Let’s harness nuclear energy for sustainable development - President Akufo-Addo to fellow leaders
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged fellow African leaders and actors to harness nuclear energy to help address Africa's developmental challenges.
“Together, let us work and harness the power of nuclear energy to address our energy challenges, promote sustainable development, and ensure a brighter future for generations to come,” he added.
The President was speaking at a Gala Dinner at the end of the first-ever US-Africa Nuclear Energy summit and International Framework for Nuclear Energy Co-operation (IFNEC) Ministerial conference in Accra on the theme: "Unlocking Africa's potential through nuclear energy”.
The dinner, organised by the Nuclear Power Institute of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, was attended by ministers of energy, policymakers, technical experts and influencers on nuclear matters from Africa and across the globe.
Energy transition plan
The President said the country’s electricity generation mix, as contained in its energy transition plan, envisaged 30 per cent of electricity production from nuclear energy by 2070.
“This strong commitment and position is geared towards clean and affordable electricity to drive our industrialisation agenda.
“It is also to position Ghana as a net power exporter in the ECOWAS region through the West African Power Pool,” he added.
The President also said the country was critically analysing innovations in small modular reactors (SMRs) and their potential for rapid deployment for clean and affordable energy.
“We are currently working with domestic and international experts to study the feasibility of deploying this new technology in Ghana,” he said.
The President expressed gratitude to the US Government for the partnership in organising the two ministerial events which focussed on the future of nuclear power in Africa.
He said the outcome of the summit must propel the deployment of nuclear technology for power production in Africa since the application of the technology had the potential to expand African economies and also improve lives.
“We know nuclear power, with its low carbon footprint, can play a significant role in combating climate change.
“As African countries strive to meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement, nuclear power offers a viable solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while meeting the growing energy demands of our populations,” the President said.
He said the outcome of the summit should be effectively disseminated for people to understand the enormous benefits of adopting nuclear technology in transitioning to net zero.
President Akufo-Addo also said it would lay to rest unfounded, popular fears about the safety of nuclear technology.
The US Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia E. Palmer, reiterated the significance of nuclear power for sustainable development, saying it could drive a clean energy revolution, strengthen energy access and diversity of supply and also fuel industrial development in energy-intensive sectors.
“Nuclear energy development demands committed partners, and the US is your 100-year nuclear energy partner,” she said.