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Eradicating the Tsetse Fly in Africa: TC Africa Director Visits Senegal


The Director of TC Africa met with high level national decision-makers, to discuss ways to enhance the long-term IAEA technical cooperation programme with Senegal. (Photo: IAEA)

Shaukat Abdulrazak, Director of the Division for Africa of the IAEA Department of Technical Cooperation (TCAF) visited Senegal from 11 to 14 October 2017 to discuss and explore ways to enhance the long-term IAEA technical cooperation programme with Senegal. He was accompanied by the Programme Management Officer responsible for implementing the technical cooperation project aimed at eradicating the Tsetse fly in Senegal[1].

This award winning project[2] uses a nuclear application known as the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), a form of insect birth control involving ionizing radiation, to eradicate the tsetse fly in the Niayes. SIT is implemented through the Joint FAO/IAEA Division. 

The Director was welcomed by H.E. Mary Teuw Niane, Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation of Senegal, Prof. Amadou Thierno Gaye, Director General for Research, and Prof. Coumba Thiandome, National Liaison Officer for IAEA Affairs. Mr Abdulrazak also took part in a controlled aerial and ground release of sterile insects.

During a high level meeting with the Prime Minister of Senegal H.E. Mahammed Dionne, Mr Abdulrazak congratulated Senegal for the significant advances made in livestock production using SIT. Topics discussed included the important role of the  Senegal Authority for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (ARSN), and the urgent need to strengthen national capabilities with financial and human resources.

The Director also held subsequent meetings with Minister Tew Niane, H.E. Abdoulaya Diouf Sarr, Minister of Health, H.E. Aminata Mbengue Ndiaye, Minister of Livestock, and Lamine Lo, Secretary General, Ministry of Agriculture.

African Trypanosomiasis - Tsetse flies are blood-sucking insect pests that threaten food security in the Niayes, a coastal area south east of Dakar. Their bites jeopardize livestock health, and the flies themselves transmit parasites that carry a life-threatening infection to livestock known as African animal trypanosomiasis. These flies can lower quality of life and lead to a loss of milk and meat provided by livestock, which significantly affects farmers’ livelihoods and stifles local development.

Discussions at these meetings explored ways to enhance the long-term IAEA technical cooperation programme with Senegal, highlighting the role that nuclear technology is playing in the country and areas where cooperation with the IAEA can be enhanced. New ways of building human resource capabilities to meet the needs of the expansion in the radiotherapy services were also discussed, as well as the establishment of synergies between national stakeholders and the UN country team within Senegal.

Minister Tew Niane commended the fruitful cooperation between the IAEA and Senegal, and expressed particular interest in future cooperation in the area of nuclear medicine and radiation safety.  Mr Abdulrazak noted the important role that nuclear technology plays in development in Africa and commended national government commitment. He also conveyed the IAEA’s readiness to continue providing technical support to Senegal in all areas where nuclear technology plays a strategic role.

During a meeting with the Minister of Health, IAEA technical observations regarding a large scale radiotherapy governmental project were shared, and Mr Abdulrazak confirmed the Agency’s readiness to support Senegal for the safe and secure operation of the radiotherapy facility.  

Finally, Mr Abdulrazak met with the UN Resident Representative for Senegal, Priya Gajraj, to discuss the IAEA programmes in Africa, and in particular the assistance provided to Senegal through the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme. The meeting also provided a forum to examine potential areas of collaboration with other UN organizations. The UN Resident Representative confirmed that the new UNDAF process has been initiated and welcomed the IAEA’s technical support to Senegal within the framework of the new UNDAF.


[1] SEN5037 “Supporting the National Programme to Control Tsetse and Trypanosomosis”

[2] The Tsetse Fly Eradication Project in Senegal Wins Award for Best Sustainable Development Practices: https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/tsetse-fly-eradication-project-sene...


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