Aug 15, 2008
Following the decision taken in September 2006 by the Meeting of AFRA Representatives, it was decided to organize in the region a High Level Policy Review Seminar with the aim to assess progress achieved by AFRA since its inception, to debate new trends and challenges and to address vital issues related to the vision, strategic directions and management of the AFRA programme, and to identify actions at the policy level and operational measures for developing strategic partnerships to support AFRA cooperative plans and activities, including ways and means of promoting effective and beneficial relationships.
The Government of Egypt, which kindly hosted and arranged the Seminar, invited Ministers in charge of nuclear science and technology in the AFRA Member States to attend the final two days of the Seminar. This was preceded by a three-day session (Meeting of Experts) involving Government designated representatives of AFRA Member States. The Seminar was attended by delegates from 26 (out of 34) AFRA Member States from Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda. Delegations were led by high level representatives including eight cabinet ministers. It was gratifying to note that the Seminar was also attended by the African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science, and Technology, Dr. Nagia El Sayed and Dr. Hussein El Hag, Director General of AFREC. The FAO was represented by Mr. Qu Liang, Director of the FAO/IAEA Joint Division.
The Seminar considered the new development trends and imperatives that are shaping today’s international partnerships as well as the “Nuclear Renaissance”, which should give nuclear science and technology a new impulse and catapult nuclear energy issues to the forefront in the international arena.
With regard to the outcomes of the Seminar, the AFRA Member States adopted the Aswan Declaration which highlights the following priority issues to be addressed by the Action Plan (documents available for download in English, French and Arabic)
• Restructuring of AFRA management in order for AFRA Member States to assume greater ownership and accountability for the AFRA programme – the existing AFRA Field Management Committee will be replaced by three committees:
AFRA Programme Management Committee;
AFRA Partnership Building and Resource Mobilisation Committee;
AFRA High Level Steering Committee on Human Resource Development and Nuclear Knowledge Management (HRD and NKM) – the establishment of this committee has already been initiated following a decision made by the 18th Meeting of AFRA Representatives.
• In order to address the reliance on IAEA funding, AFRA will establish an AFRA Fund to which Member States and partners/donors will contribute;
• Further strengthening of TCDC modalities to enable more advanced countries in nuclear science and technology to assist less advanced countries;
• Implementation of the AFRA Strategy on HRD and NKM, including the AFRA Network on Education in Science and Technology (AFRA-NEST).
The High Level Policy Review Seminar also adopted the AFRA Regional Strategic Cooperative Framework (RCF) as the principle planning tool for setting regional cooperation priorities and developing AFRA regional cooperative programmes for the period 2008-2013. The document will constitute the frame of reference for the formulation of AFRA regional programmes and will be used as a frame of reference in the process of development of AFRA regional projects. In this context, it is expected that the RCF will lead to the implementation of effective and efficient regional cooperation mechanisms. The RCF is also meant to facilitate building of strategic partnerships with other relevant bilateral and multilateral bodies, agencies, and organizations. The Executive Summary of the Regional Strategic Cooperation Framework (2008-2013) known as the “Profile of the RCF” is available for download in English, French and Arabic.