IAEA Director General Visits Kenya and Namibia

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano meets with Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto. (Photo: Kenyan Nuclear Electricity Board)

During his visit to Nairobi, Kenya, from 8 to 10 December 2013, Director General Amano met the Deputy President of Kenya, Mr. William Ruto, and senior Government officials.

The Director General briefed the Deputy President on the Agency's activities across a broad range of peaceful nuclear applications. Deputy President Ruto informed the Director General of Kenya's plans to introduce nuclear power in the next decade. The Director General noted that Kenya was a very important partner for the IAEA in the region and said the Agency would continue to work closely with the Kenyan authorities to help establish a nuclear power programme that would be safe, secure and sustainable. The Director General said it was important to have a robust and independent nuclear regulator and noted the valuable role played by international conventions on nuclear safety, as well as international peer reviews.

The Director General also met Mr. Davis Chirchir, Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum.

During a visit to the Kenyatta National Hospital, Director General Amano was given an update on the IAEA's assistance to Kenya in developing an integrated approach to cancer control and on cooperation in radiation safety. This was followed by a visit to the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, where Director General Amano received a comprehensive briefing on the use of nuclear techniques to develop new varieties of agricultural crops that resist diseases such as the wheat rust disease Ug99.

Namibia

Visiting Namibia from 11 to 13 December 2013, the IAEA Director General joined the country's President, Mr. Hifikepunye Pohamba, in formally inaugurating the new Nuclear Medicine Department at Oshakati Intermediate Hospital. In his comments at the inauguration ceremony, the Director General highlighted the growing problem of cancer control in developing countries, which now account for around 70 per cent of global cancer deaths. He noted that many millions of people in Africa have no access to diagnostic services or treatment. Too many die of conditions that are actually treatable. He noted that the IAEA is working closely with Namibia and other African countries to improve cancer control, providing both equipment and training for medical and technical staff.

President Pohamba welcomed and appreciated the close collaboration between the IAEA and the Government of Namibia, especially in the training of doctors, which had resulted in the establishment of the Nuclear Medicine Department in Oshakati. The new facility would provide services which were previously inaccessible and unaffordable to many people, he added.

President Pohamba also welcomed the Agency's support in other areas of peaceful uses of nuclear technology in Namibia, such as the development of high-yielding, drought-resistant crops and managing underground water resources.

Director General Amano also met a number of Government ministers, as well as doctors and researchers who had received training through IAEA programmes, and visited the Rossing Uranium Mine.

Last update: 21 October 2014