The AFRA Meeting of Representatives, which marked the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the intergovernmental arrangement, took place in Vienna on 17th September 2009 during the 53rd Annual Session of the IAEA General Conference. Representatives from 30 AFRA Member States took part in the meeting. Lesotho participated as observer and France as donor country.
The Meeting was opened by Dr Peter Msolla, Tanzanian Minister of ICT, Science and Technology, as outgoing AFRA Chair and chaired by Dr Madeleine Tchuinté, Cameroon’s Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation, as incoming AFRA Chair. Ms Ana Maria Cetto, IAEA Deputy Director General, Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation and Mr Werner Burkhart, IAEA Deputy Director General, Head of the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications delivered their key remarks during the meeting.
The Meeting reviewed and endorsed the recommendations and outcomes of the recent 20th AFRA Technical Working Group Meeting (TWGM) which took place in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 27 to 31 July 2009. As a result of its deliberations, the Meeting made the following decisions:
- The AFRA Annual Report 2008 prepared by the IAEA was endorsed;
- The pre-selected members of the AFRA Programme Management Committee (AFRA-PMC) and AFRA Partnership Building and Resource Mobilisation Committee (AFRA-PBRMC) were endorsed, thus finalizing the new management structure of AFRA;
- The proposed actions related to the contributions of AFRA Member States to the AFRA Fund were endorsed;
- The Plan of Action of the AFRA High Level Steering Committee (HLSC) on Human Resource Development (HRD) and Nuclear Knowledge Management (NKM) was endorsed, with emphasis on the AFRA Network for Education in Nuclear Science and Technology (NEST), the AFRA Fellowship Scheme and the training in Radiation Protection;
- Recently audited Regional Designated Centres (RDC) in Energy Planning, Higher and Professional Education and Training in Radiation Protection were endorsed.
- The proposed criteria and procedures for Member States to host AFRA Technical Working Group Meetings were also endorsed.
The AFRA Chair noted that the above decisions on policy and programme related issues will have a significant impact on the management of the AFRA Programme and will ensure a greater ownership of the programme by Members States. The IAEA welcomes the above developments and will continue to facilitate the efforts of AFRA Member States in this process.