May 26, 2009
AFRA Member States hold the second meeting of the Forum of Regulatory Bodies In Africa (FORBIA) and officially launch the operational functioning of the Forum.
In the margins of the first Regional Coordination Meeting of the new Regional AFRA Project (RAF9038) entitled, Self Assessment of Regulatory Infrastructures for Safety and Networking of Regulatory Bodies in Africa, AFRA Member States held the second meeting of the Forum of Regulatory Bodies in Africa (FORBIA) which was officially launched on 25 March 2009 in Pretoria, South Africa.
The meeting was opened by Mr. Orion Phillips, Executive Senior Manager, Nuclear Technology and Natural Sources Division of the National Nuclear Regulator of South Africa, who welcomed participants and representatives of partner institutions and working session is chaired by Professor Shemssedin Elegba Director General of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority and the current Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the Forum.
The meeting is attended by heads and representatives of Regulatory Authorities from 28 participating Member States in Africa, representatives from partner institution US NRC and resource persons from the European Radiation Protection Authorities Network and Asian Nuclear Safety Network. IAEA has supported the establishment of the Forum and facilitated the organization of the meeting through the Department of Technical Cooperation Division for Africa and the Department of Nuclear Safety. The Programme management Officer from TC and the Technical Officer from NS are attending and contributing on the forum meeting.
The opening remarks highlighted the current context of Africa and the daunting challenges faced in the 21st Century which includes the challenges of sustaining economic and social development which involves interalia, meeting the growing energy demand and advancing the application of radiation and nuclear techniques. The resurgence of nuclear power as an energy option is as well a reality. In response the African continent needs to leverage its great potential and elevate its position for the advancement of nuclear applications for sustainable development.
The implication of the above signifies a pressing need to develop and strengthen national regulatory infrastructures and continuously improve regulatory performance through self assessment and promoting regional cooperation among Regulatory Bodies.
The establishment of the Forum will render a multitude of benefits in advancing regional cooperation which includes interalia:
- To promote a common understanding of radiation and nuclear safety regulatory issues; * To facilitate information exchange in the African Continent
- To develop and strengthen a radiation and nuclear safety infrastructure across the region * To address the present and future challenges in respect of radiation and nuclear safety
- To create a uniform frontier of coordinating support and partnership initiatives.
The possible areas of cooperation may include Safety for Nuclear Power Plants, Safety for Uranium Mining, Control of radiation sources and radioactive waste and Transport safety.
In the two days deliberation the newly established “Forum of Regulatory Bodies in Africa” (FORBIA) will advance a structured discussion on the comprehensive agenda which includes visioning and outlining the Forum’s mission statement, discussing and finalizing the Forum Charter and operating rules and formalizing the Forum programme and activities. Upon successful completion of the Agenda items, the forum will be officially launched in the presence of Senior Government Officials and representatives of member states by the signing of the Forum Charter during the official Gala Dinner hosted by the Government of the Republic of South Africa.