for the last 50 years.

The Premier made these remarks during the opening of the 28th Technical working group meeting of African Regional Cooperation Agreement for Research and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA) that was organized under the theme “Celebrating 50 years of Uganda- IAEA Technical Cooperation in Nuclear Science and Technology” at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala.

PM Rugunda in a a group photo with some of the members who attended the 28th Afra Technical Working Group meeting at Speke Resort Munyonyo (Photo by PMPU)

The five-day meeting is expected to enhance regional cooperation on the application of nuclear science and technology through information exchange and regional training programmes.

Dr Rugunda said Uganda has received support in a number of areas ever since its membership in International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) including training Ugandan Scientists in areas of Nuclear energy, and most especially, supporting Cancer management through setting up of a radiotherapy facility in 1988, which is currently undergoing renovation.

“Government appreciates IAEA for the support towards improving cancer management. We have completed the refurbishment of the radiotherapy banker at Uganda Cancer Institute that will house new Cobalt-60 tele- therapy machine,” the Premier said.

He also noted that increasing electricity generation capacity to meet the demands of industrialization and investment is among government’s key priorities.

“Uganda is developing a 2000 Mega Watts nuclear power project for industrialization. It will also continue participating in regional initiatives such as Eastern Africa Power pool to enhance power stability and reliability,” the Prime Minister said.

Dr Rugunda called for more collaboration with IAEA so that Uganda and the rest of the world can benefit from the peaceful application of nuclear science and technology.

The Minister of Energy and Mineral development, Irene Muloni said Uganda is promoting peaceful application of atomic energy in areas of food and agriculture, health, industry and water resource management among others, adding that Uganda has a major opportunity in the energy sector to harness nuclear energy.

Muloni also emphasized the need for human resource capacity building in nuclear science and technology.

“Building capacity in human resource through training, will enable us as Ugandans to take charge of our destiny,” Muloni said.

PM Rugunda(C),Hon.Muloni(R) and Dr Rwendeire receive explanations on how the Nuclear power plant operates during the exhibition session of the 28th Afra Technical Working Group Meeting (Photo by PMPU)

The IAEA Director for Africa Shaukat Abudalrazak, speaking on behalf of the IAEA Deputy Director General Dazhu Yang, called upon the African member states to embrace nuclear science and technology for the socio- economic development of the continent.

“Stop undermining yourselves as Africa! Be agents of change in Africa by speaking about the merits of technology and creating awareness of the same,” Shaukat said.

Uganda has been a member of IAEA since 1967 and has been working with other African countries since 1990 to promote cooperation among member states with IAEA in the peaceful application of nuclear science and technology.