Sep 15, 2009
The Third Meeting of the Forum of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies in Africa has taken place in Vienna on 15th September 2009, in the margins of the 53rd General Conference of the IAEA. The opening session was attended by senior managers from the IAEA Department of Nuclear Safety and Security and the Department of Technical Cooperation, as well as the current Chairperson of AFRA.
In his good will remarks, Mr. T. Taniguchi, Deputy Director General, Head of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Safety and Security highlighted the importance of human resource capacity building as one of the key focus areas in Africa and encouraged member regulatory bodies in the region to participate in the Conference on effectiveness of regulatory systems that will be held from 14-18 December 2010, in Cape Town, South Africa.
Mr. A Boussaha, Director of the IAEA Department of Technical Cooperation’s Division for Africa stated that inadequate national regulatory infrastructure in some countries curtailed the benefit Member States could receive through the Agency’s Technical Cooperation programme to address the challenges of sustainable development and expressed the believe that the Forum will contribute to strengthening national regulatory infrastructures thorough enhanced cooperation among regulatory bodies. He congratulated the Member States on the progress made by the Forum since its inception and emphasised the potential role the Forum could play in fostering the nuclear safety agenda on the continent. Mr. Boussaha further stressed the special importance the IAEA accords to the work of the Forum and reiterated the Agency’s commitment to facilitating regional cooperation in this crucial field.
The AFRA Chairperson, Prof. E. Mbede mentioned that the support of the Forum through the AFRA project highlights the importance that AFRA attaches to the objectives of the Forum. Ms. E. Amaral, Director of the Division of Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety also mentioned the importance of the regional networks of regulatory bodies and highlighted the importance of the cooperation between the Forum and the IAEA.
Mr. Andre-Claude Lacoste, Director General of the French Nuclear Regulatory Body (ASN), , congratulated the Forum on its formation and expressed that the West European Network of Regulatory Authorities (WENRA) is ready to cooperate and exchange pertinent experiences with the Forum on matters relating to the development of robust regulatory systems and strengthening networks and cooperative programme.
The working session of the Meeting carried out discussion based a structured agenda, assessed the achievements of the past six months and outlined its action plan for the year 2010. The Meeting noted the success of the training course in the area of regulating Uranium Mining and Milling coordinated by Namibia and the new initiative on regulating nuclear power programme coordinated by South Africa. The Meeting encouraged other programme areas, i.e. upgrading safety in radiotherapy, coordinated by Tunisia, upgrading safety in research reactor applications, coordinated by Ghana; legislative and regulatory infrastructure, coordinated by Ethiopia; education, training and knowledge management, coordinated by Nigeria and upgrading safety in waste management coordinated by Tanzania, to take substantial steps for the development of cooperative programme.
In view of strengthening the institutional capacity of the Forum and developing the programme areas for the Technical Working Groups (TWGs) the need for defining coherent set of objectives and articulated strategies is highlighted and the Forum requested the Agency to provide technical assistance within the project framework.
The Forum elected Mr. A Tibinyane, (Namibia) as its Secretary and confirmed Dr. Mohammed Ezz El-Din (Egypt) and Mr. Joe Mwase (South Africa) as members of the Steering Committee representing Northern Africa and Southern Africa respectively. The Meeting agreed that all the member regulatory bodies should notify names of their representatives in the various TWGs by the end of the week.
The Meeting emphasised that the members of the forum should make efforts to participate in the international conference on effectiveness of regulatory systems to be held in Cape Town from 14-18 Dec 2009. The Meeting has also requested participating regulatory bodies to organize the national workshops, finalize the preparatory activities and conduct the self assessment exercise as per the agreed action plan. The progress made in conducting the self assessment exercise will be reported by participating regulatory bodies on the first biannual meeting of the Forum during the 2nd quarter of 2010.
The Meeting agreed that the Chairperson shall send congratulatory message to the Chairperson of Africa Union about the ratification of the Pelindaba Treaty and establish communication links to other partners including the IAEA to promote the visibility of the Forum and nurture partnership.
The Meeting agreed that the Charter shall be open for signature of regulatory bodies who wish to sign and join the Forum and accepted the pledge made by Nigeria and South Africa to host the Forum Website each for a period of one year.