IAEA Director General Speaks of Role of Nuclear Technology in Algeria’s Development

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. (Photo: C. Brady / IAEA)

The IAEA supports Algeria in a wide range of areas including human health, food and agriculture, management of water resources, nuclear energy and nuclear technology, IAEA Director General  Yukiya Amano said at the Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations in Algiers on 1 March. 

“These are all very practical projects which make a real difference to the lives of many people,” he said.

The IAEA helps Algeria to use nuclear techniques to combat the degradation of farm land and make soil more productive. It also helps with the development of irrigation technologies for high-value crops, increasing the incomes of farmers, and  makes nuclear techniques available for the development of crop varieties that are more resistant to excessive heat and water shortages.

Mr Amano highlighted the IAEA’s role in supporting Africa in its efforts to combat cancer. The IAEA has invested nearly 300 million euros in cancer and radiotherapy projects throughout the world – more than a quarter of it in Africa.

“Our mission is to transfer technologies to help save lives,” Mr Amano said.

In 2011 and 2015, at the request of the Algerian government, the IAEA conducted imPACT review missions in the country to advise on the development of a comprehensive national cancer plan.

Ongoing projects in cancer care include developing capacity in nuclear medicine, medical physics and radiotherapy, and strengthening clinical applications of new technologies.

Mr Amano commended Algeria for sharing its expertise in the use of nuclear techniques in health care with countries in the region. “Your country has played an important role in several regional IAEA research projects, in particular in the field of nuclear cardiology, and helps to train professionals from other countries in Africa in nuclear medicine,” he said. “I very much appreciate this valuable contribution to improving medical care for millions of people throughout Africa.”

Mr Amano noted that Algeria is one of more than 30 countries preparing or considering the introduction of nuclear power. The IAEA is providing technical support  to  Algerian experts who are conducting an energy planning study on sustainable energy development and preparation for nuclear power.

During his two-day visit, Director General Amano met with Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, Minister of Energy Salah Khebri, Minister of Health Abdelmalek Boudiaf and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary General Abdelhamid Senouci Bereski. He also visited Comena, Algeria’s Atomic Energy Commission.

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Last update: 10 March 2016