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New to the Programme: the IAEA welcomes and briefs newly appointed National Liaison Officers and Assistants from the Africa region

NLO meeting

The word 'cooperation' does not appear arbitrarily in the name of the IAEA's technical cooperation (TC) programme-indeed it was chosen carefully. Cooperation is the sine qua non of international development, and is required at all levels to ensure the success of the IAEA's technical cooperation projects. In all fields of activity-from water management to pest eradication and to radiotherapy-a close working relationship between Agency staff and Member State counterparts is key for successful projects.

National Liaison Officers (NLOs) and National Liaison Assistants (NLAs) play a pivotal role in the delivery of the technical cooperation programme in Member States, with important responsibilities in project design, implementation and monitoring.  To ensure that NLOs and NLAs have all the tools and knowledge necessary to conduct their important work, new NLOs and NLAs, upon their appointment, are invited to Vienna to undergo training on standard technical cooperation (TC) procedures and corresponding Agency related activities.

From 13-17 April 2015, the IAEA welcomed 18 NLOs and NLAs from the African region to the Agency's Vienna headquarters for an induction workshop. The workshop aimed to provide guidance to the incoming national liaison officers and assistants on how the IAEA's TC programme functions, with the aim of enhancing programme implementation and effectiveness in participating African Member States. The attending NLOs and NLAs were briefed on a wide range of topics, including TC strategy and partnership, process of TC programme formulation, implementation and reporting, and radiation safety requirements. The workshop participants were also given an introduction to the broad scope of nuclear applications.

Generally, a National Liaison Officer is a high-ranking government official, responsible for the overall management of IAEA technical cooperation activities in which the government is involved, including the programming and implementation of national, regional and interregional projects. This includes the development of the Country Programme Framework (CPF), which elaborates Member State priorities in using nuclear science and technology to achieve their development goals.

The NLOs work in conjunction with their respective National Liaison Assistants, who provide much-needed support to the NLO by helping to organize meetings, design and implement new projects, and monitor ongoing ones.

After an opening address by Dazhu  Yang, Director of the Division for Africa in the Department of Technical Cooperation, in which he welcomed the participants, highlighted the importance of shared responsibility for TC programme and explained the fundamental role of an NLO. Presentations were made on the logistical dimensions of an NLO's work. From field procurement to legal and safety considerations, the new NLOs heard a number of lectures which detailed when, with whom and how the IAEA implements its technical cooperation programme.

In a further effort to ensure continuing cooperation, the week-long workshop concluded with an open session. This provided an opportunity for NLOs to attend bilateral meetings with IAEA Programme Management Officers (PMOs) and Technical Officers (TOs) regarding proposed and ongoing projects. 

The attending NLOs and NLAs represented 17 countries in the African region, namely: Burundi, Central African Republic, Cote D'Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea,  Liberia, Malawi, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Seychelles, Sudan, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.


Last update: 26 Jul 2017

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