Osafo-Maafo calls for international cooperation to foster rapid economic growth
The Senior Advisor to the President, Mr Yaw Osafo- Maafo has advocated more international cooperation and strategic partnerships to foster rapid economic growth in Ghana and the continent.
According to him, there was no better period to strengthen the developmental agenda than now, when the world was grappling with issues of climate change that could have dire effects on the African Continent.
Mr Osafo-Maafo made these remarks at the opening of the maiden United States of America (USA) – African Nuclear summit which opened in Accra on Monday.
The three-day event focused on promoting nuclear power in Africa is being attended by more than 200 participants from 19 African countries, including ministers representing their governments, nuclear experts, policy makers, academia, government agencies, scientists, environmental experts and regulators.
The summit organised by the U.S. Department of Energy in collaboration with the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission’s Nuclear Power Institute also has participants from countries including, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, USA, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania.
Topics for discussion include the need for nuclear now; 60 years of nuclear in the US and beyond; nuclear power as a catalyst for economic development, economic and commercial opportunities of nuclear power.
The rest are bridging the human capital deficit in African nuclear industry, local readiness for nuclear power, workforce regulatory development and ensuring safety, security, safeguards and civil liability for the nuclear industry.
Mr Osafo-Maafo stated that for the continent to develop its natural resources, expand its economy and provide for its citizens, it needed international cooperation to develop a ‘green’ dense energy technology for accelerated economic development.
He said today’s world had proven beyond doubt that nuclear technology could provide that needed ‘green’ energy for accelerated economic development as the least cost alternative technology.
The summit, the Senior Presidential Advisor, said would offer participants the opportunity to build capacity in nuclear energy, stimulate economic expansion, encourage innovation, develop human capacity and advance green and sustainable solutions.
Mr Osafo-Maafo charged the Forum of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies in Africa (FNBRA) to quickly ramp up their competencies to support the developing nuclear programs and also consider the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) initiative on Nuclear Harmonisation and Standardisation in bridging the competency gap and accelerating the nuclear power.
The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of International Security and Non-proliferation at the US Department of State, Ann Ganzer who described the future of nuclear power as very bright, explained that it held the key to addressing the world power needs.
According to her, the US was working assiduously to produce about 200 gigawatts of clean energy to ensure energy security and net zero carbon by 2050 to triple their capacity.
“93 commercial reactors are currently working while attempts are being made to facilitate the deployment of new reactors,” he said.
Ms Ganzer said nuclear could provide the base load of power as other options including hydro, wind and indicated that green climate goals are closer to the reality and flexibility, it bring with small modular reactors and micro reactors that make them attractive.